Rahim, Chanderpaul seal big run chase
Sylhet Royals 198 for 4 (Mushfiqur 56, Chanderpaul 51) beat Rangpur Riders 197 for 4 (Shamsur 98*, Imrul 53) by six wickets
Sylhet Royals blazed their way to a six-wicket win after they chased down 198 against Rangpur Riders with an over to spare. Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Mushfiqur Rahim paved the way with quick-fire half centuries before Elton Chigumbura brought out the crucial blows to complete the victory.
The seventh win in nine games all but confirmed their qualification in the last four while Rangpur slide further down the pecking order.
With 29 runs required from the last three overs, Chigumbura hammered Murad Khan for two sixes off the last ball of the 18th over which cost 17. It left the Royals to take 12 off 12 balls which was brought down further by yet another clubbed six by Chigumbura which leveled the scores and left a comfortable finish.
Most of the credit, however, goes to Chanderpaul who drove and hacked the ball to hit six boundaries and two sixes in his 29-ball 51. He and Paul Stirling added 48 for the first wicket but Stirling's dismissal in the fifth over didn't deter Chanderpaul as he and Mushfiqur took the score to 75 off the Powerplay.
The second wicket pair added 45 before Mushfiqur added another 46 for the fourth wicket with Nazmul Hossain Milon. The Bangladesh captain struck five fours and two sixes and was the real impetus as he brought down the asking rate to a manageable region for the Royals. The target fast came within reach and, as soon as Chigumbura joined Mominul Haque at the crease, it was always going to be Royals' game to lose.
The chase overshadowed Shamsur Rahman's unbeaten 98 as the Riders opener completed his fifth half century in the tournament. He struck eight sixes in his 50-ball innings but could not quite reach three figures after he gained just a single ball in the final over. Shamsur faced just nine balls in the last five overs after reaching 90 at the end of the 15th over.
It was a stunning knock from Shamsur, peppering the leg-side boundary with flicked, pulled and slog-swept sixes while also using the straight boundary on two occasions. But it would not count for anything as the limitations of the Riders bowling attack were exposed quite badly.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent