The intense battle between Rajshahi Kings' Sabbir Rahman and Rangpur Riders' Afghanistan cricketer Mohammad Shahzad garnered all the attention on Monday. During Rajshahi’s innings, Sabbir and Shahzad got engaged in a heated conversation and the on-field umpire had to intervene. But the war of words did not end there as the players were seen to exchange more comments as the match wore on. The situation turned ugly at one stage when Rangpur came to chase their target. Shahzad poked Sabbir with his bat while heading towards the dressing room after being dismissed. Replays showed that there was definite contact, following which Sabbir crouched down for a few minutes as the rest of the team celebrated Shahzad’s wicket. Sabbir was running past Shahzad when the bat was extended. The Rajshahi players walked towards the Rangpur dressing-room while Shahzad was making his way to the dressing room. Shahzad briefly turned around before slowly entering the dressing room. The umpires spoke to Sabbir immediately after the Rajshahi fielders returned to their fielding positions. According to clause 2.4.4 of the International Cricket Council’s code of conduct, “Physical assault of another player, player support personnel, umpire, match referee or any other person (including a spectator) during an international match” could result in a one-year suspension. The match referee though did not give out any official statement till the filing of this report.
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Rajshahi's Farhad Reza and Mehedi Hasan Miraz congratulate each other during their BPL record eighth wicket partnership DHAKA TRIBUNE
Farhad-Miraz’s record eighth-wicket stand
Rajshahi encountered a horrible batting collapse in the all-important clash. Opting to bat first, Rajshahi were reeling on 43/7 inside 10 overs after some brilliant bowling by Rangpur. Farhad Reza and youngster Mehedi Hasan Miraz though held the ship for the batting side. The pair added 85 unbroken runs for the eighth wicket - highest eighth wicket stand in BPL history - as Rajshahi managed to post a fighting total of 128/7. Farhad remained unbeaten on 44 off 32 balls with two fours and as many sixes while Miraz was not out on a 33-ball 41-run, featuring three fours and a six. This was Miraz's highest score in T20 cricket. In the end, Rajshahi managed to clinch a comfortable 49-run win, thanks in no small part to the unbroken eighth-wicket duo.