Defending champions Comilla Victorians faced their fifth consecutive defeat in the fourth edition of the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 when Rangpur Riders strolled to a nine-wicket win at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in the port city on Friday.
Afghanistan wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Shahzad remained unbeaten on 51 while Mohammad Mithun was not out on 45 as Rangpur reached their target with 18 balls to spare after Comilla posted a small total of 122/5.
After being asked to take first guard, Comilla once again struggled up front; opening batsman Liton Kumar Das run out after scoring four while the other opener Imrul Kayes also continued his poor run in the BPL as he was trapped in front by off spinner Sohag Gazi for five.
Pakistan recruit Ahmed Shehzad and West Indies hard-hitter Marlon Samuels added 52 runs each but Comilla never looked to launch at any stage of their innings and eventually managed a below-par total.
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Comilla batsman Marlon Samuels' half-century added respectability to their total DHAKA TRIBUNE
Rangpur paceman Rubel Hossain picked up two while Gazi and Pakistan pacer Anwar Ali took a wicket each.
In reply, it was an easy task for the in-form Rangpur batters as they only lost the wicket of opener Soumya Sarkar (22). Soumya, who fell to Comilla captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza, continued his poor run of form with the bat in the BPL.
But Shahzad and Mithun ensured an easy chase at the end as the pair added 97 unbroken runs for the second wicket to seal Rangpur’s fourth win in five matches. They are now top of the points table alongside the high-flying Dhaka Dynamites.
Player of the match Shahzad remained undefeated on 51 off 49 balls with two fours and three sixes while man of the match in the previous game, Mithun, was unbeaten on 45 off 39 deliveries with the help of three sixes and a four.
It will now be a tough ask for the reigning champions to qualify for the playoffs. The Comilla think tank will surely look to script a turnaround in the next match in order to stay in the hunt while Rangpur have no such problems and are beaming with confidence.
Rangpur Riders 126/1 in 17 overs
(Shahzad 51*, Mithun 45*, Soumya 22) beat Comilla Victorians 122/5
(Shehzad 52, Samuels 52, Rubel 2/27) by nine wickets
Dhaka Dynamites v Khulna Titans, 1pm
Comilla Victorians v Rajshahi Kings, 5:45pm
Both games will be held at ZACS, Chittagong
M W L PTS
5 4 1 8
5 4 1 8
5 3 2 6
4 3 1 6
6 2 4 4
4 1 3 2
5 0 5 0