Defeat has been the normal culture around for Sylhet Thunder in the ongoing Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 2019-20 and against Rajshahi Royals, nothing different happened as they managed to lose their 10th match of the tournament by 6 wickets.
Batting first, Sylhet struggled throughout their innings and somehow managed to score a total of 143-6, which was always below par considering Rajshahi's batting firepower.
And that is exactly what happened as a fiery opening partnership from Afif Hossain and Liton Das set the platform for them and despite losing a few wickets in the middle, they secured the win with 29 balls remaining.
This win ensures Rajshahi's place in the playoffs as the Royals now have 14 points from 10 games with Sylhet being at the pit with 2 points from their 11 games as despite playing three games at home they could not gift their fans with a win.
Earlier, winning the toss, Sylhet's stand-in skipper Andre Fletcher decided to bat first in the last match at Sylhet.
Sylhet were off to a slow start as they managed to score only 36 and what worsened matters was that they had lost two wickets. Abdul Mazid's stumps were rattled by Abu Jayed Chowdhury with Mohammad Irfan removing Johnson Charles for 8.
Skipper Fletcher's slow innings of 25 from 33 deliveries did not help the situation but after he was run out, Mohammad Mithun and Sherfane Rutherford started to accelerate. Their stand of 22 deliveries produced 47 runs and it looked like that they take Sylhet to a strong total, only for a bizarre run out to end the partnership.
Trying to take a double, there was miscommunication among the batsmen and that left Mithun stranded in the middle of the pitch and he was gone scoring 46 off 37 deliveries. Coming in to bat next, Sohag Gazi only lasted a ball as he was stumped off Alok Kapali in the very next over.
Rutherford, who was guilty of running Mithun out, tried to make up for his fault and hit Alok for two consecutive sixes but was gone the next ball. He could have been out on the previous ball, but Farhad Reza managed to push the ball for a six rather than catching it but Shoaib Malik did not miss out on the opportunity at the exact same position.
Sylhet could only manage to score 14 runs from their last three overs as they ended up on 143-6, setting Rajshahi a target of 144.
Chasing 144, Rajshahi were off to a flying start as their openers, Liton Das and Afif Hossain, brought up the team's fifty within the fifth over. Afif might have considered himself lucky as he was caught behind on 11, but neither the umpire gave him out nor Sylhet reviewed and Afif survived.
Their stand broke in the last over of the powerplay as Liton was out on 36 as Rutherford trapped him LBW. The umpire said no but Sylhet reviewed this time and replays showed that the ball crashed onto the stumps thus reversing the decision to send Liton back.
Afif, who liked like was struggling initially, started to show aggression after his partner went back but was unlucky to miss out on his fifty as he was run out for 46 off 30 deliveries. Afif looked to steal a quick single but Malik refused, leaving Afif scampering to return to his crease but some brilliant piece of fielding from bowler Nazmul Islam Apu led to Afif's departure.
Irfan Shukkur, coming in at no.4, did not last long but Malik at the other side hammered Nazmul for three sixes in an over before returning for 27.
But Ravi Bopara and Mohammad Nawaz ensured that Rajshahi did not lose any more wickets and reached the target unscathed.