Gazi Group Chattogram continued their impressive journey in the Bangabandhu T20 Cup as they secured their fourth straight victory with a thrilling one-run win over Minister Group Rajshahi at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
Chattogram put up a respectable 176-5, so far, the highest of the tournament but Rajshahi fought neck-to-neck till the end before being restricted to 175-7.
Rajshahi needed 14 runs in the last over and a boundary in the last ball to win but Rony Taulkdar who struck Mustafizur a six and four in the fourth and fifth ball, could manage two in the last delivery.
Despite the defeat, Rajshahi retain their second spot with four points. Chattogram are the top of the table with eight points.
Rajshahi made a whirlwind start in pursuit of the big chase with captain Nazmul Hossain Shanto and young Anisul Emon sharing 56 runs in 5.4 overs.
Shanto who struck two sixes on his 14 ball-25 was first to go but Emon kept the asking run-rate under control.
However, with Rajshahi batsmen appearing to establish control, Chattogram bowlers came back strongly in the midst of the innings. Bowling with nagging line and length, they not only kept taking wickets but stifling the innings to some extent.
The big breakthrough came when Ziaur Rahman got the wicket of Emon with a short delivery after he made 58 off 44 with six fours and one six.
Mahedi Hasan played some big shots to make 25 off 17 and keptRajshahi in the game. Nonetheless, Rajshahi batsmen couldn't manage 14r uns in the last over and tasted their second defeat.
Mustafizur Rahman was the highest wicket-taker for Chattogram with 3-37 while Shoriful ended with 2-41.
Earlier, opener Liton Das struck a delightful 53 ball-78 not out as Gazi Group Chattogram posted a respectable total.
Mosaddek Hossain Saikat hammered a 28 ball-42 while Soumya Sarkar blasted 25 ball-34.
After being sent to bat first, Soumya and Liton gave the side a fluent start, sharing 62 runs off 44 balls.
Mukidul Islam Mugdho who was the most successful bowler for Rajshahi with 3-30, drew the blood first with dismissing Soumya, whose knock was studded with four fours and two sixes.
Chattogram, the only team to remain unbeaten, so far, saw a mini-collapse when captain Mithun (11) and Shamsur Rahman (1) departed cheaply.
Mosaddek Hossain Saikat joined Liton and together they treated Rajshahi bowlers in disdain to add 72 runs for the fourth wicket.
Saikat struck two fours and as many sixes in his knock before being removed in the last over.
Liton, however, carried the bat and remained unbeaten on 78, a knock designed with nine fours and one six.
Gazi Group Chattogram 176-5 in 20 overs (Liton Das 78*, Mosaddek 42, Soumya 34; Mukidul Mugdho 3-30, Anisul Emon 1-22, Farhad Reza 1-44)
Minister Group Rajshahi 175-7 in 20 overs (Anisul Emon 58, Nazmul Shanto 25, Mahedi Hasan 25; Mustafizur Rahman 3-37, Shoriful 2-44).
Result: Chattogram wins by 1 run.