Sunday, October 20, 2019

Chittagong Vikings edge out Rangpur Riders in nervy BPL opener

  • News Desk,
    Published: 2019-01-05 18:40:13 BdST

Defending champions Rangpur Riders fell to a disappointing three-wicket defeat at the hands of the Chittagong Vikings in the opening match of the 6th Bangladesh Premier League T20 tournament on Saturday.

Rangpur got off to an ominous start in captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza’s return to the field after a successful election campaign when England star Alex Hales was dismissed in his first ball of the tournament by fellow BPL debutant Robbie Frylinck.

Frylinck ripped through the Riders top order in an opening burst, picking up three quick wickets which saw Rangpur teetering at 3 for 10 after three overs.

The Vikings bowlers built on the early onslaught with more quick breakthroughs as the Rangpur Riders innings crumbled to 35 for 7 in the opening 12 overs.

A 49-run partnership between England veteran Ravi Bopara and Sohag Gazi provided scant comfort to Rangpur supporters as the side were bundled out for 98 runs.

Bopara top scored for the Riders with 46 while Sohag Gazi was the only other batsman to reach double figures with 21. Frylinck finished with an impressive 4-14 in his four allotted overs.

The Chittagong Vikings got off to an equally shaky start to their chase when South African opener Cameron Delport fell early with the score at 15.

This heralded the long-awaited return of former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful to the BPL fold but he too fell cheaply to Rangpur paceman Shafiul Islam. Afghanistan maestro Mohammad Shahzad, who top scored with a 23-ball 27, was set to take the Vikings home with  captain Mushfiqur Rahim before falling in the eighth over with the score at 51.

Shahzad’s dismissal seemed to revatalise the champions Rangpur who took a flurry of wickets in quick succession and the game seemed set for a grandstand finish when Mushfiqur lost his wicket to Nazmul Islam with the score at 85. But Rangpur’s efforts eventually fizzled out after Sohag Gazi dropped the return catch of Frylinck who guided his side home to a nervy 3-wicket win with a score of 12 runs.

Mashrafe was the pick of the bowlers for the Rangpur Riders, finishing with figures of 2 for 24 in 4 overs.

Frylinck, who set the tone for a Chittagong Vikings victory with both bat and ball, picked up the man of the match award in the opener of the 6th edition of the BPL.