Rajshahi Royals lift Bangabandhu BPL title


All-round performances from Andre Russell and Mohammad Nawaz on the back of a brilliant Irfan Sukkur fifty helped Rajshahi Royals beat Khulna Tigers by 21 runs and win the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League in Dhaka on Friday.

The Royals made 170 for 4 after Tigers captain Mushfiqur Rahim had chosen to field first, but his batsmen failed to scale the target, only managing 149 for 8 in their chase.

The losing side had a nightmare start to their chase as they lost both the openers before the end of the second over. Mohammad Irfan struck to remove Najmul Hossain Shanto in the innings' second ball and in the next over Mehidy Hasan Miraz was gone with Abu Jayed claiming the wicket.

Shamsur Rahman and Rilee Rossouw now made 74 in the third wicket to give Khulna hope and it seemed like they could really win it. But Mohammad Nawaz, who excelled with bat early in the game, put an end to Rossouw's exploits to break the stand and soon Shamsur joined him in the pavillion when Afif Hossain took a nice catch to gift Kamrul Islam Rabbi his first wicket of the day.

Shamsur was the top-scorer for his side with 52 off 43 balls, made courtesy of four fourse and two sixes, while Rossouw, the tournament's highest scorer, added 37 off 26.

With Mushfiqur Rahim on the pitch, they still had a chance, but Royals captain Andre Russell bowled him on 21 to finish Khulna's chances.

Irfan, Russell and Kamrul all finished with two wickets.

Batting first, the Royals posted a challenging score thanks to fireworks from Mohammad Nawaz and Irfan Sukkur.

Nawaz and Russell added 71 in just 5.4 overs after the fall of youngster Sukkur, who slammed six fours and two sixes to make 52 in 35 balls.

Pakistan all-rounder Nawaz was the most deadly, hammering 41 in just 20 balls, thanks to six fours and two sixes. His captain fired three sixes to add 27 in 16 balls as the team posted a winning total.

Mohammad Amir picked Afif Hossain (10) early, while his fellow opener Liton Das made 25 in 28 balls.

Amir was the most successful bowler with two wickets while Robbie Frylinck and Shahidul Islam grabbed one apiece.

Russell was adjudged both the Man of the Match and the Man of the Tournament.