BPL 2019-20: Qualifier 2, Review- Andre Russell’s massacre too hot too handle for Chattogram Challengers
Dre-Russ' heroics has shown Chattogram Challengers the door of elimination.
Updated - Jan 15, 2020 10:35 pm
At one stage, Rajshahi Royals were seeming to go down without a fight in their Qualifier 2 against Chattogram Challengers. But Andre Russell, their captain, got them back with some lusty blows. In the end, he managed to win his team game by a couple of wickets. He got a 22-ball 54 with two fours and seven sixes. With the victory, the Royals have set up the Final clash against the Khulna Tigers.
Chris Gayle switches on demolition mode
The Challengers got off to a flying start courtesy Chris Gayle. The Jamaican went bonkers from the outset and notched his maiden fifty this season off 21 balls. The left-hander went on to score 60 off 24 with six fours and five sixes. Afif Hossain Dhrubo rattled his woodwork to give the Royals a breather. Mahmudullah also fired on all cylinders, scoring 33 with three fours and as many sixes.
But once the duo perished in a space of an over, the Challengers innings’ fell apart. In the last 10 overs , Mahmudullah’s men managed 54 runs. If not for Asela Gunaratne’s 25-ball 31, the Challengers would’ve strained to cross the 150-run mark. In the end, they huffed and puffed to 164 for nine. For the Royals, Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Nawaz had combined figures of 8-2-29-4.
Andre Russell destroys the Challengers
The Royals had early jitters in their chase. Afif Hossain mistimed a pull off Rubel Hossain to give the Challengers their first wicket. Liton Das got out, attempting a suicidal run. Alok Kapali’s vigil was brought to an end by Mahmudullah. Meanwhile, Irfan Sukkur (42) kept the scoreboard ticking by rotating the strike and getting the odd boundary. Shoaib Malik again came in with his team in worry.
In the 14th over, the required rate touched 12. Shoaib Malik had a miserable stay in the middle, scoring a 22-ball 14. With 85 runs needed off 40 balls, the onus was on Andre Russell to see his team through. The skipper cleared the ropes and brought the target down to 31 off 12 balls.
In the 19th over, he muscled 17 overs off Mahedi Hasan Rana. Abu Jayed hit a four off the last ball of the over to bring the target down to eight in the final over. Russell played out a couple of dot balls, but spanked Asela Gunaratne for a maximum. Not to forget Nawaz’s contribution of 14 off five.
Chattogram Challengers: 164/9 in 20 overs (Chris Gayle 60, Mahmudullah 33; Mohammad Nawaz 2/13)
Rajshahi Royals: 165/8 in 19.2 overs (Andre Russell 54* Irfan Sukkur 45; Rubel Hossain 2/32)