On a wicket which looked like a batting paradise, Rajshahi Royals managed to score 170-4 in their quota of 20 overs against Khulna Tigers in the final of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 2019-20.
Rajshahi came into bat after they lost the toss, and they were struck with an early blow as Afif Hossain was caught brilliantly by Mehidy Hasan Miraz at short third man. Afif skewed up a short delivery from Mohammad Amir and Miraz, came running from point and took a diving catch to send the batsman back for 10.
Afif's opening partner Liton Das found it tough to get going but Irfan Shukkur at the other end milked runs to steady the Rajshahi ship. Their 49-run stand came to a close when Liton was sent back by Shahidul Islam for an uncharacteristic 25 off 28 deliveries.
Shoaib Malik was the next to go for 9 as Shanto took his second catch of the game off Robbie Frylinck before Irfan Shukkur picked up his fifty off 30 deliveries. This was Irfan's second fifty in T20s and his good show continued as he scored 45 in the previous match.
But Irfan was gone soon after his fifty for 52 as he was sent back by Amir. And what followed next, was absolute carnage. Andre Russell and Mohammad Nawaz put up a 71-run stand for the fifth wicket off just 34 deliveries as surprisingly, Nawaz was the more destructive one, outclassing his skipper. Russell was lucky to be unbeaten till the end as he was dropped by Shanto at extra cover when the Caribbean was only on 7.
Their stand took Rajshahi to 170-4 as they took 70 off the last five overs. Nawaz stayed unbeaten on 41 off 20 deliveries with Russell scoring 27 off 16 balls.
Rajshahi Royals: 170-4 (Irfan 52, Nawaz 41*, Russell 27*, Amir 2-35, Shahidul 1-23, Frylinck 1-33)