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12 January, 2020 04:20:04 AM
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Rajshahi finish second behind Ctg

Liton, Malik star in revenge victory
SPORTS REPORTER, Dhaka
Rajshahi finish second behind Ctg
Rajshahi Royals’ opener Liton Das smacks a boundary during his 75-run knock against Chattogram Challengers in the Bangabandhu BPL match at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the capital yesterday. BCB Photo

Rajshahi Royals finished second top when they romped to an eight-wicket win over Chattogram Challengers on the last day’s first match of the round-robin league phase of the ongoing Akash-DTH Bangabandhu-Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Even though Rajshahi climbed to top position after winning the match leapfrogging Dhaka Platoon, Khulna Tigers and Challengers, the winners of the last match either Dhaka or Khulna will go on top with better net run-rate. In that case, Rajshahi will be placed second and Chattogram became third, while the loser of the last match will be fourth.  

The teams of the play-off race had been defined on Friday, where Khulna joined at the last moment with already-qualified Chattogram Challengers, Rajshahi Royals and Dhaka Platoon. Coincidently, these four teams had faced off each others on the last day of the round-robin league phase, from where two top teams along with third and fourth place will be settled for which matches were very important because there was an edge for top two teams to go through the final.  

Chattogram prevailed over Rajshahi by seven wickets in their first meet and overtook 166 thanks to Imrul Kayes’ outstanding 41-ball 67, the victory ensured their play-off berth before all the teams.  To take their first meet revenge, Rajshahi captain Andre Russell invited his Challengers counterparts Mahmudullah Riyad to bat first on Mirpur new-track after winning the toss.

Both openers Zunaid Siddique and Chris Gayle gave a good start but when they were on 38, Siddique went ahead to make a big shot for Shoaib Malik and caught out by Forhad Reza. Zunaid struck a run-a-ball 23 with a maximum and two boundaries.

Chris Gayle then rotated the strike with Imrul Kayes and hit 22 runs for the second-wicket before his dismissal. Gayle became Afif Hossain’s  bunny as he fell to Afif like his first match in special BPL. Coincidently he was out for 23. The difference was that he smacked 10-ball 23 on his first BPL match, while he cracked 21-ball 23. He was out to seek big shot again what he did in the first match while he was struck two big shot over the ropes for Afif.  

Just nine runs later, Imrul Kayes also followed Gayle’s footstep when he was caught out by Afif Hossain off Taijul Islam. He made 18-ball 19.

Finally Mahmudullah Riyad steered them to post a fighting total of 155 for five in their stipulated 20 overs. Together with wicketkeeper-batsman Nurul Hasan Sohan, Mahmudullah pulled together an invaluable 38 for the fifth-wicket stand that gave the total some respectability.

Mahmudullah missed his second half-century for just two runs as he remained unbeaten on 48. He clubbed three sixes and two fours in his indefatigable 33-ball knock. Sohan belted for 17-ball 30 that laden with four boundaries and a six.

Liton Kumar Das and Afif Hossain gave Rajshahi Royals a flying start as they put on a brilliant 88 for the opening stand that simplified their chase of 156. Afif fell to Chadwick Walton off Nasum Ahmed for 31-ball 32, hitting a maximum and as many four.

Liton then paired up Shoaib Malik and stroked 60 runs before breaking the second-wicket stand. On-song opener Liton Das clouted 75 that sent him five places up. As of now, he is languishing in fourth (422) after Dawid Malan (444), Rilee Rossouw (435) and Mushfiqur Rahim (431). This was his third half-century. The wicketkeeper-batsman clobbered 11 fours and a six in his 48-ball blitz.

Later Shoaib Malik comfortably slotted the team home with captain Andre Russell without any loss further while they had 14 balls to spare and eight wickets in hand. The globe-trotting Pakistani all-rounder was at stumps on 43. He blasted two big shots over the boundary and three boundaries in his 25-ball cameo. Andre Russell was on two not out. At the end, Liton was named player of the match for his batting dexterity.

EA

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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