In a 'do or die' encounter' in the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Chattogram Challengers' most consistent performer Will Jacks delivered the goods under pressure to take his team to the playoffs. With a four-wicket win over Sylhet Sunrisers, Chattogram confirmed a spot in the top four while Sylhet, already out of the competition, couldn't end their campaign on a high.
92 not out off 57 was Jacks' highest score in T20s and his career-best knock was backed up by the other Chattogram batters.
Invited to bat first, Sylhet openers - Colin Ingram and Anamul Haque - got off to a flying start before the former's stay in the crease was ended by Mehidy Hasan Miraz in the fifth over. They added 41 in 4.5 overs. Ingram made 24 off 19.
After Mizanur Rahman's fall in the final delivery of the powerplay, there was an excellent partnership in quick time between Lendl Simmons and Anamul Haque. Simmons was the more aggressive batter of the two in the partnership, contributing 43 in the 54-run stand.
But the in-form Mrittunjoy Chowdhury turned things around by getting rid of both the set batters - Simmons and Anamul (32 off 26) - in the same over against the run of play.
But the experienced duo of Mosaddek Hossain and Ravi Bopara upped the ante with a flurry of boundaries. Mosaddek was in good touch from the start and Bopara, who had been out of runs for a while, joined the party.
The duo went berserk in the last four overs as they collected 61 off the last over. The 80-run stand between Bopara and Mosaddek off just 41 balls was broken in the last over. Bopara scored 44 off 21 with two fours and four sixes. Mosaddek was not out on 35 off 22. Sylhet finished with 185 for six.
While chasing 186, Chattogram Challengers lost opener Zakir Hasan and Afif Hossain inside five overs but never fell behind the required run-rate courtesy of the in-form Will Jacks and Chadwick Walton.
Chattogram were 60 for two after the powerplay thanks to a 21-run over. Walton and Jacks found boundaries at regular intervals to keep them in the chase.
Walton was looking dangerous as he smashed two consecutive maximums off Jubair Hossain in the 12th over but Ravi Bopara's direct throw ended his stay in the middle. The partnership for the third wicket between Jacks and Walton yielded 69. Walton scored 35.
Jacks reached yet another fifty in the tournament off 35 deliveries. Chattogram needed 59 off the last six overs but Jacks collected 14 runs off the 15th over bowled by Simmons to bring the equation down to 45 off 30.
Alauddin Babu got Benny Howell dismissed in the 16th over but that was not enough for the Sunrisers. Shamim Hossain, at six, hit a six and three fours in no time to make the equation easier. Shamim made 21 off seven balls before getting out but it was too little too late.
Lendl Simmons got Miraz dismissed in the penultimate over but Akbar Ali ran a brace to keep the equation manageable - four off the last over.
Jacks kept calm and most fittingly the winning shot came off his bat. He clobbered a six over deep midwicket and got his team over the line with 92 off 57.