The Rangpur Riders emerged victorious in the first match of the Sylhet phase of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) on Friday, as they defeated the Sylhet Strikers by six wickets.
The Strikers, who lost the toss and were put to bat first, got off to a dismal start, losing five wickets in the first five overs. Najmul Hossain Shanto, the main opener for the Strikers, was caught by Shoaib Malik off the bowling of Mahedi Hasan for 9 runs. Tom Moores, the other opener, was caught by Nurul Hasan off the bowling of Azmatullah Omarzai for 2 runs.
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In the same over, Towhid Hridoy and Zakir Hasan were both dismissed, with Hridoy being given out lbw and Hasan being stumped, failing to score any runs. The situation continued to deteriorate for the Strikers as they lost Mushfiqur Rahim and Imad Wasim in quick succession, leaving them reeling at 12/5. Mushfiqur, one of the best batters that Bangladesh ever produced, suffered a duck.
Thisara Perera, the experienced campaigner, was unable to come forward to rebuild the innings, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza scored 21 runs, and Tanzim Hasan Sakib provided some resistance with a well-made 41 runs, but the Strikers could only manage 92/9 in their 20 overs.
Hasan Mahmud and Azmatullah Omarzai were the standout bowlers for the Rangpur Riders, both taking three wickets each.
Chasing 93 runs to win, the Riders got off to a steady start with Mohammad Naim and Rony Talukdar putting on 27 runs for the first wicket. Naim was dismissed for 18 runs, but Talukdar anchored the innings with a well-made 41 not out.
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However, the Riders lost Mahedi Hasan, Azmatullah, and Shoaib Malik in quick succession. Mohammad Nawaz and Talukdar saw the Riders home with an unbroken partnership of 29 runs, with Nawaz finishing on 18 not out.
Mashrafe was the most successful bowler for the Strikers, taking 2 wickets for 19 runs.
It was only the second defeat of the Strikers in the BPL, while it was the fourth with for the Riders so far. The Strikers are at the top of the table with a total of six wins in eight matches. Fortune Barishal are right behind them with five wins in seven matches.
Source: United News of Bangladesh