Tanzim, Mashrafe take Sylhet to 92-9 after top-order collapse

Sylhet Strikers batter Tanzim Hasan Sakib plays a shot during their match against Rangpur Riders in BPL9 at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on 27 January, 2023Sylhet Strikers Facebook page

High-flying Sylhet Strikers were brought down to earth by Rangpur Riders on Friday as they were restricted to a mere 92-9 in their Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2023 match at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Friday.

In front of a packed home crowd, Sylhet put forth a shabby batting performance as none of their top seven batters could even get into double figures.

After the procession of wickets, Tanzim Hasan Sakib and skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza formed a 48-run partnership off 42 balls to take Sylhet near the 100-run mark.

Mashrafe scored a run-a-ball 21 while Tanzim made a career best 41 off 36 balls with the help of five fours and two sixes to entertain the thousands of Sylhet supporters present at the stands.

Afghan pacer Azmatullah Omarzai set the tone of the innings with his opening three-over spell, where he dismissed Tom Moores (two), Towhid Hridoy (0) and Mushfiqur Rahim (0) and conceded just three runs.

Off-spinner Mahedi Hasan, who opened the bowling alongside Omarzai, also kept things tight at the other end and claimed the wickets of in-form batter Najmul Hossain Shanto (nine) and Zakir Hasan (0).

Sylhet had lost half their side for just 15 runs in the powerplay. But the situation got even worse for the hosts when Haris Rauf and Hasan Mahmud struck in their first over, dismissing Thisara Perera (three) and Imad Wasim (one) respectively.

Teetering at 18-7, Sylhet were at risk of getting rolled over for the lowest ever total in BPL history. That ignominious record currently belongs to Khulna Titans who were bundled out for 44 in 2016 against the Riders.

But skipper Mashrafe and young pacer Tanzim made sure that didn’t happen.

Earlier, Rangpur had won the toss and invited Sylhet to bat first.