Comilla crush Rangpur to move to final

NCL: Dhaka trailing by 265 runs against Rangpur
NCL: Dhaka trailing by 265 runs against Rangpur

Evin Lewis struck a solid half-century as Comilla Victorians crushed Rangpur Riders by eight wickets in the first qualifier to move to the final of Bangladesh Premier League in Dhaka on Monday.
Lewis hit an unbeaten 71 off 53 balls guiding Comilla to 166-2 in 18.5 overs as they put an end to Rangpur’s six-match winning streak, despite a late blitz by Benny Howell (53) powered the side to 165-5.
Rangpur will have another shot at joining Comilla in the final on February 8 as they will now face Dhaka Dynamites in the second qualifier on Wednesday.
Lewis and Anamul Haque set up the run chase for Comilla after Mashrafee bin Murtaza removed Tamim Iqbal for 17 as they shared 90-run for the second wicket stand.
Shafiul Islam bowled Anamul for 39 off 32 balls to break the partnership but Shamur Rahman, with his unbeaten 34 off 15 balls, ensured there was no further hiccup in Comilla innings
Comilla had the chance to restrict Dhaka to a much lower score but they wasted it through their sloppy fielding as at least two catches went down and several balls raced to the boundary between the legs of fieldsmen.
Chris Gayle was put down by Mahedi Hasan off Sanjit Shaha on 45, though the former compensated in the next over by removing the Caribbean before he became too dangerous.
Gayle, who faced 44 balls, could add just one run to his innings after getting the life, but Rilee Rossouw seized the opportunity after Wahab Riaz dropped him on 19 off Shahid Afridi.
Rossouw, easily the best batsman of the tournament, made 44 off 31 balls and more importantly put 70-run with Howell for the fifth wicket that formed the largest part of Rangpur innings.
Howell was aggressor-in chief, hitting five sixes and three fours in his 28-ball innings, his first fifty in the tournament that made Rangpur momentarily forget AB de Villiers, who left after their last match.