BPL: Rangpur crush defending champions Comilla

While Rangpur rejoiced and took their points tally to eight after five games, defending champions Comilla lurched to their fifth successive defeat.

Mohammad Shahzad and Mohammad Mithun added 97 runs for the unbroken second-wicket partnership as Rangpur finished the 123-run chase with three overs to spare. Batting first, Comilla stuggled to 122 for 5, the tournament’s lowest score by any team that has lost five wickets while batting first in their quota of 20 overs.

They got off to yet another poor start when Imrul Kayes was given leg-before after he attempted to kick away a Sohag Gazi delivery that was going past his charge. The other opener, Liton Das, was run out after a mix-up following a misfield at mid-off.

Ahmed Shehzad and Marlon Samuels stood out in the scorecard, with scores of 52 each, but they struggled for most of their 64-run third-wicket stand. In the ninth over, Shehzad broke a boundary duck that lasted 35 deliveries and struck two more fours, and a six over midwicket, to get to his half-century before Shahid Afridi held on to a skier in the 17th over.

Samuels struck only one boundary during the third-wicket partnership, but later struck two more fours and two sixes. Rubel, in the middle of a good last over, removed Samuels and Tanvir off the last two balls.

Rangpur’s batsmen did not have any problems as their opposition in the chase, despite the early loss of Soumya Sarkar. He struck two fours and a six, all sweetly-timed before getting caught at midwicket in the fourth over, having made 22 off 15 balls.

Shahzad and Mithun calmed things down and picked singles regularly but also found fours and sixes to entertain a packed stadium. Shahzad was uncharacteristically quiet as he struck only two fours in the Powerplay. Samuels dropped a sitter at third-man off his upper cut in the eighth over, when Shahzad was on 14, after which the batsman quickly lifted his strike rate with sixes off Rashid Khan and Mohammad Saifuddin, the last of which sealed the win and gave him a second fifty in the competition.

Mithun was an able ally, batting at a higher tempo for most of their partnership. He got off the mark with a six over long-on off Mashrafe Mortaza in the sixth over before hitting sixes off Nabil Samad and Rashid. He was unbeaten on 45 off 39 balls while Shahzad was not out on 51 off 49 balls.

(ESPNcricinfo)

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