Rangpur Riders defeated Comilla Victorians by 36 runs in Qualifier 2 of BPL 2017 at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Monday, riding on Johnson Charles’ unbeaten century, to reach the grand finale.
Chasing a challenging 193 for victory, Comilla were all out for 156 in their stipulated 20 overs.
Openers Tamim Iqbal and Liton Kumar Das started their chase brightly as at one stage, Comilla were 54 without loss in just 4.4 overs. Then, Rangpur captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza took the important wicket of Tamim in the fifth ball of the fifth over to halt Comilla’s charge.
Tamim scored 36 off 19 balls with half a dozen fours and a six. No 3 batsman Imrul Kayes was stumped in the next over to heap more pressure for Comilla.
Liton scored the highest score for his side - 39 off 28 balls – while the West Indies’ Marlon Samuels (27) and England’s Jos Butler (26) scored some runs in the middle-order but in the end, it was not enough for Comilla, who were a consistent performer in the group stage of the tournament.
Seamer Rubel Hossain took three wickets for Rangpur, conceding 34 runs, while Sri Lanka’s Isuru Udana and England’s Ravi Bopara bagged two each.
Earlier, Rangpur added 137 losing just two wickets from their overnight score of 55 for the loss of Chris Gayle (three). Eventually, they finished on 192/3 in their allotted 20 overs.
Johnson and New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum were the two unbeaten batsmen. These two produced a brilliant 151-run partnership for the second wicket, taking their team to a commanding total.
McCullum finally found his natural scoring touch as the Kiwi batsman smashed nine sixers on way to 78 off 46 balls. He finally got out in the last ball of the 19th over.
At the other end, Johnson played an outstanding innings, picking up the second century of BPL 5. Johnson reached his hundred in the second last ball of the innings. The player of the match ended up scoring an unbeaten 105 off just 63 balls with nine fours and seven sixes.
Hasan Ali picked up one wicket for Comilla, giving away 23 runs from his quota of four overs.
156 (Rubel 3/34, Bopara 2/17) lost to Rangpur Riders
192/3 (Johnson 105*, McCullum 78) by 36 runs
WHAT THEY SAID
Tamim Iqbal, Comilla Victorians
I think it happens in cricket. Comilla Victorians are not the only team who have been knocked out from the tournament after playing so well. But as captain I feel sad for my team because the way we played throughout the tournament, we played like a champion. We just had two bad games in the knockout stage and crashed out. And as for [Tuesday's] match, we bowled poorly but started well and were in the game till 13-14 overs. But that Isuru Udana over was the turning point for us. Credit goes to Rangpur Riders.
Mashrafe bin Mortaza, Rangpur Riders
We did not think about playing the final at one period of the tournament as our group stage performance was not upto the mark. But still we have reached the final and credit goes to the players. Particularly the overseas players, they tried a lot, for themselves and even local players performed better. I believe we have reached the final because of our total team effort. We know Dhaka Dynamites are a strong opponent in the final. But there is no chance of facing pressure. We will play pressure-less cricket.