Mashrafe Mortaza outplayed Rangpur Riders in all quarters    AFP (File Photo)
Mashrafe Mortaza outplayed Rangpur Riders in all quarters AFP (File Photo)

In the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2016, Comila Victorians staged an upset to defeat Rangpur Riders in a vital clash. The competition has headed to the business end with many teams battling it out for the top 4 spots. Rangpur Riders started their campaign but lost the plot in the middle. Just when they were coming back, Riders lost against 7th-ranked Victorians by 8 runs. With this win, Mahsrafe Mortaza’s men now have 10 points from 12 games and are above Barisal Bulls. Meanwhile, Riders are tied with Khulna Titans, Chittagong Vikings and Rajshahi Kings with 12 points each. READ: BPL 2016: Rangpur Riders’ Jupiter Ghosh under match fixing scanner

In match No. 41 at Sher-e-Bangla Stadium, Riders’ skipper Naeem Islam won the toss and elected to bowl. They were coming off a thundering victory over Bulls and were upbeat to repeat the same performance. Nonetheless, it was Victorians’ top order that kept them at bay. Openers Imrul Kayes and Khalid Latif provided a perfect platform for their side. The duo added 88 off 62. Kayes departed for 52, while Latif struck 43.

Marlon Samuels continued his good run with a 30, while Ashar Zaidi made 17 not out to take the side’s total to 170 for 6. Rubel Hossain and Arafat Sunny took two wickets apiece, but Sohag Gazi and Liam Dawson were expensive in their spells.

In reply, Riders started off positively with Mohammad Shahzad doing early damage. Shahzad made 45 off 31 but got minimal support from other end. Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Mithun and Liam Dawson had forgettable outings in a stiff chase. Shahid Afridi and Ziaur Rahman contributed in the end, but the task had become tougher for the chasing side.

Rashid Khan was the pick of the bowlers with 3 scalps, while Mortaza and Nabil Samad chipped in with two wickets. The defending champions looked the better side, and will be content with a few wins to end their miserable campaign. Riders will have to pull up their socks to ensure they make it to the next round.

Brief scores:

Comilla Victorians (Imrul Kayes 53, Khalid Latif 43, Marlon Samuels 30; Rubel Hossain 2 for 30, Arafat Sunny 2 for 29) beat Rangpur Riders 162 for 8 (Mohammad Shahzad 45, Shahid Afridi 38, Ziaur Rahman 38; Rashid Khan 3 for 13, Mashrafe Mortaza 2 for 27) by 8 runs.