Captain Andre Russell pulled off yet another brilliant all-round performance to take Rajshahi Royals towards their maiden Bangladesh Premier League trophy, defeating Khulna Tigers in the tournament final in Dhaka this Friday (January 17) by 21 runs.
Russell scored a blistering 16-ball 27 not out and delivered a spell of 2/32 to bag the "Player-of-the-Match" award on the big night.
Earlier, Royals were put in to bat after losing the toss, before wicketkeeper batsman Irfan Sukkur (52) scored a valiant half-century and apart from Russell, Mohammad Nawaz (41*) also took the opposition attack to the cleaners in the lower middle-order as their team finished with an intimidating total of 170/4 in 20 overs.
Mohammad Amir (2/35), Robbie Frylinck (1/33) and Shahidul Islam (1/23) bowled quite well for the Tigers but the rest struggled.
In the run-chase, Khulna's openers went down cheaply and while the duo of Shamsur Rahman (52), Rilee Rossouw (37) kept the team afloat with a 74-run partnership, it was a free fall once they departed; skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (21) was the next highest score in the line-up as the Tigers could manage to reach only as far as 149/8, conceding the game and the title.
Mohammad Irfan (2/18), Kamrul Islam (2/29) and Russell delivered the stand-out spells for Royals when it mattered the most.
Rajshahi Royals 170/4 in 20 overs (Irfan Sukkur 52; Mohammad Amir 2/35) beat Khulna Tigers 149/8 in 20 overs (Shamsur Rahman 52; Mohammad Irfan 2/18) by 21 runs in BPL 2019-20 final