Mominul Haque became the first local player to score a fifty in the fifth Bangladesh Premier League as he guided Rajshahi Kings to a crushing eight-wicket win over Rangpur Riders at the Sher-e Bangla National Stadium on Saturday.
Chasing a modest total of 135 runs, Rajshahi openers Mominul and Lendl Simmons added 122 runs in just 15.2 overs helping the side reach 138-2 with 20 balls to spare after Rangpur made just 134-5 in the first match of the Dhaka phase.
Mominul remained unbeaten on 63 runs off 44 balls with four fours and three sixes while Simmons made 53 runs off 50 balls before his run-out as Rajshahi won their first match of the season after consecutive defeats in Sylhet.
Mominul owed his innings to Nazmul Islam, who dropped the left-hander at deep square-leg off Mashrafee bin Murtaza in the third over of their innings when he was batting on one.
Mushfiqur Rahim led Rajshahi for injured Darren Sammy and was perhaps relieved to lose the toss that led his counterpart Mashrafee bin Murtaza making a blunder.
Mashrafee won the toss and opted to bat first, allowing Farhad Reza and Mehedi Hasan Miraz to put his side into the backfoot from the start of the game.
Mehedi removed Johnson Charles for two and Farhad delivered a double blow in his first over after coming as first change bowler when he dismissed Adam Lyth for four and Mohammad Mithun for 18 in the space of three balls.
Ravi Bopara and Shahriar Nafees steadied Rangpur’s innings as they added 49 runs in the fourth wicket but wasted nine overs in the process to put pressure on the other batsmen.
In a desperate attempt for runs, Nafees heaved one at long on to Malcolm Waller off Kesrick Williams after scoring 23 off 31 deliveries.
Bopara stayed till the end to score an unbeaten 54 off 51 balls but they were not enough to give his side a competitive score as Rangpur have now lost two of their three matches.
‘Obviously, it’s a concern for us,’ Rangpur skipper Mashrafee said after the match. ‘We’ll have to play big matches now and things will be more difficult for us.
Mashrafee admitted his communication gap with coach Tom Moody led him to toss blunder.
‘We made some mistakes in our communication. After I opted to bat first I think that I might have made a mistake here. Coach [Moody] told me to field but I heard that he was telling me to bat first in the match. I think that it would be good for us if we bowled earlier,’ said Mashrafee.
Man-of-the-match Mominul also said that Rangpur’s toss blunder helped their side win.
‘In Mirpur wicket, bowlers get some help from the pitch in the first 5-6 overs and we utilised the opportunity here,’ said Mominul. ‘In the second half of the match, I think that the wicket became very batting friendly and Simmons also batted well,’ said Mominul.
Rangpur Riders 134-5 in 20 overs (Bopara 54 not out, Shahriar 23; Farhad 2-28) v Rajshahi Kings 138-2 in 16.4 overs (Mominul 63 not out, Simmons 53)
Result: Rajshahi Kings won by 8 wickets
Man of the match: Mominul Haque
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