Shamsur keeps Rangpur in semi-final race
Rangpur Riders 179 for 8 (Shamsur 51, Mukhtar 3-25) beat Duronto Rajshahi 160 (Ziaur 36, O'Brien 3-17) by 19 runs
Rangpur Riders returned to contention, riding on Shamsur Rahman's sixth half-century in this season of the BPL. They beat a weakened Duronto Rajshahi by 19 runs, and replaced them in fourth place on net run-rate.
Without Tamim Iqbal (rested after being advised by BCB) and Chamara Kapugedera (also rested according to team owner Mushfiqur Rahman Mohon), chasing nine runs an over was always going to be difficult. Though the decision to give Tamim a break can be justified considering the BCB request, it was bizarre to drop Kapugedera, who had been captain of the side, at such a crucial stage of the tournament.
As a result they hardly had a go at the 180-run target, losing their top-half in the sixth over before Mukhtar Ali and Ziaur Rahman hit some big ones to keep some interest towards the end. They added 71 runs for the sixth wicket, but both fell in the 14th over to Abdur Razzak. Ziaur was unlucky to be run-out at the non-striker's end when Mukhtar's drive struck Razzak's boot and hit the stumps. Next ball, Mukhtar edged on to the stumps to end all Rajshahi hopes.
The Riders' bowlers gave little away but during the Mukhtar-Ziaur partnership, newcomer Saju Dutta and Danza Hyatt looked helpless. Kevin O'Brien took three wickets while Razzak and Dutta took two.
Shamsur's 51 helped him take over as the highest run-getter with 418 runs. He continued to give the Riders a brisk start at the top, hitting seven boundaries in his 36-ball knock, and forging important partnerships.
He shared a fast 88-run stand for the first wicket with Junaid Siddique before falling in the 13th over to a catch at long-on off Mukhtar. The pace of the Riders' innings stuttered in the second half as they couldn't force the pace and lost wickets.
Mukhtar chipped in with three wickets, perhaps inspired by being made the captain for the game. But in a side increasingly mired in off-field trouble, he failed to inspire the rest. Abul Hasan, brought back into the side in place of Ben Edmondson, gave away 20 runs in his only over while Isuru Udana, Monir Hossain and Taijul Islam all leaked runs as Riders put up a total which proved too tall for Rajshahi.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent