Rajshahi are well set to grab a playoff berth with five wins in six matches, while Cumilla have just two wins from six games
Opening batsman Soumya Sarkar finally came out his run drought with an unbeaten half-century, but his effort was in vain as Cumilla Warriors conceded a 15-run loss against Rajshahi Royals in the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League T20 Saturday.
Rajshahi are well set to grab a playoff berth with five wins in six matches, while Cumilla have just two wins from six games.
Chasing 191, Soumya found his groove batting at No 4 and scored his first BPL fifty since 2015. He blasted a 48-ball 88 with five fours and half a dozen sixes. However, the other Cumilla batsmen could not survive the pressure of chasing a big total.
Cumilla made yet another shuffle among the opening, but this failed to reap dividends as the side struggled to 29 for 2 in six overs. Opener Robiul Islam pershied to Farhad Reza on 12, while in form batsman Dawid Malan could add just three to the tally before getting caught against Andre Russell.
From this point, Soumya took charge as he paired with other opener Stiaan van Zyl to stabilize the chase with 46 runs for the third wicket. Rajshahi all-rounder Shoaib Malik removed Stiaan on 21 to break the partnership and bring in Sabbir Rahman with Cumilla reeling on 75 for three in 10 overs.
Sabbir has been struggling in the tournament and the match was an opportunity for him to break out of his shell, but the right-handed batsman only managed 25 runs in 23 deliveries.
In the meantime, Soumya reached his fifty off just 36 balls, but the required run rate kept ramping up the pressure. Cumilla required 34 off the last over, and Soumya smashed Russell for two sixes and a four to take 19 runs.
Earlier, Rajshahi were sent to bat first after losing the toss and got off to a good start with Liton Das and Afif Hossain adding 56 runs to the board. The opening stand was broken with Liton’s dismissal on 24, and Malik joined Afif in the hunt for some quick runs. Afif repeatedly found the middle of the bat on the day, adding 43 off 30 deliveres with six boundaries and a six. Malik smashed his fifty off 35 balls.
At the end stage of the innings, Russell and Malik threw the kitchen sink at the Cumilla bowlers and the duo added 73 runs to the board in the last five overs. Former Pakistan captain Malik had scored 61 off 38 deliveries, with five fours and three over boundaries, when he was dismissed via a run out on the last ball of the innings. Russell remained unbeaten on 37 off 21 balls, including four sixes.
23RD MATCH, CWvRR
RAJSHAHI ROYALS INNINGS R B
Liton c Haider b Sanjamul 24 19
Afif b Soumya 43 30
Malik run out (Ankon) 61 38
Bopara b Mujeeb 10 12
Russell not out 37 21
Extras (lb 3, w 12) 15
Total (20 Overs) 190/4
Fall Of Wickets
1-56 (Liton), 2-80 (Afif), 3-106 (Bopara), 4-190 (Malik)
Haider 3-0-31-0, Mujeeb 4-0-25-1, Al-Amin 4-0-49-0, Wiese 2-0-30-0, Sanjamul 4-1-20-1, Robiul 1-0-14-0, Soumya 2-0-18-1
CUMILLA WARRIORS INNINGS R B
Robiul c Sukkur b Farhad 12 15
Van Zyl b Malik 21 23
Malan c Malik b Russell 3 5
Soumya not out 88 48
Sabbir c Russell b Irfan 25 23
Wiese not out 16 6
Extras (lb 1, w 9) 10
Total (20 Overs) 175/4
Fall Of Wickets
1-26 (Robiul), 2-29 (Malan), 3-75 (Van Zyl), 4-127 (Sabbir)
Russell 3-0-44-1, Irfan 4-0-24-1, Taijul 1-0-6-0, Farhad 4-0-48-1, Kapali 1-0-9-0, Afif 1-0-8-0, Bopara 3-0-16-0, Malik 3-0-19-1
Rajshahi Royals won by 15 runs
MoM: Shoaib Malik (RR)