Sammy stunner eliminates Vikings, takes Kings a step closer to BPL final

Darren Sammy’s blistering knock of 55 runs from 27 balls led Rajshahi Kings to a three-wicket win over Chittagong Vikings, taking his team a step close to the summit clash of Bangladesh Premier League 2016. Courtesy this loss in the Eliminator played on Tuesday (December 6), Chittagong Vikings have been knocked out. Rajshahi Kings will now face the loser of the qualifier clash between Dhaka Dynamites and Khulna Titans.

In a match that changed course every half-quarter, anticipating a winner was as tough as it gets. Vikings had lost Dwayne Smith for a five-ball duck early in the first innings, but what followed was a brutal 74-run stand between Tamin Iqbal and Chris Gayle, who interestingly batted at number three in this game to allow Smith to open. Having carted two fours and five sixes in his 30-ball 44, Gayle spooned a slower delivery from James Franklin to long on, to allow Kings some control in the game.

Shoaib Malik couldn’t follow-up his last performance (67 off 54 balls) against Rajshahi Kings and was caught off Farhad Reza in the fifteenth over. A comeback of stunning proportions ensued, only for it to be rendered insignificant later, by Sammy. Kesrick Williams took out Tamim Iqbal on 51 to trigger a collapse: four wickets fell in the next two overs. Vikings totally lost the momentum, losing 4 wickets for 5 runs in the last two and a half overs, with Williams starring with eventual figures of 4 for 11.

In response, Rajshahi Kings were off to a rocky start, losing Mominul Haque and Afif Hossain within the space of three balls. Samit Patel, Nurul Hasan – having played well for his 28-ball 34, the second-highest score of the innings – and James Franklin then perished in quick succession to have Kings reeling at 57 for 6 at the end of the eleventh over.

Vikings looked utter favourites until wicketkeeper Anamul Haque dropped Sammy off Saqlain Sajibon on zero. Putting his lifeline to full use, the batsman hit three consecutive boundaries to get going in the next over – twelfth of the innings – and continued to unleash an array of shots – 7 fours and 2 sixes in total – to get his team home with nine balls to spare.

Brief Scores: Chittagong Vikings 142/8 in 20 overs (Tamim Iqbal 51, Chris Gayle 44; Kesrick Williams 4-11) lost to Rajshahi Kings 143/7 in 18.3 overs (Darren Sammy 55*, Nurul Hasan 34; Saqlain Sajib 2-24) by 3 wickets.

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