Chattogram Challengers knocked Dhaka Platoon out of Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League by posting a comprehensive seven-wicket victory in the eliminator match in Mirpur on Monday.
Chattogram pace bowling duo Rayad Emrit and Rubel Hosain set up the victory, finishing with 3-23 and 2-33 respectively, which helped the side restrict Dhaka to 144-8 before they raced to 147-2 in 17.4 overs to stay alive in the tournament.
Chattogram will now play against the losing side between Khulna Tigers and Rajshahi Royals on in the second qualifier on Wednesday at the same venue, a game that will determine the second finalist.
‘I think our bowlers made the work easy for us. At the same time, it was a good toss to win,’ said Chattogram captain Mahmudullah.
‘I think it was vital as the wicket was tricky till the 12 to 13th over in the innings. I think it was a huge advantage for us,’ he added.
Dhaka failed to get any momentum from the start of their innings as they lost wickets at regular intervals and were reduced to 60-7 in the 13th over being put into bat first.
Mominul Haque made run-a-ball 31 but Dhaka’s remaining top five batsmen failed to reach double digit, which put them on the back-foot in the contest.
Dhaka’s Pakistani recruit Shadab Khan then played his career-best unbeaten 64 off 41 balls and guided his side to a respectable total.
Shadab struck five fours and three sixes in his innings and forged two crucial stands of 44 and 40 runs with Thisara Perera (25) and Mashrafee bin Murtaza (zero not out) respectively to give his bowlers a total to fight with.
Mashrafee defied his injury and played with 14 stitches on his left hand, which forced him mostly to try and concentrate on giving Shadab the strike back and he did successfully.
In reply, Chattogram made a flying start as Ziaur Rahman and Chris Gayle made a 42-run in the opening stand before off-spinner Mahedi Hasan removed Ziaur for 25 off 12.
Gayle and Imrul Kayes then added 49 runs for the second wicket but both were removed by Shadab (2-32) after scoring 32 and 39 runs respectively.
Imrul was caught by Perera after hitting three sixes and a four in his 12-ball innings while Gayle’s 49-ball patience innings was cut short after Mashrafee took a fine one-handed catch at short fine leg.
However, skipper Mahmudullah (34 off 14 not out) and Chadwick Walton (12 not out) ensured no further hiccup as Chattogram sealed an easy victory.
‘I think the big setback for us was our losing two consecutive matches in the main stage of the tournament. We were in a good position before our last game of the league phase,’ Mashrafee told reporters after the match.
‘Some of our players left the team in the middle of the tournament which made our situation difficult. Apart from that, our middle-order failed to play well in the whole tournament,’ he added.