BPL 2019-20: Match 36, Review- Rubel, Ziaur, Kayes, Simmons smother Rajshahi Royals in top-of-the-table clash

BPL 2019-20: Match 36, Review- Rubel, Ziaur, Kayes, Simmons smother Rajshahi Royals in top-of-the-table clash

Universe Boss Chris Gayle announced himself, smashing 22 runs off Afif Hossain's first over.

Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Rajshahi Royals and Chattogram Challengers came into their contest, having already qualified for the 2019-20 BPL playoffs. In Mirpur, both the teams needed a win as it would have helped them tighten their grip in the top two. In the end, Mahmudullah’s Challengers had it pretty easy and won by seven wickets with nine balls to spare. It also helped them topple the Royals to the top of the points table.

Liton Das gets the Royals going

The Royals’ innings was a rather roller-coaster ride. Rubel Hossain castled Afif Hossain, but Liton Das (56) made sure that their team manage 44 runs in the powerplay without any more hiccup. His partner, Irfan Sukkur, had a tough time before getting run out. Liton went great guns and notched his fifty off 40 balls. Ziaur Rahman removed the big fish to somewhat bring the Challengers back.

Andre Russell (20) took a liking to Kesrick Williams and it was Rubel, who pinned the hulk-like batter. Shoaib Malik (28) couldn’t step of the gas. Rahman removed the veteran to put more pressure on the Royals’ batting. Farhad Reza was in no mood to die wondering. He churned out some lusty blows and scored 21 off eight balls with one four and two sixes. His onslaught took the Royals to 166/8.

Simmons and Kayes seal the deal for Challengers

Lendl Simmons (51) took 12 runs off Russell to kick-start the Challengers’ run-chase. In the third over, Chris Gayle (23) picked the bones out of Afif Hossain. But to the relief of the Challengers, Kamrul Islam found the southpaw’s outside edge to send him packing. The powerplay fetched 55 runs, keeping the required-rate around eight with Simmons and Imrul Kayes (67*) in the middle.

Simmons got to his fifty off 42 balls and was looking ominous. But lazy running led to his run-out. Mahmudullah showed intent before perishing to Farhad Reza. With Simmons and Mahmudullah falling in quick succession, Kayes didn’t allow any pressure to build. The southpaw accomplished another fifty off 31 balls. The skipper stayed until the very end and saw his side through to glory.

Brief Scores

Rajshahi Royals: 166/8 in 20 overs (Liton Das 56, Shoaib Malik 28; Rubel Hossain 3/20)

Chattogram Challengers: 170/3 in 18.3 overs (Imrul Kayes 67*, Lendl Simmons 51; Kamrul Islam Rabbi 1/13)

Chattogram Challengers win by seven wickets.