Iftikhar, Shakib flay Rangpur to hand Barishal big win

Iftikhar Ahmed and captain Shakib Al Hasan combined for a 192 runs for an undefeated fifth wicket partnership, comfortably the highest in recognized T20 cricket as Fortune Barishal secured an emphatic 67-run win over Rangpur Riders at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram on Thursday.

They went past the record of Dan Mousley and Adam Hose who put on 171 runs for Birmingham Bears in an England T20 Blast cricket match against Northamptonshire. The previous BPL best for fifth wicket was 115.

Iftikhar hit his maiden T20 century and remained unbeaten on exact 100 off just 45 while Shakib blasted 43 ball-89 as Barishal racked up a hefty 238-4, the joint second highest total in BPL history.

Rangpur Riders were in the receiving end in this match but they are still the holder of highest total in BPL history which was 239-4 against Chattogram Vikings in 2019.

But in this match, they were restricted to 171-9 to concede a big defeat.

When Barishal were put into bat first, no could think in their wild imagination that they would compile such a mammoth total. They were in fact in troublesome 46-4 in sixth over and were in danger of being all out below 100.

But Shakib and Iftikhar came up with such carnage that Barishal amassed 165 runs in the last 10 overs. They indeed scored 101 runs in the last five overs, which was also comfortably highest in the death overs in BPL history. Overall in T20 cricket history, it was third highest runs in last five overs with the highest 112, scored by Royal Challengers Bengalore against Gujrat Lions in an IPL game.

Shakib and Iftikhar however put the Ranpur bowlers in sword and the last three overs fetched them 73 runs which meant they almost scored 25 runs per over in the last three overs. Between them they hit 15 sixes and 15 fours, which meant 150 off their 192 runs came from boundaries.

Shakib’s 49 off 43, his highest score in T20 cricket, included nine fours and six sixes. Iftikhar’s maiden century was studded by six fours and nine sixes. Barishal indeed hit 18 sixes in the match with the four coming from willow of Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Anamul Haque Bijoy who made 24 and 14 runs respectively.

Haris Rouf and Hasan Mahmud scalped two wickets apiece for Rangpur in the ill-fated night.

Mehidy Hasan Miraz however claimed 3-26 for Barishal while Mohammad Wasim and Kamrul Islam took two wickets each to deny Rangpur raise any prospect of overhauling the target.

Shamim Hossain Patwari was the top-scorer for them with 24 ball-44 not out, hitting three fours and four sixes. Naim Sheikh made 31 while Mohammad Nawaz added 33.

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