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Rangpur storm into BPL final

Rangpur storm into BPL final
Rangpur Riders opener Johnson Charles hits a four to complete his ton during their BPL Qualifier-2 against Comilla Victorians at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the capital on Monday. He smashed 105 off 63, including 7 sixes and 9 fours. —Reaz Ahmed Sumon

Rangpur Riders stormed into the final of the BPL T20 tournament, pounding Comilla Victorians by 36 runs in the Qualifier 2 at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on Monday.
The grand finale will be held between Rangpur Riders and Dhaka Dynamites at the same stadium today. The game will begin at 6:00pm.
Dhaka confirmed their final ticket by beating Comilla Victorians in the Qualifier 1 on Friday.
Rangpur Riders under their new owner and leadership made solid all-round performance to seal a berth in the BPL final for the first time. Rangpur resumed batting after rain halted their game in 7 overs with 55/1 on scoreboard on Sunday.
Rangpur scored 192 runs for three wickets in 20 overs in the match against Comilla.
Rangpur bowlers wreaked havoc after opener Johnson Charles and Brendon McCullum starred with the bat to clinch a massive victory.
Charles, the player of the match, played an unbeaten blistering (105 off 63) innings while McCullum finally struck a commanding 78 off 46 balls.
The 28-year-old Charles shared in a 151-run second-wicket stand off a mere 89 balls with McCullum as Rangpur smashed a staggering 117 runs off the last 10 overs of their innings.
Charles and McCullum began the day at a relatively gentle pace, with no boundary in the first two overs, before Charles and McCullum clubbed leg spinner Cremer for one six each in three balls in the ninth over.
The runs began to flow more freely as the bowling changes came into effect and the stand crossed 100-run mark rapidly.
McCullum entertained the Mirpur crowd with his innovating hitting in a counterattack that left Comilla gasping.
He was particularly harsh on pacer Al-Amin Hossain. McCullum struck four sixes off Al-Amin’s bowling among his nine sixes yesterday.
Paceman Hasan Ali finally ended the partnership when McCullum was foxed by slower. McCullum’s departure after a 46-ball cyclone hardly affected the team’s rhythm as Charles managed his maiden BPL century in the final over of the innings to take Rangpur past 190.
The BPL 2017 grand finale between Rangpur and Dhaka will be held today at 6:00pm at the same venue.
A challenging target of 193 was achievable on a placid track but Comilla could only manage 156 in 20 overs losing wickets at regular intervals.
Comilla’s best four — Tamim, Litton, Samuels and Buttler were all set before getting out. Tamim’s dismissal was the turning point as Comilla were never in the match after that.
Veteran pacer Rubel Hossain (3-34), Udana (2-24), and Ravi Bopara (2-17) were the pick of the bowlers for Rangpur while captain Mashrafe, spinner Nazmul and SOhagGazi claimed one wicket each.
Tamim was explosive in hitting 36 from 19 while Litton supported his captain on the other end. The pair looked comfortable against the Rangpur attack, but were both dismissed in search of boundaries with the required rate hovering above nine an over after a 54-run partnership.
The game decisively swung the Rangpur’ way when Sohag Gazi foxed Kayes (0), Nazmul Islam had Shoaib Malik (10) and left-arm seamer Udana removed Litton for 39 as Comilla collapsed from 1-54 to 4-96.
With over 14 runs needed per over, Buttler entertained by playing some fancy strokes, but once he too fell, after some successful hits off Rangpur bowlers. He scored 26 off 16 balls, which included two towering sixes.
At Buttler’s dismissal, Comilla were virtually out of the contest with scoreboard reading 137 for 5 in 17.1 overs.
Marlon Samuels chipped in with 27 but could only delay the inevitable.
2 BPL centurions in Rangpur camp
Rangpur Riders opener Johnson Charles scored the second century of this BPL tournament, guiding his team into a strong position against Comilla Victorians on Monday.
Charles, a cricketer from West Indies, smashed unbeaten 105 runs off 63 balls. His century powered Rangpur to a commanding total of 192 runs for 3.
He wrote his name on the record book during the sensational cricket game at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka.
This was the first T20 hundred for 28-year-old Charles. He hammered 7 sixes and 9 fours in his spectacular innings.
However, clobbering sixes and smashing centuries became a ‘routine work’ for Charles’ fellow teammate Chris Gayle, who scored his fourth BPL century on Friday.
On the way to his 126 off 51, Gayle punished Khulna Titans bowlers by hammering 14 sixes and six fours. He brought the victory for Rangpur in that eliminator match.
The 38-year-old Gayle has now scored a century in T20s every calendar year since 2011.
Now Gayle has 19 hundreds in overall T20 cricket. He also became the first batsman in T20 cricket to hit 800 sixes.
Gayle has collected 339 runs from 10 matches this BPL session while Charles has played five matches and collected 143 runs in total.

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