Rajshahi Royals have moved up to second in the points table in the BPL. Andre Russell and Co defeated the Cumilla Warriors by seven wickets at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. Their NRR of +1.351 also keeps them in a healthy position as far as finishing among the top two teams in concerned. Meanwhile, the Warriors have found themselves in trouble with their fourth defeat.
Dawid Malan dominates
Bearing in mind the record in Chattogram, the Royals elected to field first. The decision didn’t backfire completely as the Warriors got 170 in their 20 overs. But the Warriors’ batting was all about Dawid Malan, who racked up his fifth T20 century off 54 balls. His knock was crafted with nine fours and five sixes. The southpaw played throughout the innings and helped his team to a decent score.
The rest of the Warriors batting could manage only 57 runs. Though the tactic to promote Malan as an opener worked, the decision to send Soumya Sarkar didn’t substantiate. Sarkar hit a four and a six, but got only 20 off 22. For the Royals, Mohammad Irfan was the standout, picking up 23 runs at an economy of 5.75. He got support from Andre Russell and Abu Jayed with two wickets each.
Afif Hossain steps up and delivers
Liton Das and Afif Hossain Dhrubo strolled out with intent and put on 58 runs in the powerplay without losing their wickets. However, Mujeeb Ur Rahman got rid of Das for 27 to break an ominous-looking 60-run stand. Mujeeb ended his spell, conceding a mere 17 runs as the Warriors batters resorted to caution while facing him. Shoaib Malik perished to Al-Amin Hossain two overs later.
Afif scored his fifty off 37 balls and kept the scoreboard ticking. Ravi Bopara turned out to be an apt foil for the southpaw. After a 36-run stand between the duo, Al Amin removed Afif, who scored 76 off 53 with eight fours and two sixes. On Afif got out, Bopara stepped on the gas and stayed not out on 40 off 22. Andre Russell’s five-ball 15 helped the Royals get the target with 13 balls to spare.
Cumilla Warriors: – 170/8 in 20 overs (Dawid Malan 100*, Soumya Sarkar 20; Mohammad Irfan 2/23)
Rajshahi Royals: – 165/3 in 20 overs (Afif Hossain Dhrubo 76, Ravi Bopara 40*; Al-Amin Hossain 2/43)
Rajshahi Royals win by seven wickets.
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