Rajshahi Royals secured a berth in Qualifier 1 of the Bangladesh Premier League 2019-20 by defeating the Chattogram Challengers in the penultimate league match of the season. Liton Das (75) and Shoaib Malik (43*) shone for the Royals, who won the match by 8 wickets.
Chasing a modest target of 156, Rajshahi broke little sweat as their opening batsman, Das smacked 11 fours and a six in his 48-ball stay at the crease. Das was dismissed in the 16th over but by then the job had already been done. Afif Hossain (32) and Malik supported him to perfection while Andre Russell (2*) did not have much to do.
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Ziaur Rahman (1/17) was the pick of the bowlers for Chattogram Challengers, while Nasum Ahmed (1/33) was the only other bowler to have scalped a wicket.
Despite losing the toss, the Challengers got the chance to bat first on a good pitch. Chris Gayle (23) and Junaid Siddique (23) provided a solid start, however, the duo of Imrul Kayes (19) and Chadwick Walton (4) could not build on that.
Mahmudullah (48*) waged a lone war for the most part, until Nurul Hasan (30) played a cameo late on to take the Challengers to 155/5 in 20 overs. Abu Jayed (1/12) was the pick of the bowlers for the Royals.
With this win, Rajshahi Royals have now moved to the top spot on the points table with 16 points in 12 matches. The Royals are guaranteed a top-two finish, while the Chattogram Challengers will have to play in the Eliminator match due to an inferior net run rate.
The winner of the ongoing match between Khulna Tigers and Dhaka Platoon will face Rajshahi Royals in the first Qualifier.Published 11 Jan 2020, 18:25 IST