Rajshahi Royals and Khulna Tigers had pretty similar campaigns in the round-robin stage of the Bangabandhu BPL. However, on Monday night, Mushfiqur Rahim’s Tigers roared and qualified for the final of the T20 tournament. They beat the Royals by 27 runs at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. The Royals will now be locking horns with the Chattogram Challengers on Wednesday.
Shanto rides on his luck
The Tigers made a horrid start as Mohammad Irfan rocked them back. The speedster churned out a double wicket-maiden, getting Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Rilee Rossouw for a golden duck. But Najmul Hossain Shanto and Shamsur Rahman put on 78 for the third wicket to set the ball rolling. Shanto got a lifeline, when Shoaib Malik castled him off a no-ball. He made full use of the chance.
Ravi Bopara removed Shamsur, who got a 31-ball 32, to give the Royals something to cheer about. At the other end, Shanto went on to notch a fifty off 36 balls. The southpaw stayed unbeaten on 78 off 57 with seven fours and four sixes. Mushfiqur Rahim (21) had to retire hurt after hobbling while taking a run. Najibullah’s cameo of 12 runs helped the Tigers post a competitive 158 in 20 overs.
Amir blows away the Royals
Mohammad Amir cleaned up Liton Das to deliver a massive jolt in the Royals’ camp. In his next over, the speedster nipped out Afif Hossain Dhrubo to set the alarm bell ringing in the opposition camp. In the same over, he found Alok Kapali’s outside edge. Amir wreaked move havoc as he sent back Andre Russell for a five-ball duck. Robbie Frylinck got Ravi Bopara and added to the wickets-column.
Shoaib Malik kept seeing the carnage from the other end. He got to his fifty off 39 balls. The required-rate kept mounting and the Tigers needed 74 off the last four overs. In the 17th over, he took 21 runs off Shafiul Islam to keep the Royals’ hopes alive. Amir picked up a fifer, dismissing Taijul Islam. The pacer sent back Malik, who ended on 80 off 50, and ended the Royals’ hopes of a victory.
Khulna Tigers: 158/3 in 20 overs (Najmul Hossain Shanto 78*, Shamsur Rahman 32; Mohammad Irfan 2/13)
Rajshahi Royals: 131 all out in 20 overs (Shoaib Malik 80, Taijul Islam 12; Mohammad Amir 6/17)
Khulna Tigers win by
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