KARACHI: Pakistan Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq excelled with the bat as Rangpur Riders notched up a thrilling two wickets victory over Chittagong Vikings in the opening match of Bangladesh Premier League in Dhaka on Sunday.
Misbah smashed 51 off 39 balls with three fours and four sixes, Tishara Perera banged 43 off just 17 balls hoisting four sixes and one four as Rangpur reached the target on the last ball reaching 188-8 in 20 overs.
Riders were reeling at 87-5 at the middle of 13th over. But Misbah added precious 80 runs for the 6th wicket with Al-Amin, who hammered 32 in 28 balls with three boundaries and one six.
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 Sajid ran through for the single and threw his bat in delight.
Pakistan paceman Mohammad Amir claimed career-best T20 figures on his BPL debut but he was unable to prevent Chittagong Vikings from defeat.
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.
The thrill of having a tournament start with Shakib Al Hasan bowling the first ball to Tamim Iqbal didn’t disappoint the modest Mirpur crowd but it was Jeevan Mendis who made the difference to give Chittagong their competitive total. He came in to bat in the comfort of 117 for 2 in the 13th over but saw three wickets fall quickly, his team slipping to 134 for 5 in the 16th over. Jeevan made 39 off 18 balls, adding 44 runs for the sixth wicket with Asif. He was at his best in the 18th and 19th overs, hitting Abu Jayed and Arafat Sunny for sixes over square leg, long-on and midwicket.
Chittagong must have thought a big total was around the corner after the way Tillakaratne Dilshan and Tamim Iqbal blazed to 50 runs in just four overs. Later Tamim and Anamul Haque added 65 runs for the second wicket, with the Chittagong captain reaching his 50 off 32 balls before getting caught at deep midwicket off Sajib in the 13th over to start the mini-collapse that had them losing 4 for 17 runs in 2.5 overs.
Both the collapses in the two innings became inconsequential as Misbah batted like the master of chase that is known for.
Summarized scores: Chittangong Vikings 187-7 in 20 overs (Tamin Iqbal 51, Jeevan Mendis 39, Anamul Haque 36, T. Dilshan 29, Asif Ahmed 17 not out, Saqlain Sajid 3-26, Abu Jayed 2-26) Rangpur Riders 188-8 in 20 overs (Misbah-ul-Haq 61, Tishara Perera 43, Al-Amin 38, Muhammad Amir 4-30).