Chattogram Challengers returned to winning ways and registered their second win in three games after comfortably defeating Rangpur Rangers by six wickets in yesterday’s first Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League game at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
Chasing a modest target of 158 on a batting-friendly pitch, Chattogram rode on Chadwick Walton’s fifty and Imrul Kayes remained unbeaten on 40 to clinch an easy win in 18.2 overs.
Walton and Avishka Fernando provided a solid start, adding a flying 68-run opening stand before the latter departed after scoring 37 off 23 balls with three sixes and two fours.
Imrul then joined Walton and Chattogram were cruising towards a win before the West Indies batsman departed after scoring his fifty off just 34 balls, which included three sixes and four boundaries.
Chattogram then lost two more wickets in quick succession as skipper Mahmudullah Riyad – who staged a comeback after missing the first two games due to a hamstring injury -- departed after scoring fifteen and Nasir Hossain fell for three.
However, Imrul made sure there were no more hiccups at the other end and remained unbeaten on a 33-ball 44 with three fours and two sixes.
Earlier, young Naim Sheikh helped Rangpur post a fighting total after they were asked to bat. His 54-ball 78 featured three sixes and four boundaries while none of the other batters were able to score significantly.
Skipper Mohammad Nabi’s 21 was the second highest score as Rangpur kept losing wickets at regular intervals on way to their second defeat.
Ahead of the BBPL, the BCB President Nazmul Hassan informed that this edition of the T20 event would be a platform for local players to showcase their talent, keeping the upcoming T20 World Cup next year in mind.
Mahmudullah, who captained the Bangladesh T20I team on a tour of India last month, informed that locals had so far performed according to expectations and that they were on the right track. However, he added that the BBPL could also be a great platform for local leg-spinners.
“So far we played three matches. Imrul played well and Mustafizur Rahman also bowled well today [Saturday] and I have spoken to him and he is working really hard. Tamim Iqbal also got runs and Mushfiqur Rahim is also in good touch. Naim Sheikh also batted well today so I think we are on the right rack when it comes to performances from locals,” said Mahmudullah.
SCORES IN BRIEF
RANGPUR RANGERS: 157 for 8 in 20 overs (Naim 78, Nabi 21; Williams 2-35)
CHATTOGRAM CHALLENGERS: 158 for 4 in 18.2 overs (Walton 50, Fernando 37, Imrul 44 not out; Gregory 2-27)
Result: Challengers won by 6 wickets.
Player-of-the-match: Mohammad Naim.