Pacer Mustafizur Rahman held his nerve once again in the slog overs to keep Rajshahi Kings post a narrow seven-run win over Chittagong Vikings and keep their play-off hopes alive on Saturday.
Mustafiz conceded only five runs while defending 13 runs in the final over as Rajshahi restricted Chittagong to 191-8 after posting 198-8 in their 20 overs at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram.
Mustafiz, who finished with 3-28, deceived Sikandar Raza with a slower in the first ball of the over to bowl him for 29 off 15 after the Zimbabwean had threatened to pull the game away from Rajshahi’s grip.
He then bowled Robiul Haque in the fifth ball of the over to make sure the win, Rajshahi’s fifth in 10 matches that brought their campaign back on track after they had lost their last game against Sylhet Sixers.
Earlier, Johnson Charles struck 55 off 43 balls playing his first game in the tournament while Ryan ten Doeschate and Christiaan Jonker chipped in with 27 and 37 runs respectively to take Rajshahi close 200-run mark in what was billed as a must-win contest for the side.
In reply, Afghan opener Mohammad Shahzad gave Chittagong a rollicking start making 49 off 22 balls before local by Yasir Ali struck his second successive fifty in the tournament to put the hosts on course.
Left-arm spinner Arafat Sunny bowled Yasir for 58 off 38 balls while Kamrul Islam removed an in-form Mushfiqur Rahim for 22 runs to halt Chittagong’s momentum.
Mushfiq, who played 20 balls, tried play a scoop but missed the timing to spoon a catch to Mominul Haque at short fine leg, but Raza did not allow Rajshahi to rest until he was bowled by man-of-the-match Mustafiz in the final over.
Rajshahi Kings innings
J Charles lbw b Jayed 55
Soumya c Mushfiq b Khaled 26
L Evans c Shahzad b Khaled 36
Ten Doeschate run out 27
C Jonker c Mushfiq b Delport 37
Fazle not out 1
Extras (b 4, lb 2, nb 2, w 8) 16
Total (five wickets, 20 Overs) 198
Did not bat: Rabbi, Sunny, Mominul, Mehedi, Mustafiz
Fall of wickets: 1-50 (Soumya), 2-120 (L Evans), 3-148 (J Charles), 4-174 (ten Doeschate), 5-198 (C Jonker)
Jayed 4 0 24 1
Khaled 4 0 32 2
Nayeem 4 0 44 0
Robiul 3.3 0 47 0
C Delport 3.3 0 35 1
Raza 1 0 10 0
Chittagong Vikings innings
Shahzad c Soumya b Mehedi 49
C Delport c Charles b Mustafiz 7
Yasir Ali b Sunny 58
Mushfiq c Mominul b Rabbi 22
Mosaddek c ten Doeschate b Mehedi 1
Raza b Mustafiz 29
N Zadran c Evans b Rabbi 11
Nayeem not out 0
Robiul b Mustafiz 3
Jayed not out 1
Extras (b 2, w 8) 10
Total (eight wickets, 20 Overs) 191
Did not bat: Khaled
Fall of wickets: 1-31 (C Delport), 2-79 (Shahzad), 3-136 (Yasir Ali), 4-142 (Mushfiq), 5-155 (Mosaddek), 6-186 (N Zadran), 7-186 (Raza), 8-190 (Robiul)
Rabbi 4 0 44 2
Mehedi 4 0 25 2
Mustafiz 4 0 28 3
Sunny 4 0 37 1
Ten Doeschate 2 0 32 0
Soumya 2 0 23 0
Toss: Chittagong Vikings
Result: Rajshahi Kings won by 7 runs
Man of the match: Mustafizur Rahman (Rajshahi Kings)