Rajshahi Kings 198 for 5 (Charles 55, Jonker 37, Khaled 2-32) beat Chittagong Vikings 191 for 8 (Yasir 58, Shahzad 49, Mustafizur 3 for 28) by seven runs
How the game played out
Rajshahi Kings’ excellence at the death in both innings proved to be the difference in a seven-run win over Chittagong Vikings. Opener Johnson Charles took 40 balls to reach his half-century after being sent in at the toss, but Kings middle-order made up for the sluggish pace by plundering 78 runs off the last five overs sparked by Ryan ten Doeschate, who hit sixes for each of his first four scoring shots.
However, Vikings were well in command of the required rate throughout the chase, thanks to a blistering start provided by Mohammad Shahzad’s 49 off 22 balls. But his loose dismissal, skying a catch to cover in the eighth over, became a recurring theme throughout the chase. Captain Mushfiqur Rahim also didn’t do his team any favours with an attempted scoop that found square leg to leave 57 off 32 required with six wickets left.
Sikandar Raza brought the equation down to 27 off the last three overs, but Mustafizur Rahman‘s brilliant spell swung the momentum back towards Kings for good. After conceding just six in the 18th, he entered the final over with 12 runs to defend and promptly yorked Sikandar off the first ball for 29 to send back Vikings’ last recognised batsman. With nine required off two balls, Robiul Haque missed a scoop to be bowled, effectively handing victory to Kings.
Christian Jonker was on 3 in the 18th over of Kings’ innings when he skied a full toss from Robiul Haque to Sikandar at long-off, who spilled a straightforward chance. Jonker went on to score 37 off 17 balls.
Yasir Ali was in the midst of his third half-century in five innings to pilot Vikings’ chase but Arafat Sunny beat his attempted slog in the 14th for 58 to give Kings the hope in the field.
With Sikandar red hot on 29 off 14 balls and the equation reduced to 21 off 12 balls, he spent the entire 19th over off strike as Najibullah Zadran failed badly before holing out on the boundary off the final ball of the penultimate over.
Star of the day
The Fizz showed why he’s one of the best death bowlers in the modern era with his sensational spell in the final overs. Twenty-seven off three overs with five wickets in hand should be a relative cakewalk for a batting side in the context of T20 chases but the left-arm seamer was nearly untouchable in the 18th and 20th overs, landing his yorkers consistently as well as keeping Vikings off balance with his variations in pace.
The big miss
Vikings comically decided to go for a review in the 14th over of the first innings after Charles swung over the top of a delivery from Nayeem Hasan. Replays showed a massive gap between the bat and ball. While many reviews in this year’s BPL have dragged on for an eternity, this one ended with a swift resumption of play.
Where the teams stand
Kings secured desperately needed two points to create a four-way tie in second place on ten points, though Kings are behind Dhaka Dynamites, Rangpur Riders and Comilla Victorians on net run rate. Vikings remain in first place on 12 points but missed a golden opportunity to create more breathing room away from the logjam behind them.