Mahedi storm notches up fifth win for Rangpur

Rangpur Riders batsman Mahedi Hasan raises his bat after completing his half-century against Dhaka Dominators in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2023 at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on 30 January, 2023Rangpur Riders Facebook page

Mahedi Hasan’s sensational knock outdid Usman Ghani’s fighting innings as Rangpur Riders completed a five-wicket win over Dhaka Dominators in their Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2023 match at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on 30 January, 2023.

All-rounder Mahedi struck 72 off 43 balls and after his dismissal Mohammad Nawaz and Azmatullah Omarzai laid the finishing touches with an unbeaten 17 and 12 respectively to take Rangpur to 146-5 in 19 overs.

Local pacer Salman Irshad claimed a couple of wickets, but it wasn’t enough to stop Rangpur from bringing up their fifth win in the league.

Earlier, Usman scored an unbeaten 73 off 55 balls while the other batters misfired for Dhaka as they reached 144-5 in their 20 overs after they were asked to bat first.

Omarzai was the most successful Rangpur bowler with figures of 2-27. Mahedi, the match-winner with the bat, also chipped in with the ball, taking 1-13 in his three overs.

Chasing 145, Rangpur lost opener Mohammad Naim for a duck.

Mahedi and Rony Talukdar then steadied the innings with a 63-run partnership off 42 balls.

Amir Hamza broke the partnership by removing Rony for 29 off 28 balls. Rangpur then lost Shoaib Malik (six off five balls) and Nurul Hasan (six off 10 balls) in quick succession.

But the required rate never went out of their reach thanks to Mahedi. The right-hander hit six fours and cleared the ropes five times to keep Rangpur ahead in the chase.

There was a chance for a twist at the tail when Mahedi got trapped leg-before wicket by Al-Amin Hossain with Rangpur still needing 22 runs off 22 balls.

But Nawaz and Omarzai formed an unbeaten 23-run stand to take Rangpur home with an over to spare.

Earlier, the Dhaka innings was mostly a one-man show. Usman, who came to the crease in the second over after the fall of the first wicket, hit seven fours and three sixes in an innings that took Dhaka a somewhat respectable total.

Other than Usman, skipper Nasir Hossain’s 29 off 22 balls is the only other notable knock in the Dhaka innings.

With the win, Rangpur now have 10 points from eight games and are at fourth position in the table with a six-point cushion above fifth positioned Khulna Tigers.

Dhaka, on the other hand, are sixth in the seven-team table with just two wins in nine games.