Youngster Nahidul Islam and England’s Ravi Bopara staged a late comeback to keep Rangpur Riders in the match till the last over against Khulna Titans but Mashrafe Bin Mortaza’s side eventually fell short by 10 runs at Chittagong’s Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
Rangpur Riders were in early trouble as they lost Brendon McCullum to off-spinner Afif Hossain in just the second over of the innings. Opener Chris Gayle was in ominous form as he hit Abu Jayed for two four’s and a six in the third over but then Gayle was lulled into a drive and the ball found the edge of the bat in the fifth delivery of the over as Jayed got his revenge.
Mohammed Mithun fell in the fifth over after woeful decision making saw him run-out by direct hit by Braithwaite. Rangpur’s run rate dropped as Afif then bowled Fazle Mahmud in the eighth over with the Riders score at 45 for four.
Nahidul and Bopara were involved in a brilliant fifth-wicket partnership of 100 runs from 70 deliveries. Nahidul struck a 43-ball 58 and Bopara scored a 44-ball 59 to carry Rangpur to 144 in the 19th over, needing 15 runs for victory in the last over. However an excellent last over from Junaid Khan saw only five runs conceded and both Nahidul and Bopara fell in the last over to give Khulna Titans a 10-run victory. Afif bagged two wickets for four runs from his two overs for the Titans.
Earlier, skipper Mahmudullah Riyad’s smashing 36-ball 59 helped the Khulna Titans post 158 runs on the board against Mashrafe Bin Mortaza’s Rangpur Riders at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong.
Rangpur Riders skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza won the toss and elected to field first at Chittagong’s Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.
Rilee Rossouw started off brightly hitting Mahsrafe for a four and a six off the last two ball of the first over. He fell trying to play Sohag Gazi across the line as his stumps were disturbed.
Afif showed his intentions as he stepped out to Rubel Hossain and smashed him through extra cover boundary before playing one fine down third man for four. Rubel Hossain had an apt reply for the left-hander as he softened the batsman up with a well directed bouncer, making the batsman fall down to the floor. Rubel followed up his bouncer with a brilliant yorker as Afif’s leg-stump was uprooted.
Mashrafe then tricked Nazmul Hossain Shanto into playing a flick shot too early and ball looped to Rubel Hossain at mid-on for an easy catch.
Mahmudullah came in to bat with Khulna slightly in the back foot after the loss of two early wickets. The skipper brought up his fifty in 32 balls before he was removed by Rubel Hossain in the 17th over. Rubel, who picked up the wickets of Mahmudullah and Ariful Haque in the same over conceded 35 runs in his four overs but also picked up three wickets.
Carlos Braitwaite looked to unshackle with a few big hits but excellent death over bowling from Thisara Perera eventually restricted the Titans to 158 for the loss of eight wickets.