Rangpur Riders made them a contender to finish in top two in Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) group phase after comprehensively beating Chattogram Challengers by seven wickets at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium February 8.
After this victory, Rangpur moved up to second position with 16 points, same as Comilla Victorians who were in third position due to net run rate. However Rangpur will take on Comilla in the last match on Friday, a game that will decide who will take on Sylhet Strikers in the first Qualifier. The team which will be defeated will take on Fortune Barishal in the Eliminator game, reports BSS.
Pakistan speedster Haris Rauf and Afghanistan recruit Rahmanullah Gurbaz were instrumental in their facile victory, playing their part excellently with bowling and willow.
Rauf undid the batters with raw pace and claimed 2-14, a performance that restricted Chattogram to 132-8. Gurbaz on his first match in this season made immediate impact with whirlwind 30 ball-46 as Rangpur raced to the victory, making 135-3 in just 16 overs.
Chasing a moderate target, Naim Sheikh gave the side a solid start as he struck 20 off 12, that included three fours and one six. His fellow opener Rony Talukdar was comparatively slow but his 28 off 27 helped the side make a steady progress.
The chase got the pace after the arrival of Gurbaz who lived up to his big hitting reputation tremendously, smashing Chattogram bowlers all corner of the park.
He hit seven fours and one six but one shot too many caused his dismissal. Before being out, he took the side on the verge of the victory, which was materialized by captain Nurul Hasan Sohan and English recruit Tom Kohler-Cadmore.
Cadmore who hit the winning boundary was not out on 20 while Sohan was on 15.
Haris Rauf intimidated Chattogram batters after they elected to bat first. After spinner Rakibul Hasan broke through with the wicket of Max O' Dowd, Rauf got into act to terrorize the batting line up. The other bowlers also came up to complement his effort as Chattogram found it tough to deal with.
Rakibul Hasan also ended with 2-26. Chattogram however went past 100 runs mark thanks to Ziaur Rahman who led the side in this match in absence of Shuvagat Hom and scored 33 off 24 with two fours and three sixes. Tawfique Khan was the other notable scorer with 28 while Mrittunjoy Chowdhury added 17.