alex hales
Alex Hales (File Photo)

Rangpur Riders‘ top-order fired in unison as they beat Khulna Titans by six wickets to move to the third spot in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League on Tuesday.

Chasing 182, openers Alex Hales (55) and Chris Gayle (55) struck half-centuries and a quickfire 25-ball 41 from AB de Villiers to set the base for a comfortable chase as Riders made 183/4 in 19.3 overs.

Hales and Gayle added 78 runs between them with the former dominating the partnership. Hales scored 55 off 29 with eight fours and three sixes before being bowled by Yasir Shah. De Villiers belted three fours and four sixes before being trapped lbw by Mahmudullah with Riders reaching 121/2. Gayle was slow off the blocks before finding his range as he clattered two fours and five sixes before being dismissed.

Riders opted to field at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka and Farhad Reza took 4/32 with Titans posting a challenging 181/6. They lost their openers cheaply in the first four overs before a recovery led by middle-order revived their innings. Nazmul Hossain Shanto top-scored with 48 while Brendan Taylor struck 32 off 20. David Wiese blasted an unbeaten 35 off 15, giving a late push.

In the second match of the day, Comilla Victorians beat Dhaka Dynamites by seven runs at the same venue. Shamsur Rahman (48) and Tamim Iqbal (34) helped Victorians to 153/8 after being put in to bat. Shakib Al Hasan took 3/24 while Rubel Hossain and Andre Russell chipped in with a couple of wickets each.

In reply, despite a Russell’s blitz, Dynamites fell short of the target eight runs to finish at 146/9 in 20 overs. After losing their top-order cheaply, Dynamites’ chase was renewed with Russell belting 46 off 24 with two fours and five sixes.

But regular blows kept them on the back foot. Thisara Perera was the pick of the Victorians bowlers finishing with 3/14 while Shahid Afridi took 2/18.