Rangpur Riders finally confirmed the last four spot of the Bangladesh Premier League after Sylhet Strikers, Fortune Barishal and Comilla Victorians.
Captain Nurul Hasan Sohan struck a sublime 33 ball-61 to guide Rangpur Riders to a narrow two-wicket win over Dhaka Dominators at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Friday.
Dhaka Dominators, Khulna Tigers and Chattogram Challengers are the three teams who are now eliminated from the race.
Dhaka came into the match with a slim hope to stay in the last four race but batted poorly to be restricted to 130-8, a score that Rangpur overhauled with 133-8 in 19.3 overs.
The victory looked to come effortlessly after Sohan’s fluent knock but Rangpur made it tougher by losing six wickets for 22 runs.
Rangpur lost opener Naim Sheikh for duck before Mahedi Hasan (4) was dismissed for single digit figure to leave the side at precarious 9-2.
Sohan and Rony Talukdar combined for a 93-run partnership for the third wicket stand to help the side tilt the game toward them. While Rony calmly accumulated runs, Sohan took the bowlers in disdain and their contrasting approach served the team well.
Dhaka captain Nasir Hossain who finished with 4-20 broke the partnership with his wily offspin which accounted Rony after he made 34 off 39. In the immediate next over, pacer Shoriful Islam dismissed Sohan, sparking a collapse as Rangpur lost four wickets for just 9 runs.
On his 500th T20 match, Shoaib Malik was stumped by Nasir Hossian for 7 while his compatriot Mohammad Nawaz was removed by Amir Hamza for 1. Nasir then went on to take the wicket of Shamim Patwari and Rakibul Hasan, making Dhaka suddenly favourite to win the game.
Haris Rauf and Azmatullah Omarzai dented any hope of upset, taking the side home.
Dhaka earlier made a horrible start after being asked to bat first as they were reduced to 11-3 in fourth over, failing to deal with Rangpur bowlers properly.
Abdullah Al Mamun and Alex Blake resisted the rot with a 38-run partnership with the former making 23 and the latter adding 18.
Ariful Islam then gave the scoreboard some pace, hitting team high 29 off 26 with two fours and one six. His knock is key in helping Dhaka propel past 100 runs mark, which looked unlikely at one phase.
Azmatullah Omarzai was the most successful bowler for Rangpur with 2-22.
BDST: 1154 HRS, FEB 04, 2023