Mithun and spinners topple Barisal
Offspinner Sohag Gazi's three-for and batsman Mohammad Mithun's half-century were crucial to Rangpur Riders' third win in BPL 2016-17
Rangpur Riders 175 for 6 (Mithun 62, Dawson 46, Taijul 2-27) beat Barisal Bulls 163 (Mendis 57, Gazi 3-19) by 12 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Offspinner Sohag Gazi struck twice with the new ball, and defended 19 off a frenetic last over, which included two run-outs and a wicket, to give Rangpur Riders their third win in BPL 2016-17. The result took Rangpur to six points, and helped them draw level with Barisal Bulls and Khulna Titans.
The match swung from one end to another, before Gazi sealed the deal. Chasing 176, Barisal lost Dilshan Munaweera off the first ball, and soon became 48 for 3. But Jeevan Mendis and Nadif Chowdhury brought their team back into the game with a 74-run stand for the fourth wicket. Just as they threatened to cut loose, Nadif holed out to deep cover in the 16th over off Shahid Afridi.
Mendis, having made 57 in his first BPL appearance this season, fell to the scoreboard pressure in the 18th over. The caught-behind decision was a dubious one, with replays showing no signs of an edge. Thisara Perera, however, gave Barisal hope by blasting Afridi for a huge six over long-on, where he was dropped the previous ball by Rubel Hossain. The equation was reduced to 29 off the last two overs.
Rubel's first ball of the 19th over - a full toss - was dispatched over square leg for a six, but he fought back with the wickets of Rayad Emrit and Abu Hider off successive balls. He ultimately gave away ten runs in that over, leaving Thisara and Kamrul Islam Rabbi needing 20 off the final over.
Rabbi was run-out off the first ball, before Taijul Isam slammed Gazi over long-on for a six. But the bowler had him stumped off the next ball, Mohammad Shahzad completing his fifth dismissal, the most by a wicketkeeper in an innings in the BPL. Barisal's innings ended in the next ball when Arafat Sunny did a Jonty Rhodes, running in and diving into the stumps to run Al-Amin out.
Earlier, Gazi had impressed with the new ball too. He took a wicket in his first over for the third match in a row, this time Munaweera getting caught down the leg side for a duck. Gazi then dismissed Shahriar Nafees for 12. When Mushfiqur Rahim was undone by Liam Dawson, Barisal stumbled to 48 for 3. Then Mendis and Nadif joined forces to revive the chase.
Nadif, playing his first innings in this season's BPL, slammed Sachitra Senanayake for three sixes in the 14th over, which eventually yielded 24 runs. Mendis, who was reprieved on 42 by Arafat Sunny at deep square leg, went onto make his second T20 fifty, but it wasn't enough.
Having opted to bowl, Barisal dismissed Rangpur's openers in five overs. Soumya Sarkar was the first to go, when Mushfiqur effected a cunning stumping, after he had hit Al-Amin Hossain for three consecutive fours. Shahzad did not last too long either, falling to a catch to short third man.
Mohammad Mithun, though, hit rhythm with three boundaries in four balls, including a cover drive and a slog sweep. He dominated a 78-run stand for the third wicket with Dawson, who scored 46 off 36 balls, including three fours and a six.
Mithun's sixes came when he whipped Rabi over square leg and then blasted Mendis over cover. His knock ended when he was bowled by Thisara's slower delivery for 62 in the 15th over. Afridi then smacked two sixes and a four in his 10-ball 22. Once he holed out to point off Thisara at the start of the 18th over, Rangpur added only 16 runs in 2.5 overs, but it didn't cost them in the end.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84