Saturday, March 2, 2024

Kings avoid drama, join last-four

Rubel Hossain atoned for his poor last-over show in the previous match to bowl Chittagong Kings to a 33-run win over Duronto Rajshahi and send them to the play-off in the Bangladesh Premier League on Wednesday.
Rubel was Kings’ villain in their last match against Rangpur Riders when he conceded 16 runs in the final over to put them in a must-win situation in this match against Duronto.
A sense of deja vu gripped Kings again when Rubel took the ball in the 16th over with Duronto needing 53 runs from 30 balls and seven wickets in hand, chasing a target of 194.
With the game evenly-poised, Rubel bowled a brilliant over, unexpectedly though, giving away just four runs and taking the wicket of Jahirul Islam in the process.
The momentum suddenly swung to Kings’ way and they never let it go in the remaining four overs. Kevon Cooper conceded just one run in the next over and Rubel, who has the history of spoiling the good work of one over in the next, maintained the pressure again.
Duronto could score just four runs in his third over at the expense of Simon Katich, their last remaining hope, who was bowled in the bowler’s third ball after making 53 from 39 balls.
It made the equation 44 runs to score from 12 balls and Duronto were all of a sudden in deep sea after finding themselves in a winning situation only a few overs ago. They were finally restricted to 160-6, which put their campaign in total disarray.
With their all 12 league matches completed, they have just 10 points which may not be adequate for a berth in the play-off match. If Barisal Burners can beat Sylhet Royals’ in the day’s second game the latter will be out of the competition.
In that case the winners between Barisal Burners and Rangpur Riders will join Dhaka Gladiators, Sylhet Royals and Chittagong Kings in the last four.
If Burners lose the game, Duronto will have a mathematical chance until the end of Barisal Burners- Rangpur Riders match. With this equation, a win for Burners in that match will put three teams on equal 10 points and the last position will be decided on head-to-head record and run-rate.
If Riders win the game they will be through with 12 points and Burners and Duronto will bow out.
Kings, who have still one game left against Dhaka Gladiators today, should thank their bowlers for hauling them back from this critical situation. If they had lost this game they had to beat Gladiators and wait for the other results to come in their favour.
They were left out of the semi-finals in a late night drama last season, but this win ensured they have now avoided a similar situation.
Jason Roy took Kings to a fighting total with his unbeaten 92 and the Englishman was ably aided by Ryan ten Doeschate, who translated his recent brilliant form into a fine fifty.
The Dutchman, who was run-out in the last ball of the innings, made 65 from 39 balls with four fours and three sixes, two of which came in the final over.
Roy returned to line-up after nine matches and he made his chance count with a 55-ball innings. He could have been easily the third centurion of the tournament, but Doeschate denied him of a strike in the last over.

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