Rangpur Riders win last-ball thriller against Chittagong Vikings in BPL opener

Rangpur Riders have pulled off an unlikely run chase to win a last-ball thriller against Chittagong Vikings to kick off the 2015 Bangladesh Premier League in style.

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They had slipped to 87 for 5 in the 13th over at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

But Misbah-ul-Haq (61) and Thisara Perera (43) led a superb fightback as the Riders chased down the 188-run target set by the Vikings in a see-saw battle.

Openers Lendl Simmons (1) and Soumya Sarkar (20 off 9 balls) had gone back in successive balls off Mohammad Amir before the dismissals of Mohammad Mithun and captain Shakib Al Hasan (1) left them four down in the fifth over.

Misbah and Al-Amin (38 off 28) then put up resistance and added 64 runs before the latter walked back off Elton Chigumbura.
Rangpur looked doomed but Misbah paired with Perera for an 80-run stand, off just 35 balls, in the sixth wicket to get the chase back on track.

Rangpur needed 91 runs in last six overs but the duo hammered 69 off four to pull things back.

With 22 required off the last two overs, Amir turned the game on its head by dismissing both the batsmen in successive balls again.

His slower deceived Perera whose 17-ball innings ended when he gave a catch at long on before Misbah was castled by a yorker.

Misbah’s 39-ball innings was laced with three boundaries and four sixes.

Darren Sammy then took charge cracking a boundary and a six before being dropped by Asif Ahmed Ratul at extra cover.

The reprieve allowed Sammy to steer the next ball to deep point for another boundary. He ran himself out in the next ball but left his team just a run shy of the win in the last ball.
Saqlain Sajib then pushed it to mid-off and started a victory run that ended in a dance with Sammy as his team bagged the first points of the competition.

Amir returned 4 for 30 in 4 overs.

Earlier, Icon Tamim Iqbal (51 off 32 balls) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (29 off 16 balls) set the Vikings off to a flier, reaching 52 in just 4 overs after electing to bat first.

Shakib, who returned from the United States the previous night, opened the bowling for Rangpur but got hammered for 22 runs in his first two overs.

Dilshan launched Perera for two sixes before Tamim bludgeoned Arafat Sunny for another in the next over.

Shakib brought seamer Abu Jayed Chowdhury into the attack and was rewarded immediately.

Chowdhury, who took a wicket in his first over in his only Twenty20 match two and a half years ago, took out Dilshan in his first ball for a catch to Sunny at deep midwicket.

Tamim kept the runs flowing and added 65 more with Anamul Haque (36 off 30) for the second wicket.
With the Vikings going strong on 117 for one in the 13th over, Sajib spun in a double break to send both the batsmen packing and stem the run flow.

Tamim, who smashed his half-century off 29 balls, was caught by Misbah near the midwicket boundary before Anamul went back off a spectacular catch by Sammy at long-off.

Jeevan Mendis (39 off 18) hit Chowdhury for a boundary and a six off successive balls before hammering Sunny for 19 runs in an over with two sixes and a boundary.

Asif Ahmed carted (17 off 15) his team past 180 with two boundaries in the last over.

Sajib returned 3 for 26 in 4 overs while Chowdhury took 2 for 26.