BPL 2015-16 December 8, 2015

Jahurul, Nabi take Rangpur to the top

Rangpur Riders 153/6 (Jahurul 62*, Hider 2-28) beat Comilla Victorians 132 (Kayes 38, Perera 3-17) by 21 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Rangpur Riders kept chipping away at the wickets regularly to pull the plugs on Comilla's chase in a top-of-the-table clash © BCB

Rangpur Riders 153/6 (Jahurul 62*, Hider 2-28) beat Comilla Victorians 132 (Kayes 38, Perera 3-17) by 21 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Jahurul Islam held the batting line-up in shape before Mohammad Nabi's accurate off-spin gave Rangpur Riders a 21-run win over Comilla Victorians. The win put Rangpur atop the points table with 14 points, two ahead of second-placed Comilla.

For once Comilla couldn't get control with their bowling as Rangpur piled 153 for six in 20 overs on another double-paced pitch. Imrul Kayes' hard-hitting 38 gave them a good start, but the rest of the batting line-up were caught in the rut before giving their wickets away.

That they posted a competitive total was courtesy Jahurul, who played his best knock of the tournament so far and is aiming at regaining his spot in the national team for the Asia Cup T20 and World T20. Jahurul previously had two match-winning efforts against Chittagong Vikings and Dhaka Dynamites.

He got to work in the second over when opener Soumya Sarkar checked drove Abu Hider to Shuvagata Hom at cover. In Hider's next over, Jahurul scooped, slogged and flicked for three boundaries in a row. Lendl Simmons watched the show briefly from the other end, before being sent back in the seventh over for 13.

Shakib got stuck into paceman Kamrul Islam Rabbi for two fours before slogging one to deep midwicket. When Andre Russell took a stunning catch at the long-off boundary to get rid of Thisara Perera in the 13th over, Rangpur were in the dumps. Jahurul however kept finding the boundaries and duly reached his fifty off 43 balls. He added 39 runs for the fifth wicket with Darren Sammy, who made 24 off 20 balls with two fours and a towering six, to revive the innings.

Jahurul was aggressive on anything short, and his only six came off Russell when he smashed him over midwicket in the penultimate over. Hider finished with two wickets while Malik, Zaidi, Russell and Rabbi took one each. Mashrafe bowled one over although he is carrying a grade 1 hamstring tear.

Comilla's chase started with an action-packed 20-minute from Kayes. He smacked Shakib through point and backward square-leg in the first over before latching on to Arafat Sunny. The treatment continued in the next over when Kayes hit two fours between point and cover. He was dismissed off Sammy's first ball, giving third-man a simple catch after making 38 off 20 balls with six fours and a six.

Comilla then lost three quick wickets. Mahmudul Hasan was given out leg-before before Nabi removed Ahmed Shehzad and Zaidi. Shuvagata Hom and Russell tried to give the chase some impetus with a six each, but fell in the 13th and 16th overs. Mashrafe Mortaza, who has shown sparks of brilliance with the bat in the tournament, also struck a six over long-off before falling to Saqlain Sajib, all in the same over.

Their last hope was Shoaib Malik who fell in the 18th over but it was Hider who struck Sammy for two sixes in an 18-run penultimate over, to bring the equation down to 24 off the final over. But Perera removed Dhiman Ghosh with a superb yorker off the first ball and Rabbi in the fifth delivery to seal the deal.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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