Mominul Haque hit a fluent unbeaten fifty to guide Rajshahi Kings to a thumping 8-wicket victory against Rangpur Riders in the first game of Bangladesh Premier League’s Dhaka-leg at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.
Bracketed as a Test batsman, the left-hander struck 63 of 44 balls as Rajshahi chased down Rangpur’s modest 134-5 with 3.2 overs to spare. Mominul, who last played a T20I for Bangladesh more than three years ago, was actually the aggressor of the two openers. He completed his fifty in style, hitting Sri Lanka’s pacer Lasith Malinga for a six over mid-on. The pocket-size batsman struck four fours and three sixes. West Indies opener Lendl Simmons, who featured in a fantastic 122-run opening stand, scored a 50-ball 53 that contained five boundaries and a six.
It was Rajshahi’s first win after two defeats in the opening leg at Sylhet. The win exacted a sweet revenge against Rangpur.
Interestingly, Mominul was the first Bangladesh batsman to have scored a fifty in the on-going fifth edition of the BPL dominated by the foreign exports so far.
Earlier, Ravi Bopara hit an unbeaten half-century as Rangpur Riders recover from a jittery start to post 134-5.
The England all-rounder struck a 51-ball 54 after his captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza won the toss and elected to bat. The right-hander, who scored an unbeaten 39 when his side beat Rajshahi in the first leg in Sylhet, hit three fours and a couple of sixes this time.
Bopara apart, Shariar Nafees scored a 31-ball 23 and Ziaur Rahman 11 not out. Off-spinner Mehedi Hasan, who struck early in the Rangpur innings, finished with fantastic figures of 19-1 in his four overs. Experienced pace bowler Forhad Reza took two wickets for 28 runs.
Rangpur made two changes to their side, with Adam Lyth and Abdur Razzak replacing Samiullah Shenwari and Sohag Gazi. Rajshahi made four changes, bringing in Mohammad Sami, Nihaduzzaman, Lendl Simmons and Malcolm Waller for Hossain Ali and Samit Patel, and the injured pair of Luke Wright and Darren Sammy. Mushfiqur Rahim is leading Rajshahi in Sammy's absence.