Cooper's Kings into BPL last four
Chittagong Kings, the team of Trinidad and Tobago all-rounder Kevon Cooper, confirmed their place in the final four of the T20 Bangladesh Premier League after a 33-run win over Duronto Rajshah yesterday. Jason Roy and Ryan ten Doeschate set up the victory with a huge partnership that put Rajshahi's fate in other teams' hands.
The Kings' third-wicket pair added 117 runs, with Roy making 92 off 55 balls with eight boundaries and four sixes, while ten Doeschate made a 39-ball 65 with four boundaries and three sixes as Chittagong amassed 193 for three in their 20 overs. Brendan Taylor had earlier given them a fine base to build on, hammering two fours and two sixes in a 21-ball 30, which ended when he holed out at square-leg off a top edge.
Rajshahi began the chase promisingly as Charles Coventry carved and blazed at Shaun Tait. He smashed three fours and two sixes but Tait had the last laugh when he bowled the Zimbabwean opener for 24 off 15 balls.
Dilshan Munaweera and Simon Katich then added 66 runs for the second wicket, setting up an exciting finish. However, after Munaweera fell on 35 in the 11th over, Rajshahi needed their big-hitters to fire. Katich made 53 off 39 balls, and had some luck after Taylor missed stumpings off Enamul Haque jnr in the eighth over.
Ziaur Rahman helped out with two fours and two sixes but Tait made the difference by bowling him in the 15th over. Rajshahi's spark ended there as their chase fizzled out. Jahurul Islam fell for 1 on such a crucial occasion, denting their hopes of a win.
Tait's fire apart, the final spell of Rubel Hossain, in which he gave away few runs and picked up two vital wickets made a lot of difference to the team's fortunes as well as his confidence. Cooper was his side's most economical bowler, taking one for 18 in his four overs.