The spirited Rajshahi Kings have clawed their way back as they register 3rd consecutive wins to keep their playoff hopes alive, defeating the table-toppers Khulna Titans by 9 runs. Setting a target of 155, piloted by the skipper Darren Sammy, the Kings restricted the Titans to 145/6.
Chasing down the target, Khulna lost 2 wickets within 3 overs. Mahmudullah repaired the early casualties by putting 47 runs with Riki Wessels (36) and then 39 from just 17 balls with Nicholas Pooran. Sammy, after bowling out Wessels, kept the fight alive for the Kings by catching Pooran, who scored 28 from 12 balls with 1 four and 3 sixes, at the deep extra cover boundary off Mehedi Hasan Miraz’s delivery. Abul Hsan Razu then bowled Mahmudullah for run-a-ball 33 which gave the match a thrilling smell as KHT required 48 from 32 balls. Ariful and Kevin Cooper attempted a late lifting but Cooper was caught behind for 14. Requiring 28 from the final 2 overs, the Titans failed to dominate over impressive Mohammad Sami and Farhad Reza who successfully kept KHT 9 runs short.
Earlier in the evening, the Kings started it sluggishly as they scored 57 from the first 10 over losing 3 top order batsmen. Cooper removed three others (one run out by Ariful Haque) from his immediate two overs reducing RK to 88 for 6. It was then skipper Darren Sammy who took the responsibility on his back for one more time scoring unbeaten 71 runs dazzlingly from 34 balls with 4 fours and 5 sixes, which eventually got the the team total past 150-mark.
Rajshahi Kings 154/7, 20 overs (Sammy 71*, Junaid 21; Cooper 2/31, Shafiul 2/53); Khulna Titans 145/6, 20 overs (Wessels 36, Mahmudullah 33, Pooran 28; Sammy 1/8, Nazmul 1/17)
Result: Rajshahi Kings won by 9 runs
Player of the Match: Darren Sammy (Rajshahi Kings)