It was far from a cracker of a match between two high-quality sides as Shakib Al Hasan's Dhaka Dynamites sent Mashrafe Bin Mortaza's Rangpur Riders packing with a five-wicket victory in the second qualifier to set up a showdown with Comilla Victorians in tomorrow's Bangladesh Premier League final at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
Mashrafe applied a trick by picking up Nadif Chowdhury for the first time in the tournament and sending the right-hander to open the innings with Chris Gayle. And the trick was not completely futile as Nadif provided a flying start with a 12-ball 27 in front of a jubilant crowd at Mirpur.
But unfortunately that was the only bright spot for the defending champions in the do-or-die match as they could not recover from the blow inflicted by pacer Rubel Hossain in the fifth over of their innings.
After three huge sixes, Nadif miscued one from Shuvagata Hom into the safe hands of Kieron Pollard at the deep midwicket fence and with the first two balls of the very next over Rubel virtually wrote the Riders' fate on the wall and ensured that Chris Gayle would leave the tournament without any fireworks and that Rilee Rossouw's great run would not be carried into the final.
Ravi Bopara's late surge -- the right-hander smote two boundaries and a six in the last over during his 43-ball 49 before becoming the fourth victim for Rubel, who finished with figures of 4 for 23 in 3.4 overs -- only enabled Riders to put up a respectable total of 142.
A methodical Dynamites batting approach through Rony Talukdar's 24-ball 35 and Andre Russell's fiery unbeaten 19-ball 40, which contained five sixes, guided them to the target with 20 balls and five wickets to spare and also into the final, where they will hope not to repeat the mistake they made in last year's final against Mashrafe's Riders.