Published:  04:59 AM, 18 January 2020

Rajshahi clinch Bangabandhu BPL

Rajshahi clinch Bangabandhu BPL Rajshahi Royals team celebrates as they emerged as the champion of Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Friday. -BCB

Rajshahi Royals emerged as the champion of Bangabandhu Bangla-desh Premier League (BPL) beating Khulna Tigers by 21 runs at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Friday.Rajshahi skipper Andre Russell was adjudged both the Man of the Match and the Man of the Tournament.

Mushfiqur Rahim-led Khulna Tigers won the toss and sent Rajshahi Royals to bat first who posted 170 for four in 20 overs. In reply, Khulna only managed to score 149 for eight in 20 overs.

Khulna needed 60 runs in the last five overs but they scored only 38. They did not have a good start losing openers - Najmul Hossain Shanto and Mehidy Hasan Miraz - within 12 runs.

Shanto was sent back thanks to a spectacular catch by Liton Das at the point area off Mohammad Irfan in the first over of the innings.In the next over, Abu Jayed Rahi scalped the wicket of Mehidy Hasan. He was caught at long off as Shoaib Malik took a regulation catch.

But to recover the initial damage, Shamsur Rahman and Rilee Rossouw added 74 runs in the third wicket stand.Rilee fell as the third wicket scoring 37 off 26 balls with one four and one six. But Shamsur was firm at the other end of the wicket. He scored 52 off 43 with four fours and two sixes.

Shamsur and Rilee departed in a span of 16 runs, which pushed Khulna Tigers to the cliff's edge. The onus was on Mushfiqur Rahim but the captain failed miserably.

Mushfiqur posted 21 off 15 balls with two fours and one six before falling prey to Andre Russell. Robbie Frylinck was the last hope of the Tigers, but he too disappointed. He scored 12 off 15 balls with one four.

Mohammad Irfan, Andre Russell and Kamrul Islam Rabbi took two wickets each conceding 18, 32, and 29 runs respectively for the Royals while Abu Jayed Rahi and Mohammad Nawaz took one wicket each.

Earlier, Rajshahi Royals batsman Irfan Sukkur's brilliant fifty and all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz's quick fire knock helped his team to post a modest total 170-4 in 20 overs.

Irfan smashed 52 off 35 balls, laced with two sixes and six fours before dismissed by Mohammad Amir. Skipper Andre Russell scored 27 off 16 balls while Mohammad Nawaz added 41 off 20 balls hitting two sixes and six fours.

Mohammad Amir was the top performer for Khulna Tigers. Amir bagged two wickets conceding 35 runs while Frylinck and Shahidul took one wicket each respectively.

Khulna Tigers bowlers did a remarkable job as they sent back in form opener Afif Hossain in the third over. Afif was dismissed by Mohammad Amir. In the middle, skipper Russell and Nawaz made a 71-run stand and posted a modest total 170-4 in 20 overs.

Both teams had earlier faced each other in the Qualifier-1 of the event where Khulna Tigers beat the Royals by 27 runs and booked a place in the final as the first team. Royals beat Chattogram Challengers in the Qualifier-2 riding on the 22-ball 54 by Andre Russell and advanced to the final.

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