Rangpur bowlers clinch thriller after Gayle's fifty boost
Rangpur Riders 142 (Gayle 51, Shakib 5-16) beat Dhaka Dynamites 139 (Jahurul 29, Gazi 2-18, Rubel 2-29) by three runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball updates
Rangpur Riders' bowlers combined magnificently in the end overs to defend 142 against Dhaka Dynamites at the Shere Bangla National Stadium. Mashrafe Mortaza, Sohag Gazi, Thisara Perera and Rubel Hossain took two wickets each to bowl Dhaka for 139 off the last ball of the game. Dhaka needed 32 to win off 33 balls - with five wickets in hand - at one stage, but a late rally from Thisara and Lasith Malinga ensured a result in Rangpur's favour.
With ten needed off the last over and Kieron Pollard at the crease, Thisara managed to bowl five dot balls, including the wickets of Pollard - who had briefly threatened with a six off the third ball - and Abu Hider. Earlier, Rangpur scored 142 courtesy an early blitz from Chris Gayle, whose 28-ball 51 was the only half century of the game.
Dhaka's late crumble
Despite the frequent wickets, Dhaka's prospects of a win were bright when Jahurul Islam and Shahid Afridi were at the crease. Jahurul had helped Dhaka recover from two early wickets, after which Afridi kept the scoreboard moving and threatened to break free with the end overs approaching. Afridi, however, was bowled in the 15th over, attempting a wild heave, and that wicket brought the run-scoring to a screeching halt. The next four overs yielded only 21 runs and two wickets - Mehedi Maruf out for a sluggish 15 off 24 balls, and Nadif Chowdhury falling to Malinga in the penultimate over. Entrusted with the final over, Thisara bounced back from Pollard's six in the over to deliver three consecutive yorkers.
Five-star Shakib keeps the target down
His 5 for 16 made Shakib Al Hasan only the fourth bowler with three or more five-fors in T20 cricket. Brought on to bowl in the ninth over, he dismissed Shahriar Nafees and Mohammad Mithun in his opening spell, before taking three wickets in Rangpur's final over. At the start of that over, Rangpur were 140 for 6 and with Ravi Bopara at the crease, would have been eyeing a few quick runs. Instead, Bopara was run out off the first ball and Shakib went on to take three wickets off the next four deliveries. First, Ziaur Rahman holed out to Pollard at midwicket, two balls later Sohag Gazi was clean bowled and the next ball saw Rubel Hossain was caught behind. Rangpur added only two runs to their tally and Shakib's 5 for 16 in 3.5 overs had shifted the momentum towards Dhaka at the break.
Gayle comes good again
Rangpur raced to 71 for 1 in seven overs after being put in to bat and much of that was due to Gayle's big-hitting. He cautiously saw off the first over and was given a reprieve in the second over, bowled by Sunil Narine, when a simple chance was put down by the short third man fielder. He capitalised on that immediately, smacking Mohammad Amir in the third over, followed by 15 runs in Narine's second over. By the time he was out for 51 in the eighth over, after his second consecutive fifty, Gayle had smacked five fours and four sixes; in hindsight, that was just about enough for Rangpur in the end.
Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo