Minister Group Rajshahi were the weakest side of the tournament, well, it at least looked so. And Gemcon Khulna were being regarded as the strongest side of the tournament. But the match between the sides proved to be the exact opposite.
Rajshahi dominated the whole game and bagged a comfortable win of 6 wickets over Khulna. They chased down 147 runs in only 17.2 overs.
Winning the toss, Gemcon Khulna skipper Mahmudullah Riyad elected to bat first. But his decision was proved terribly wrong as his side faced an early mess inside the first 10 overs of their batting before Ariful Haque again came as the rescue for them.
Rajshahi's skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto bagged a half-century to lead his side to comfortable chase, eventually winning the match comfortably by 6 wickets.
Khulna's early mess, Ariful-Shamim to the rescue
Gemcon Khulna were being regarded as the strongest side of the tournament after the players'. But their top order hasn't performed well enough in the first two matches of their campaign.
Khulna lost their first 5 wickets for only 51 runs today. Imrul Kayes was the first man to go with a back to back ducks on his name. Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah Riyad, Anamul Haque Bijoy - all failed to convert their start into big innings.
Ariful, like the previous match, came to the rescue once again. His 41 off 31 deliveries proved crucial to guide the team to a somewhat defendable total. He was accompanied well by Shamim Hossain during their 49-run sixth wicket partnership and an unbeaten 46 run partnership for the seventh wicket.
Shamim scored 35 off 25 and Shahidul remained not out on 17 off 12 balls.
Skipper Shanto leads the chase
Rajshahi needed 147 runs to win. This could be a tricky run to chase down, but their skipper, Najmul Hossain Shanto took the chase into his hands. He scored a brilliant 55 off 34 deliveries with shotsall around the ground. He hit six-4s and three-6s during his innings.
Rajshahi were dominant right from the word go.
Apart from Shanto, Rony Talukder, Mohammad Ashraful, Fazley Mahmud - all got into twenties and steered the run chase.
Rishad Hossain was the pick of the bowlers for Gemcon Khulna as he picked up two wickets from his 4 overs, even though he was the most expensive bowler of his side. Shahidul Islam and Al Amin Hossain picked the other two wickets.
Ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan remained wicketless. He failed with the bat as well.
Earlier, Mukidul Islam picked up two wickets for Minister Group Rajshahi including the big fish Shakib, but he was a tad expensive giving away 44 runs from his 4 overs. Ebadat Hossain, Arafat Sunny and Mahedi Hasan picked up a wicket each.
Najmul Hossain Shanto was adjudged man of the match for his brilliant fifty.
Gemcon Khulna- 146/6 (20 Overs) (Ariful Haque 41*, Shamim Hossain 35, Shahidul Islam 17*, Mukidul Islam 44/2, Arafat Sunny 17/1)
Minister Group Rajshahi- 147/4 (17.2 Overs) (Najmul Hossain Shanto 55, Rony Talukder 26, Mohammad Ashraful 25, Rishad Hossain 44/2, Al Amin 13/1)
Result- Minister Group Rajshahi won by 6 wickets.