DHAKA, Jan 22, 2019 : A strong opening stand by Chris Gayle and Alex Hales saw defending champions Rangpur Riders to post an overwhelming six-wicket victory over Khulna Titans in the 25th match of the Bangladesh Premier League T20 on Tuesday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur.
With this win, Rangpur Riders secured eight points from eight matches while bottom-ranked Khulna Titans remained at their previous credit of two points playing the same number of outings.
Asked to bat first by Rangpur, Khulna Titans piled up a challenging total of 181 for 6 from their allotted 20 overs.
Though Khulna suffered early batting jolt losing Al Amin in the first over, another opener Junaid Siddique also lasted a little after scoring 13 runs.
After the departure of two openers, Brendon Taylor and Nazmul Hossain Shanto revived Khulna’s innings contributing 49 runs for the third wicket stand before Taylor was removed by Chris Gayle.
Taylor smashed 20-ball off 32 runs hitting four boundaries while Shanto hammered 35-ball off 48 runs studded with two boundaries and three over boundaries.
Later, David Wiese (35 n.o) and skipper Mahmudullah (29), scored a quick fire which helped Khulna to set a challenging target for Rangpur Riders.
Farhad Reza was the most successful bowler as he claimed four Khulna’s wickets conceding 32 runs.
In reply, Rangpur Riders, chasing a massive winning target of 182 runs set by Khulna, reached home making 183 runs for the loss of four wickets with three balls to spare.
The two openers gave Rangpur a perfect start contributing 78 runs for the opening stand before Yasir broke the opening stand removing Alex.
The English batsman Alex Hales scored 29-ball off 55 runs hitting eight boundaries and three over boundaries before he fell victim to Yasir Ali.
Explosive opener Gayle kept his nerve cool as he again shared another 43 runs with one down batsman AB de Villers to take Rangpur closer to the target.
The Caribbean batsman Gayle smashed 40-ball off 55, studded with two boundaries and five over boundaries while AB de Villers contributed 25-ball off 41 runs with the help of three boundaries and four over boundaries.
Yasir Ali was the most successful bowler as he claimed two Rangpur’s wickets conceding 47 runs.
Farhad Reza of Rangpur Riders was named the player of the match for his magnificent bowling performance.
After the match, Mashrafe Mortaza, the winning captain of Rangpur Riders said: “Not an easy chase. But the batsmen have been batting so well. Hales started it off in first six, Chris finished it and then AB obviously in the middle. We’ve got one of the best top orders in the world in this format. On that sort of wicket, you have to hit right length. Farhad bowled very well.
But I’m concerned as a group. As a group, we need to sit down and discuss what mistakes we’re doing.”
Khulna Titans skipper Mahmudullah said: “Hard to explain ….batters did their job and bowlers stuck to their task. But Chris batted well. They’ve got big guns in their top order. In the middle, Shanto batted well and Brendan batted well. I think 180 was a good score on the pitch. It wasn’t easy. But Chris and their other batters made it look easy.