Pace bowling all-rounder Muktar Ali or offspinning all-rounder Mehdi Hasan? After 39 overs of the opening match of the Bangabandhu T20 Cup, the fight came to a halt between the two all-rounders. Mehdi and Muktar played a great game throughout the match and the final over of the match was decided. Minister Group Rajshahi all-rounder Mehdi Hasan had the last laugh.
Dhaka had to score 9 runs in the last over to win the match. Mehdi spent only 7 runs after a no ball to come to the last over in the face of intense pressure. Muktar, who hit three sixes in the previous over, managed to hit only four in this over. As a result, Rajshahi got off to a good start by winning the breathtaking match by 2 runs.
Batting first, Rajshahi scored 189 runs. Mehdi scored the highest 50 runs (3 fours and 4 sixes in 32 balls) for the team. Muktar took 3 wickets with the ball for Dhaka. Later, Dhaka’s innings stopped at 18 for 6. Mehdi took 1 wicket with the ball at the cost of only 22 runs. He gave the team a thrilling 2-run victory.
Tanjid Hasan Tamim, the left-arm opener of the World Cup winning team, hit the boundary with an extra cover in the inside out shot of Mehdi Hasan’s offstump delivery in the first ball of the innings to chase the run. In the next over, Ebadat Hossain hit four and six off two consecutive balls. The young opener’s positive message at the beginning of the dugout in Dhaka.
But junior Tamim could not stay on the wicket for long. The last ball of the second over unfortunately fell into the runout. Rajshahi captain Nazmul Shant played the farewell bell in direct throw to Tanjid Tamim who scored 16 off 11 balls. Another opener, Yasir Ali Rabbi, was disappointed. Before returning in the fifth over, he made 9 runs off 6 balls with two fours.
However, Naeem Sheikh, who came down to number three, raised hopes of something big again. Naim hit two sixes to Mukidul Islam Mughdha and Ebadat Hossain. Two of the four runs in one over. But he could not get left-arm spinner Arafat Sunny out of bounds, and was caught by Ronnie Talukder at midwicket. At the top of the team’s 55 runs, he went back to 17 balls with two fours and sixes for 26 runs.
Dhaka captain Mushfiqur Rahim and world-winning youth team captain Akbar Ali teamed up for the fourth wicket. The duo added 61 runs off 53 balls. Dhaka was on the way to victory in the Akbar-Mushfiqur alliance. They had to score 48 runs in the last five overs. Akbar was caught in the middle of the wicket in the 17th over by Farhad Razar. Before being dismissed, he hit 34 off 29 balls with 4 fours and 1 six.
Even after Akbar’s return, Dhaka had no reason to worry as Mushfiqur was on the wicket. Sabbir Rahman became his partner in the fifth wicket. But Mushfiqur could not play with Sabbir for long. Ebadat’s slower delivery was handed over to wicketkeeper Nurul Sohan. When Mushfiqur returned with 41 runs off 34 balls, the fear of defeat began to surround Dhaka. Yet Sabbir was a symbol of hope.
When Mushfiqur returned, Dhaka’s score was 36 off 18 balls. Muktar Ali and Sabbir, who bowled well, were on the wicket to do that. Although Sabbir is known as a batsman in Marquette, he is the pearl of the storm. There were 30 runs left in the last two overs. Mukhtar hit three sixes in the 19th over by Farhad Razor and brought the equation to his side. 9 runs left to win the last over.
Mehdi Hasan, the only half-centurion of the match, was given the responsibility to stop 9 runs in the last over for Rajshahi. Mehdi made the match with the first three ball dot of the last over. However, Muktar hit four in the fourth ball. When the equation is 5 runs from 2 balls, then the fifth ball is no. After watching the replay for some time, the third umpire called it no ball.
As a result, the equation came down to 4 runs from 2 balls. But Muktar, who hit three sixes in the previous over, could not take it. He took 1 run off the last ball after playing the fifth ball dot. Mehdi won the match by 2 runs in the last over. He conceded just 22 runs in his 4-over spell, with 15 dot balls and Yasir Ali’s wickets.
Earlier, Dhaka captain Mushfiqur Rahim invited Rajshahi to bat after winning the toss in the opening match. Earlier, Rubel Hossain bowled a great first over. Rajshahi captain Nazmul Hossain Shant could not take a run in the first five balls of the over. He stopped Maiden with a single in the last ball.
Another opener Anisul Islam Emon started batting in the second over. Mehdi Hasan hit the runner-up boundary in the first two balls. The first one was sent with a square leg in a flick shot, the next one crossed the boundary area with a cover shot. The 23-year-old right-handed opener kept this positive start throughout his innings. He played 5 fours and 1 six in a stormy innings of 35 runs from 22 balls.
In the fourth over of the innings, Nasum Ahmed hit a pair of sixes. However, in search of the third six, he was caught by Tanjid Hasan Tamim who was standing in the long on. Before being out, Shant made 16 runs off 16 balls. Then Roni Talukder (6 off 6 balls) and Mohammad Ashraful (5 off 9 balls) disappointed. Unfortunately, Fazle Rabbi was run out without playing any ball.
Rabbi was run out in the fourth ball of the tenth over. Anisul Emon stamped Naeem Hasan in the second ball of the over. The six he hit inside the last ball of the eighth over was the big advertisement of his innings of 35 runs from 22 balls. However, even after Emon’s innings, Rajshahi collected 6 runs for 5 wickets at the end of 10 overs.
From there, Mehdi and Sohan counter-attacked for the sixth wicket. The duo put up a pair of 69 runs, but only 49 balls. Rajshahi’s innings went beyond 150 for the sake of this pair. Mehdi scored the highest 50 runs for the team. He hit 4 sixes with 3 fours in an innings of just 32 balls. Besides, Sohan played 39 runs in 20 balls with 2 fours and 3 sixes.
Sohan-Mehdi’s 69-run partnership was broken during the team’s 154 runs. After that Rajshahi could not score more than 15 runs in the last 13 balls for three more wickets. As a result, their innings finally stopped at 189 for 9. Farhad Reza hit a six off Rubel Hossain at the end of the innings.
Muktar is the most successful bowler for Dhaka. Muktar took 3 wickets for only 22 runs in his 4 over spell. Besides, Mehdi Rana, Nasum Ahmed and Naeem Hasan took one wicket each. The other three were run out.