Darren Sammy's side have a task in hand to defend their modest score against Rangpur Riders    Getty Images (File Photo)
Darren Sammy’s side were dominated by Rangpur Riders’ bowlers Getty Images (File Photo)

In the 31st match of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2016, Rajshahi Kings (RK) could manage a modest total of 128 for 7. Winning the toss, Darren Sammy’s side came out to bat and lot was expected from them. After gaining back-to-back wins, Kings were expected to carry on with the winning momentum but succumbed to a paltry score as Rangpur Riders’ (RR) bowlers wreaked havoc on the batting side before a late recovery. Riders should still chase fancy their chances of chasing down with plenty of overs to spare and eye to bolster their net run-rate. READ: Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2016

Talking about the tame collapse of Kings, they never got off to a good start. Monimul Haque and Junaid Siddique departed without getting into double figures. Sabbir Rahman came in at No. 3 and was expected to light up the atmosphere with some lusty blows but departed for 16. Arafat Sunny and Rubel Hossain were at par with their line and lengths and struck early to give their team a desirable start.

Having a strong middle-order, Kings were still expected to stage a recovery but that never happened as Umar Akmal, Abul Hasan, Samit Patel and skipper whereas last match’s star Sammy went without much fireworks. Shahid Afridi held his end with vital scalps while Sunny chipped in with three wickets. At one stage, such was the domination of Riders that Kings were faltering at 43 for 7.

Nonetheless, Farhad Reza and youngster Mehedi Hasan took their side above 100 by nudging the balls in gaps and rotating the strike. The duo, at least, showed some resistance to stay in the middle and freed their arms in the death overs with an inspiring 85-run stand off 64 balls.

With Mohammad Shahzad in Riders’ top-order, expect early onslaughts from the Afghanistani wicketkeeper-batsman to get his side past the finish line. If Riders win this, this will be their sixth victory from nine games.

Brief scores:

Rajshahi Kings 128 for 7 (Sabbir Rahman 16, Mehedi Hasan 41*, Farhad Reza 44*; Arafat Sunny 3 for 31, Shahid Afridi 2 for 10) vs Rangpur Riders.