Dhaka, Jan 22 (UNB) — Fifties from Alex Hales and Chris Gayle helped Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) defending champions Rangpur Riders beat Khulna Titans by six wickets on Tuesday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
It was Rangpur’s fourth win in eight matches in the ongoing BPL. In contrast, it was Khulna’s seventh loss of the season. They have played eight matches so far.
Chasing 181, Hales and Gayle put up a 78-run stand in the opening partnership. Hales fell after scoring 55 off 40 balls – his first fifty in this BPL. Gayle also hit 55 off 29 deliveries with three big sixes off Mahmudullah Riyad’s third over.
Rilee Rossouw, the most consistent batsman of BPL so far, hit Yasir Shah for a six in the third ball of 20th over and completed the chase with three balls to play (183/4 in 19.3 overs).
The Pakistani spin-star took two wickets for Khulna. Along with him, Junaid Khan and Mahmudullah took one wicket each. Khulna are now too close to elimination from the tournament.
Earlier, Rangpur won the toss and sent Khulta to bat. They posted 181 for six. Nazmul Hossain Shanto hit 48 for Khulna.
Khulna lost the first wicket when Al Amin tried to cut Mashrafe in the first over but managed an edge to the keeper. After losing the first wicket in 5 runs, Khulna added 24 runs in the second wicket stand.
Junaid Siddique and wicketkeeper-batsman Brendan Taylor were propelling Khulna to a big total. But Junaid fell after adding 13 runs to the board. He skied a catch at cover-point and Rilee Rossouw took that comfortably.
Khulna lost the third wicket to Chris Gayle when Taylor failed to clear the boundary. The Zimbabwean added 32 off 20 balls. In the fourth wicket stand, Nazmul Hossain Shanto and Mahmudullah added 56 runs in the board.
Shanto, the left-handed batsman, scored 48 off 35 balls with two fours and three sixes – his best innings in the ongoing BPL. In his last five matches, he scored only 32 runs.
Mahmudullah, the Khulna captain, added 29 off 20 balls. But David Wiese played his part with great care, scoring 35 off 15 balls. He batted with a strike-rate of 233.33. The South African remained unbeaten at 35.
Farhad was the best bowler for Rangpur, taking four wickets for 32 runs. Mashrafe and Gayle took one wicket each.
Khulna will play their next match against Sylhet Sixers on January 23 and Rangpur will take on Chittagong Vikings on January 25.