Chattogram Challengers have secured an easy six-wicket win over Rajshahi Royals in the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 2019-20 to clinch top spot of the BPL points table.
With the win, Chattogram Challengers are on top of the points table with 16 points with 8 wins whereas Rajshahi drop to second with 14 points.
Winning the toss, Chattogram Challengers skipper Mahmudullah elected to field first. Both the regular captains of the sides, Mahmudullah Riyad and Andre Russell, returned to their respective sides after recovering from injury.
Batting first, Rajshahi's top four set them a strong foundation for a big total, but a collapse diminished that hope. But a late cameo from Farhad Reza took them to a total of 166-8 and set Chattogram a target of 167.
Chasing 167, Chattogram started with a bang as Chris Gayle unleashed himself on Afif Hossain to take 22 runs off the third over of the innings. But his short storm ended soon as Kamrul Islam Rabbi dismissed the Caribbean for 23.
But Imrul Kayes and Lendl Simmons kept going at the same rate as they put up a fifty partnership off 34 deliveries and went on. Simmons picked up his fifty off 42 balls before getting run out in a hilarious fashion to break the stand of 77 runs. Simmons was casual in his running as he did not ground his bat and when a direct hit from Rabbi hit the stumps, Simmons' feet were still in the air and the batsman had to go back for 51.
Skipper Mahmudullah came in and went back for 10, but Imrul did not budge as he went on to pick up his fourth fifty off this BPL off just 31 deliveries. Imrul, along with Chadwick Walton, went to secure the win with nine balls to spare. Imrul was unbeaten on 67 at the end as he secured that Chattogram reached the top.
Earlier, Rajshahi were struck an early blow as Rubel Hossain sent back Afif Hossain for 9. Rajshahi could have been in even more trouble but Kesrick Williams missed a sitter to give Liton Das a life on 14.
Getting an opportunity, Liton went on to pick up his fifty despite Irfan Shukkur being run out trying to steal a single. Liton finally went back for 56 in the 13th over when he was caught by Nurul Hasan Sohan off Ziaur Rahman.
Russell looked like he was in the groove as he started to blast the bowlers but only managed to score 20 before getting dismissed to Rubel. Neither of Ravi Bopara and Alok Kapali lasted long as they both went back for 4 and 1 respectively, reducing Rajshahi to 135-6.
Rajshahi's hopes for reaching a big total was struck a huge blow when Ziaur Rahman picked up his third scalp of the game as Shoaib Malik gave a simple catch to Muktar Ali at deep mid-wicket for 28.
With the help of a cameo from Farhad Reza of 21 from 8 deliveries, Rajshahi managed to score 166-8.
Ziaur and Rubel picked up three wickets each for Chattogram.