Taskin Ahmed's four wickets spurred Chittagong Kings to a victory that led them into the second semifinal against Sylhet Royals on Sunday. The four-wicket win over Duronto Rajshahi, however, didn't come easy as they struggled during a modest chase.
Ravi Bopara and Jacob Oram soothed nerves after the Kings had slipped to 87 for 6 in the 15th over, and achieved the target in the 18th. Bopara made an unbeaten 34 off 30 balls with three boundaries, and more than the runs it was his calming influence that mattered most as wickets fell at the other end.
The Kings had got off to a good start after Jason Roy and Nurul Hasan added 43 runs for the first wicket. However, Naeem Islam jnr's two wickets and some excellent fielding from Rajshahi gave them an outside chance despite their struggle with the bat earlier.
Taskin, the Under-19 quick who bowls at a brisk pace, had rocked the Rajshahi top-order. He took three wickets in four balls after being initially attacked by Charles Coventry. He removed the Zimbabwean opener, but that was more due to the batsman's lack of footwork as he dragged a wide ball on to the stumps. Simon Katich cut one right down third-man's throat a ball later, before Taskin had Jahurul Islam also dragging the ball onto the stumps.
Rajshahi soon slumped to 55 for 6 before Mukhtar Ali and Sean Ervine added 43 for the seventh wicket to take them towards 100-run mark. Ervine remained unbeaten on 47, but it was a struggle for Rajshahi. Taskin ended with 4 for 31 from his three overs, after he took the wicket of Mukhtar. The Kings captain Mahmudullah also took two wickets while Oram picked up 1 for 18 in four overs.