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Sammy’s blitz eliminates Chittagong

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Darren Sammy blitzed a 27-ball 55 to lead Rajshahi Kings to the second qualifier after they beat Chittagong Vikings by three wickets in Mirpur. Rajshahi recovered from 57 for 6 to chase down 143 in 18.3 overs after Sammy put on 37 and 49 with Mehedi Hasan and Farhad Reza respectively. Chittagong were knocked out of the competition.

Sammy cracked Mohammad Nabi for three fours in the 12th over to get the chase rolling again. Mehedi’s needless run-out in the 15th over dented their progress, but Sammy smashed three fours past point in the next over, bowled by Subhasis Roy. Sammy reached his second fifty of the tournament with a straight six off Nabi, before Farhad struck two fours to seal the chase.

Sammy was unbeaten on 55 with seven fours and two sixes, while Farhad struck three fours in his 11-ball 19. As soon as he struck the winning runs, the Rajshahi players celebrated in their unique style of pretending to take group photos and selfies.

Chittagong, though, lost their way towards the end of their innings where they lost 30 runs in the last 5.1 overs. The top order had set a strong platform and a strengthened batting line-up was unable to capitalise. Chittagong included Dwayne Smith as an opener, pushing Chris Gayle to No. 3, just the sixth time he has not opened a T20 innings.

After fast bowler Kesrick Williams had Smith caught at slip in the third over, Gayle launched five sixes, four over the straight boundary. However, Gayle chipped a full toss off James Franklin to long-on, which began Rajshahi’s comeback. His 44 came off 30 balls.

Shoaib Malik and Tamim Iqbal, who made a record equalling sixth fifty in the BPL, lofted catches into the cover region before Mohammad Nabi was brilliantly run out by a Sabbir Rahman throw from the deep midwicket boundary in the penultimate over.

In the same over, Williams removed Abdur Razzak and Taskin Ahmed to complete his second four-wicket haul in T20s.

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