Wicketkeeper-batsman Liton Das hit his 3rd fifty in the ongoing Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) to guide Rajshahi Royals to the top spot of the points table beating table topper Chattogram Challengers by eight wickets at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
After the match, both the Rajshahi Royals and Chattogram Challengers have secured 16 points each to qualify for the playoffs playing all the 12 league matches. But the Royals clinched the top slot by virtue of better run rate.
Replying to Challengers 155 for five in 20 overs, Royals chased down the target scoring 156 for 2 in 17.4 overs with the help of Liton’s strokeful innings of 75 runs off 48 balls with 11 fours and one six. Later, Liton was adjudged man of the match.
Royals started the chase with aggressive batting as Liton and Afif Hossain scored 88 in 10.2 overs. Afif was the first batsman to get dismissed for 32 off 31 with one four and one six. He fell prey to Nasum Ahmed by a wonderful catch by Chadwick Walton in the deep area.
In the second wicket, Liton and Pakistani all-rounder Shoaib Malik added 50 runs.
Despite playing the match-winning knock, Liton could not finish the game as he fell prey to Zaiur Rahman for 75 with only 18 runs needed to seal the victory
However, Malik and Royals captain Andre Russell finished the game in 17.4 overs and jumped to the top place of the points table.
Nasum Ahmed and Ziaur Rahman bagged one wicket each.
Earlier, Royals won the toss and sent Challengers to bat first. They were slow during the power play adding only 38 runs in the first six overs. In the first over after the powerplay, Royals lost Junaid Siddique for 23 off 23 with two fours and one six.
Caribbean batting superstar Chris Gayle also scored 23 off 21 with one four and two sixes. He fell prey to Afif. After the dismissal of the openers, the onus was on Imrul Kayes and Mahmudullah Riyad to come up with a strong partnership in order to put up a challenging total on the board.
But they failed to do so as Imrul Kayes fell scoring 19 off 18 with three fours.
Mahmudullah, however, remained unbeaten scoring 48 off 33 with two fours and three sixes. Wicketkeeper-batsman Nurul Hasan Shohan scored 30 off 17 with four fours and one six as well.
Mohammad Irfan, Abu Jayed, Shoaib Malik, Aiff Hossain and Taijul Islam took one wicket each.