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Rangpur, Khulna into BPL play-offs
Rangpur Riders, led by Mohammad Mithun’s punchy 50 not out, rallied to beat Khulna Titans by 19 runs and seal their place in the play-offs.
Despite the loss, Khulna were also through along with Dhaka Dynamites and Comilla Victorians with four league matches still to be played.
Having been inserted, Rangpur limped to 114 for 6 in 18 overs before Mithun’s late blows helped the side plunder 33 off the last two overs.
Chasing 148, Khulna sprinted to 60 for 0 by the eighth over but collapsed to be restricted to 128 for 8.
Rangpur’s powerful top order, boasting Brendon McCullum and Chris Gayle, failed to deliver again. Ziaur Rahman was the first to go, for 8, when he skied Abu Jayed to third man in the third over.
McCullum flickered briefly—scoring 15 off 11 balls—before holing out to mid-on after being deceived by Shafiul Islam’s off-cutter. Chris Gayle, too, couldn’t covert his start: he hit four fours and two sixes, before falling in the 11th over for 38 off 27 balls.
Jofra Archer then removed Ravi Bopara in the 15th over and when Chamara Kapugedara gave Mahmudullah a simple catch off a Carlos Brathwaite long-hop in the next over, Rangpur were 98 for 5. Archer struck again, getting Nahidul Islam caught at third man, as Khulna reduced Rangpur to 105 for 6 in the 17th over.
Despite wickets falling at the other end, Mithun slowly got into his groove. He enjoyed some good fortune too: he was dropped on 8 and 30, but unleashed big hits in the last two overs of the innings.
Michael Klinger and Nazmul Hossain Shanto ensured Khulna started confidently, taking the side to 48 for 0 at the end of the Powerplay. From 60 for 0, Khulna tumbled to 97 for 6 with the Rangpur bowlers sharing the spoils.
The crucial blow was Brathwaite’s wicket; Isuru Udana had frustrated him with two wide balls in the 16th over before having the West Indies all-rounder chase another one wide and edge it to Mithun.
Bopara then gave away just one run in the penultimate over while picking up Ariful Haque’s wicket. He finished with 2 for 4 in his two overs.
Chittagong Vikings 67 (Nasir 5-31, Nabil 3-7)
Sylhet Sixers 68 for 0 (Rizwan 36*, Fletcher 32*)
Chittagong won by 10 wickets
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