Defending champions Rangpur Riders stormed in to the top of the table with an overwhelming nine-wicket victory over Comilla Victorians in the 41st match of Bangladesh Premier League T20 held on Saturday (Feb 2) at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium at Mirpur.
Chasing a paltry winning target of 73 runs, Rangpur comfortably reached home making 76 runs in 9.3 overs for the loss of one wicket.
With this win, Rangpur secured 16 points from 12 matches while Comilla finished second position also securing 16 points from the same number of outings.
Opener Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers guided Rangpur towards the facile victory with 67-run unbeaten stand after Rangpur lost Mehedi Maruf early.
The explosive Carribean batsman Gayle blasted 30-ball off 35 runs hitting three boundaries and two over boundaries while AB de Villiers blazed 22-ball off 34 runs with the help of four boundaries and two over boundaries.
Sanjit Saha, the lone wicket taker of Comilla, took the wicket of Maruf in the second over during the Rangpur’s chase conceding 32 runs.
Ravi Bopara of Rangpur was named the Player of the Match for his impressive bowling performance.
In his immediate reaction after the match Bopara said: “We fielded and bowled well. I stole the Man of the Match but the bowlers at the top bowled really well.”
Enamul Haque, who came on behalf of Comilla‘s injured captain Imrul Kayes said they wanted to give chances to new players. “At the end of the day, it doesn’t count. Kayes has back injury, physio saying it’s nothing serious. Semifinal is different match.”
Earlier, a fierce bowling display by Rangpur bowlers saw Comilla dismissed at 72 in 16.3 overs after they opted to bat first.
Nahidul Islam struck early on Comilla’s innings as he sent back both the Comilla’s openers — Tamim Iqbal and Anamul Haque – while skipper Imrul Kayes backed to the pavilion without disturbing the scoreboard leaving Comilla in a deep trouble.
Only three batsmen – Ziaur Rahman (21), Liam Dawson (18) and Shamsur Rahman (12) able to reach the double figure in the face of tight bowling display by the Rangpur’s bowlers.
Comilla’s batsmen failed to build any effective partnership and they hardly at any position to fight back in the match losing their wickets in regular intervals.
Bopara was the pick of Rangpur bowler as he grabbed three Comilla’s wickets conceding only seven runs. He was well supported by Nahidul Islam and Mashrafe Mortaza who both picked up two wickets each giving away 9 and 18 runs respectively.