Dhaka Dynamites 183 for 9 (Pollard 62, Shakib 36, Shafiul Islam 3-35, Howell 2-25) beat Rangpur Riders 181 for 9 (Rossouw 83, Mithun 49, Al Islam 4-26) by two runs
How the game played out
An 18th-over hat-trick by debutant Aliss Al Islam helped Dhaka Dynamites barely defend 183 against Rangpur Riders. In a nailbiting top-of-the-table clash, Aliss' strikes proved integral, ushering a late meltdown that saw Rangpur go from 146 for 2 in the 16th over to 181 for 9 to lose by two runs.
The wickets just about compensated for Aliss' sloppiness earlier, when he dropped Mohammad Mithun twice in the span of three balls in the eighth over, both no more challenging than practice catches. Mithun went on to make 49 and shared a third-wicket stand of 121 with Rilee Rossouw, who top-scored with 83. Aliss then did Rossouw in by flattening his trajectory to open the gates, before hastening Rangpur's slide with the hat-trick in his next over.
Like Rangpur, Dhaka had lost their openers early when they batted, when Kieron Pollard produced a boundary-heavy onslaught to lift them from 64 for 4. With Shakib Al Hasan holding up his end, Pollard dominated a fifth-wicket partnership of 78 with his captain, shellacking 62 off 26 balls. Pollard's muscle paved the way for Andre Russell to show some of his muscle as Dhaka slapped 58 runs in the last six overs.
Dhaka had a mixed day on the field. They broke through when Russell pulled off a screamer , sprinting to his left from long-off, leaping back full-stretch and snaffling it overhead before letting it go for the back-up, Pollard, to complete the catch. Capping off the effort was the fact that it rid Dhaka of the dangerous Chris Gayle. Thereafter, they shelled four catches, three of them simple ones, before Aliss bailed them out at the very end.
Rony Talukdar had got off to a blazing start when he launched Sohag Gazi's offspin over mid-off at the end of the fourth over. Normally, it would have given Talukdar his fourth boundary in eight balls. To his misfortune, though, he had to watch Ben Howell sprint back from extra cover and dive in front to grab a spectacular catch. Where it could have otherwise resulted in Rangpur chasing over 200, Howell's brilliance ended Talukdar's short burst prematurely and enabled Rangpur to come close eventually.
Pollard v Nazmul Islam. The left-arm spinner had been a great asset for Rangpur until Friday, picking up wickets and returning miserly figures. When he came on to bowl against Dhaka, Pollard had him ripe for the picking, welcoming him to the crease with a brace of fours, and then biffing him for three sixes in his next over. Nazmul ended up bowling only two overs for 34 runs.
Gayle's early dismissal to the Russell-Pollard tandem in the deep. It eliminated an early threat in the opposition, which proved vital in a game of close margins, and put the pressure on Rangpur early.
Rossouw's stumping in the 16th over. Seeing the batsman advance, Aliss dragged his length back, leaving Rossouw to swipe across the line and completely miss. It opened the gates as Rangpur lost seven wickets for 24 runs.
Star of the day
Al Islam. Twenty-two years old. On debut. Dismissed the opposition's highest scorer. And took a hat-trick late during a tense chase. Enough said.
The big miss
Given all his exploits with the ball, the only blip standing in the way of making this a perfect day for Aliss were those two dropped catches. Especially given how simple both offerings were. While the first was a half-tracker that was pulled tamely straight into his hands at backward square leg, the second was a paddle that travelled at face-height towards Aliss, who reverse-cupped his hands and let it pop out. The two chances cost Dhaka 31 runs and added a whole lot of nerves towards the end.
Where the teams stand
Dhaka's third win in as many matches helped them retain their position atop the table. They are two points clear of the second-placed Rangpur, with a huge gulf in the net run rate.