Rangpur Riders secured a 55-run victory over Chattogram Challengers as well as their third win in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 tournament at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium today (Jan 23).
Shoaib Malik's brilliant knock which included five fours and as many sixes was complemented by an equally aggressive 24 ball-42 by Afghan recruit Azmatullah Omarzai as Rangpur compiled a hefty 179-6.
Chattogram was nowhere near to challenge the total as they were bowled out for 124 in 16.3 overs with their batting linchpin Afif Hossain unable to bat due to high fever.
After being asked to bat first, Rangpur made a disastrous start, being reduced to 47-3 in ninth over with Mahedi Hasan who was sent to open the innings and Parvez Hossain Emon, being out for single digit figure. Opener Naim Sheikh looked to have made his start a count but was stumped after scoring 34 off 29.
Malik and Omarzai not only helped the side recover from the shaky start but batted in aggressive fashion to take the side to a strong total. They added 105 off just 52 balls by taking the Chattogram bowlers in sheer disdain.
Pacer Mehedi Hasan Rana broke the partnership after Omarzai smashed one four and four sixes for his tornado knock. But Malik stayed in the crease till the end and ensured Rangpur would amass a total that would give them a chance to win the game.
Rana, however, was the most successful bowler for Chattogram with 3-39 while captain Shuvagata Hom claimed 2-13. Hom also led the side in batting with 31 ball-52, hitting four fours and four sixes but he hardly got support from the other end, a reason that hastened Chattogram's fifth defeat in seven matches.
Rangpur's Pakistan speedster Haris Rauf took the side on the verge of the victory, removing Hom. He also took the wicket of Darwish Rasooli for 24, the key middle order batter of Chattogram and eventually finished with 3-17.
Ziaur Rahman was the other batter apart from Hom and Rasooli to reach double figure mark with 12 ball-24.
Rakibul Hasan picked up 2-24 to complement Haris Rauf's effort as Rangpur moved to top four with six points from the six matches.
BDST: 1841 HRS, JAN 23, 2023