The much-hyped Bangabandhu T20 Cup kicked-off today with Beximco Dhaka and Minister Group Rajshahi facing off each other in the curtain-raiser. Minister Group Rajshahi were invited to bat first after Dhaka won the toss.
Rajshahi were struggling early in the innings after losing 5 wickets for only 65 runs. But Mahedi Hasan and Nurul Hasan's 89-run partnership kept them alive in the game and helped to post a competitive total of 169 runs after their allotted 20 overs.
Mahedi Hasan was the star of the show with his half-century. He ended up scoring 50 off 32 balls with 3-fours and 4-maximums. He played shots all around the ground, it was an eye-pleasing innings by the all-rounder. He was picked up by another Mehedi, Mehedi Hasan Rana in the 19th over.
Wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan was not far behind. He scored 39 off 20 balls and guided young Mahedi amazingly well.
Skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto was the first man to go for Rajshahi. He hit two sixes in the same over of Nasum Ahmed before getting trapped at long-on. Rony Talukder was caught at long-off, Muktar Ali bagged his wicket.
Muktar bagged Ashraful next, thanks to a blinder from spinner Nayeem Hasan at the point. Ashraful scored 5 from 9 balls.
Young batsman Anisul Emon was going strong but was stumped by Mushfiq off Nayeem Hasan's delivery after scoring 35 runs off just 23 deliveries with 5-fours and one maximum.
Fazley Mahmud was run out for a duck without facing a single delivery.
The 14th over by Nayeem Hasan saw 19 runs coming with two maximums and a boundary. This was the most expensive over in the innings so far.
Rajshahi at one stage were looking to go beyond 180-mark. But they lost few quick wickets in the later stage of the match and had to stop at 169.
Muktar Ali bagged three wickets with a figure of 4-0-22-3 while Nayeem Hasan, Mehedi Hasan Rana and Nasum Ahmed bagged one each. Nasum was a touch expensive finishing his 4-over spell with a figure of 4-0-41-1.
Rubel Hossain bowled brilliantly, but unfortunately remained wicketless giving away 29 runs from his 4 overs.
Beximco Dhaka will need 170 runs to win the opening match of the tournament.