Bangabandhu BPL 2019 Qualifier 2
Rajshahi cruise to final winning thriller
Andre Russell's supernatural batting berthed Rajshahi Royals in the final of Bangabandhu BPL 2019 blowing away Chattogram Challengers by two wickets in the breath taking 2nd qualifier of the tournament at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Mirpur on Wednesday.
Rajshahi invited Chattogram to bat first but CCs batters started to show the other side of the coin. They posted 58 runs on the board from powerplay overs though they allowed 23 dots and lost two wickets! Ruthless batting of Caribbean giant Chris Gayle and skipper Mahmudullah later on showed Challengers the way to go long but till the 1st half of the innings.
Gayle was in his business and picked up his half century hitting a maximum to Mohammad Nawaz in the 3rd ball of the 9th over. He took 21 balls to reach the landmark and departed crease with 60 runs off 24 smashing five maximums and six fancy boundaries.
Mahmudullah on the other hand, had survived reviewing on field umpires decision of LBW in the 3rd ball of the 6th over of Russell, who gathered quick 33 off 18 with three rope touching shots and as many as sixes.
CCs thus, were at 111 for three after initial 10 overs. But soon after Gayle's departure in the 10th over delivered by Afif Hossain, Nawaz conveyed a maiden over picking two wickets to slow-down the CC's rush. So, Challengers could add 53 more runs from last 60 deliveries only after thankful 31-run's knock from Asela Gunaratne as CCs were able to manage 164 runs losing nine wickets.
Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Nawaz took two wickets each while Alok Kapali, Afif Hasan and Ande Russell took one wicket apiece.
RRs in reply, seemed very week to handle the pressure of big match and lost their top three batsmen within powerplay to collect 40 runs. Afif went for two runs, Liton Das for six and Alok Kapali for nine runs. Irfan Shukkur showed resistance for 45 runs from 42 balls against dominating spell of Chattogram bowlers. CCs bowlers' keep domination till 15th over. But scenario had changed soon after the arrival of RRs skipper Andre Russell in the middle, who had swung the blade as wild as possible to snatch the win from Chattogram's paw. The Man of the Match Andre Russell was unbeaten with 54 from 22 balls as RRs were at 165 for eight to ensure win with four balls to spare.
Rubel Hossain became the leading wicket taker of the tournament jointly with Mustafizur Rahman with 20 scalps claiming two wickets yesterday. Rayad Emrit also hunted two wickets for Chattogram.
The curtain of the most rigorous tournament of the country will be downed on Friday with crown decider between Khulna Tigers and Rajshahi Royals.