Pacer Rubel Hossain dismantled the Rangpur Riders top order including Chris Gayle early which laid the foundation for Dhaka Dynamites to eventually knock the defending champions out and reach the final of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) with a five-wicket win in the second qualifier of BPL at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
The right-arm seamer ended up with figures of four for 23 from his 3.4 overs to restrict Rangpur to a modest total of 142 and in reply Andre Russell, who remained unbeaten on 40 off just 19 deliveries, finished it off in style with three sixes to reach the target with twenty balls to spare.
All eyes were on Gayle, who promised a return to form by striking two sixes off Russell, but his poor run of form continued as he was caught behind off Rubel for a 12-ball 15.
Rubel was in vicious form and struck arguably the most crucial blow when he removed thia edition's highest scorer, Rilee Rossouw, off the very next delivery and found himself on a hattrick.
The man-of-the-match Rubel said it was the wicket of Gayle among his four scalps that he would put right up at the top. “Definitely it was the wicket of Gayle which was very important as he struck two sixes in the previous over so I will put that wicket at the top,” the Bangladesh pacer said at the post-match press conference.
The 31-year-old has picked up 21 wickets in 13 games and yesterdays' four-wicket haul was his best this season. He gave credit to Sunil Narine and Shakib Al Hasan for providing the support in the bowling department.
“We had a meeting the day before the game where we were told that we have to win to reach the final. When they were 40-odd runs, Shakib bhai came to me and said that I need to bowl to pick wickets and I tried accordingly,” he said.
Ravi Bopara's 49 was the highest score for Rangpur while apart from Rubel, Russell and Qazi Onik chipped in with two wickets each for Dhaka.
Rangpur got early breakthroughs as skipper Mahsrafe Bin Mortaza removed Upul Tharanga for four while Nazmul Islam dismissed Narine for 14 to leave Dhaka struggling on 41 for 2 after four overs.
Rony Talukdar, however, kept the tempo of runs and dispatched the odd delivery to the fence alongside skipper Shakib and at one point it seemed Dhaka would cruise to the target.
But Benny Howell picked up the important wicket of Shakib for a 20-ball 23, bowling the left-hander off a deflection from his pads. Mashrafe then picked up his second wicket, that of Kieron Pollard for 14, to bring Rangpur back into the game.
Rony was run out after scoring 35 off 24 balls following a mix-up with Nurul Hasan, but Russell ensured Dhaka cruised to victory to set up a final clash against Comilla.
SCORES IN BRIEF
RANGPUR RIDERS v DHAKA DYNAMITES
RANGPUR: 142 all out in 19.4 overs (Nadif 27, Mithun 38, Bopara 49; Russell 2-31, Rubel 4-23, Onik 2-21)
DHAKA: 147 for 5 in 16.4 overs (Rony 35, Shakib 23, Russell 40 not out; Mashrafe 2-3)
Result: Dhaka won by 5 wickets.
Player-of-the-match: Rubel Hossain.