Mohammad Shahzad marked his BPL debut with a blistering unbeaten 80, which helped Rangpur Riders thrash Chittagong Vikings by nine wickets at the Shere Bangla National Stadium on Wednesday evening. Shahzad‘s 52-ball innings contained 11 fours and three sixes. Rangpur’s win, though, was set up by a clinical bowling display that saw them bowl out Chittagong for 124 in the last over.
Soumya Sarkar kicked off Rangpur’s chase with an upper-cut six and a square cut for four off Tymal Mills. Shahzad found his rhythm with crisp drives and cuts off Dwayne Smith’s medium pace. The openers sped to 43 for 0 in the Powerplay, although Mills dropped a skier off Shahzad’s top-edged slog on 18. Soon, Shahzad struck his first six off Mohammad Nabi before slapping a Taskin Ahmed delivery over mid-off for his seventh boundary.
Mills bowled a beamer at Soumya in the tenth over but dismissed him with a short delivery off the next ball. Soumya contributed 23 to the 77-run opening stand.
With a pulled heave off Taskin, Shahzad reached his fifty off 41 balls. His slog over midwicket off Taskin was arguably his most memorable shot of the innings, and he hit another four and six through the same region in the over. The winning run came off an inside edge of an attempted helicopter shot, as Rangpur finished the chase with five overs to spare.
Earlier Chittagong slipped to 21 for after they were put into bat. A 48-run third-wicket stand between Shoaib Malik and Anamul Haque resurrected the innings. But when Anamul was run-out, for the second match in a row, via a ricochet off Liam Dawson’s hand, Rangpur didn’t let go of their stranglehold.
Arafat Sunny removed Jahurul Islam and Malik, who top-scored with 30, while Rubel Hossain had Mohammad Nabi caught at cover. Zakir Hasan’s attempted scoop was caught at short fine leg before Richard Gleeson struck twice in the 19th over to hasten Chittagong’s fall.
[Credit: Md. Isam]