Misbah trumps Amir in Rangpur’s last-ball win

Mohammad Amir claimed career-best T20 figures on his BPL debut but he was unable to prevent Rangpur Riders from winning off the last ball, by two wickets, in the tournament opener against Chittagong Vikings. Misbah-ul-Haq‘s clever late onslaught coupled with Thisara Perera revived Rangpur after they had looked dead in their chase.

With 14 required off the last over, Darren Sammy half-connected with a slower ball from Shafiul Islam for a six over long-off before he was dropped by Asif Ahmed at deep cover. Sammy then scythed the fourth ball for a boundary through point but the fifth ball had him run-out going for a second. With one run needed off the last ball, Saqlain Sajib ran through for the single and threw his bat in delight.

Despite the last-over heroics of Sammy, it was Misbah who played the innings that swung the game Rangpur’s way, hammering four big sixes down the ground in his 39-ball 61. He shared an 80-run sixth wicket stand after Rangpur had seemed done for at 87 for 5 in the 13th over, having already added 64 for the fifth wicket with Al-Amin. Misbah remained the strong accumulator and used his experience to release the pressure by hitting late sixes and fours.

Comeback kid Amir removed the dangerous Perera and Misbah with consecutive deliveries of the 19th over. Amir had earlier taken the wickets of the openers Lendl Simmons and Soumya Sarkar – who had earlier been dropped by Asif from his first ball – in consecutive deliveries, too, as Rangpur were reduced to 23 for 4 in the fifth over. Soumya’s leg-before decision was iffy, however, as all three stumps were exposed when the ball hit his pad.


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