Rajshahi beat Khulna to become Bangabandhu BPL champions
In what was promising to be a nail-biting finish but ended up being a one-sided affair, Rajshahi Royals beat Khulna Tigers quite comfortably by 21 runs to become the champions of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2019/2020.
Winning the toss, Khulna Tigers decided to bowl first, and were set a 171-run target. But in reply, the could not gather more than 149 runs for eight to concede their most heartbreaking defeat of the season.
Liton Das’s 25 off 28 balls could put the Royals in trouble, but the complexity was undone by a spirited Irfan Sukkur. The wicketkeeper-batsman made 52 off 35 balls with the help of 6 fours and 2 sixes before falling to Mohammad Amir in the 15th over.
But after Sukkur’s departure, captain Andre Russell and Mohammad Nawaz put together an unbeaten 71-run knock off just 34 balls to help their side reach a commandable total. Russell made 27 off 16 balls (3 sixes) while Nawaz was the more aggressive one and made 41 off 20 balls (6 fours, 2 sixes).
Mohammad Amir took two wickets at expense of 35 runs for the Tigers. Robbie Frylinck and Shahidul Islam took one wicket each.
Chasing a challenging target, Khulna did not get a good start, and they were tottering on 11 for two at one point. A 74-run stand followed thereafter between Shamsur Rahman and Rilee Rossouw that brought them back into the match.
Rossouw made 37 off 26 balls (1 four, 1 six) and Shamsur scored 52 off 43 balls (4 fours, 2 sixes). But once they departed, the Tigers were once again in trouble. Captain Mushfiqur Rahim tried to show some resistance, but he had to stop on 21 off 15 balls. He was clean bowled by the opposition captain. In the end, Khulna were 149 for eight at the end of their stipulated 20 overs.
Mohammad Irfan was quite economical, and he took two wickets giving away only 18 runs. On the other hand, Russell was responsible for two Khulna wickets at expense of 32 runs. Kamrul Islam also took two for 29 runs.
Andre Russell was adjudged the Man of the Tournament for his brilliant performance both with bat (225 runs) and ball (14 wickets) throughout the tournament.
Rajshahi Royals 170 for four (20 overs)
Irfan Sukkur 52 (35), Mohammad Nawaz 41* (20)
Mohammad Amir 2/35
Khulna Royals 149 for eight (20 overs)
Shamsur Rahman 52 (43), Rilee Rossouw 37 (26)
Mohammad Irfan 2/18
Result: Rajshahi Royals beat Khulna Tigers by 21 runs and become champions of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2019/2020.