Sammy sinks Vikings | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 07, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:40 AM, December 07, 2016

Bangladesh Premier League

Sammy sinks Vikings

There is never a dull moment as long as Darren Sammy is at the crease and that was the case as the former West Indies captain led from the front to keep the Rajshahi Kings in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) race by eliminating Chittagong Vikings at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Rajshahi's three-wicket win means that they will now meet Khulna Titans, the losers of last night's first qualifier against Dhaka Dynamites, at 5:45pm today.

There were a lot of memorable moments in the low-scoring game -- Tamim Iqbal and Chris Gayle's batting, Taskin Ahmed dropping a sitter and Shoaib Malik and Jahurul Islam combining for a brilliant parried catch -- but none provided as much entertainment as the 'selfie-bration' from the Rajshahi players or Darren Sammy's unbeaten, match-winning 55 off 27 balls which saw him smash seven fours and two sixes.

However, the efforts of another West Indian, Kesrick Williams, to Rajshahi's win cannot be overlooked as he not only started the enjoyable selfie-bration after each Chittagong wicket fell, but he also bagged figures of four for 11 to restrict the Vikings to 142 runs for eight.

Everything seems to come naturally to Sammy, from having fun and cracking jokes to facing any challenge in the middle.

When left-arm spinner Saqlain Sajib sparked wild celebrations after dismissing James Franklin, Rajshahi were teetering at 57 for six, but an undaunted Sammy smashed boundaries as easy as one-two-three.

The right-hander smote three consecutive boundaries against Mohammad Nabi in the 12th over -- punching a short ball on the back foot, pulling down an outside off-stump delivery and cutting brilliantly to find the gap for the third. In the next over he hit his first six as he stepped down to punish a length ball from Sajib.

Subhashis Roy was next to fall victim as Sammy again smashed three boundaries. He got a back of a length delivery outside off and settled up onto the toes and punched past the diving backward point, then punished a short and widish ball over backward point before again unleashing the back-foot punch.

Sammy reached his fifty in style as Mohammad Nabi tossed up a ball on the off stump which was lofted straight back over the bowler's head. And his brilliant effort ensured that their early celebrations during Chittagong's innings would continue till the end.

Forhad Reza chipped in with an unbeaten 11-ball 19 and he also hit the winning runs after opener Nurul Hasan made a 28-ball 34 that saw two fours and one six.

However, Chittagong had an opportunity to throw down the gauntlet after Tamim and Gayle had recovered from an early blow by putting together a 74-run stand for the second wicket. That impetus however petered out after Franklin removed Gayle for 44 and Chittagong could only stitch together 60 runs from their last 9.2 overs.

Williams and Reza did the damage as Tamim's 46-ball 51 effort went in vain.

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