Qualifier 2 (N), Mirpur, February 14, 2023, Bangladesh Premier League
(20 ov, T:183) 163/8

Strikers won by 19 runs

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Shanto, Wood, Sakib take Sylhet Strikers to BPL final

Valiant Talukdar innings not good enough for Riders; Finals against Comilla Victorians on Thursday

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Mashrafe Mortaza and Nurul Hasan at the toss before the second qualifier, Rangpur Riders vs Sylhet Strikers, Qualifier 2, BPL 2023, February 14, 2023

Both captains Mashrafe and Nurul impressed with the bat, but it was Strikers who won in the end  •  BCB

Sylhet Strikers 182 for 7 (Shanto 40, Mashrafe 28, Mahmud 2-34) beat Rangpur Riders 163 for 8 (Rony 66, Nurul 33, Wood 3-34) by 19 runs
Sylhet Strikers reached their first BPL final after they defeated Rangpur Riders by 19 runs in the second qualifier in Dhaka. They will take on three-time champions Comilla Victorians - also last season's winners - in the final on February 16.
But it could have easily been Riders playing the final. Rony Talukdar and their captain Nurul Hasan added 82 runs for the fourth wicket, and were taking Riders rapidly towards the 183-run target, but Tanzim Hasan Sakib's match-turning 18th over changed the game's fate.
Strikers took extra time to decide who would keep wickets when Mushfiqur Rahim returned to the field, and Nurul appeared frazzled. The Riders captain fell first ball after the delay, later spotted shouting at someone while walking back. Rony fell later in the over, run out for 66 after being too careless to return to the crease, with Zakir Hasan, the new gloveman, getting a direct hit.
Luke Wood, another late arrival in the BPL, then bowled Strikers to victory with a double-wicket 19th over, giving away just three runs. The left-arm Wood had Mahedi Hasan caught behind and Dwayne Bravo caught in the deep next ball. Dasun Shanaka struck Rubel Hossain for two fours in the last over, but it was a bit too late as Rubel closed out the game with the Sri Lanka captain's wicket in the last ball.
Riders had lost Sam Billings in the second over of the chase when Sakib trapped the opener lbw. Billings felt he had come too far down the pitch for it to be the right decision, but replays showed that the umpires got it correct. Shamim Hossain, who was player of the match for Riders in the eliminator against Fortune Barishal, then hit some boundaries off Rubel in the fifth over.
But Strikers took the upper hand when Wood removed Nicholas Pooran in the ninth over. Pooran struck him for ten runs off the previous two balls, before holing out in the deep leg-side boundary. He made 30 off 14 balls, with four sixes and a four. After that Rony's innings gave Riders hope, but it wasn't to be in the end with Strikers holding on to their advantage.
Earlier, the Strikers openers Towhid Hridoy and Najmul Hossain Shanto gave them a rock-solid start with a 65-run opening stand. Shanto dominated the stand with a 30-ball 40 that had five fours and a six, but he wasn't happy with the lbw decision that Riders took via the DRS, which replaced the ADRS from the league stage.
Hridoy struck a six and two fours in his 25 while Strikers captain Mashrafe Mortaza, promoting himself for the second game in a row, smashed three fours and a six in his 28 off 16 balls. However, Zakir Hasan, Ryan Burl and Mushfiqur could not push on, leaving Thisara Perera and George Linde to give them Strikers a final thrust in the slog overs that took them to 182.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Win Probability
SYS 100%
100%50%100%SYS InningsRR Innings

Over 20 • RR 163/8

Dasun Shanaka b Rubel Hossain 10 (9b 2x4 0x6 17m) SR: 111.11
Strikers won by 19 runs
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