Minister Group Rajshahi continued their winning streak in the Bangabandhu T20 Cup 2020. Riding on the fifty of captain Najmul Hossain Shanto, Rajshahi beat Gemcon Khulna by six wickets on Thursday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
Khulna won the toss and opted to bat first, but failed to set a challenging total on the board. Riding on the highest individual score of 41 by Ariful Haque, they posted 146 for six in 20 overs.
In reply, Najmul hit 55 off 34 balls with six fours and three sixes and set up a solid foundation for Khulna. Anisul Islam Emon, who had impressed earlier hitting five boundaries and one six, failed to replicate his performance and posted only two this time. He fell prey to Al Amin Hossain as the first wicket to fall while chasing a moderate total.
After losing the first wicket at 25, Najmul and Rony Talukdar added 47 runs in the second-wicket stand. Rishad Ahmed, the 18-year-old leg-spinner, picked up the next two wickets— Rony (26) and Najmul (55) — keeping the hope of Khulna alive.
But Mohammad Ashraful (25*), Fazle Mahmud (24) and Nurul Hasan (11*) delivered good performance to ensure the second successive win for Gemcon Rajshahi.
Rajshahi ended up on 147 for four in 17.2 overs and sealed the game by six wickets. In the first game, they beat Beximco Dhaka.
Earlier, Khulna scored 146 runs for six in 20 overs. While Imrul Kayes suffered another duck, Shakib Al Hasan (12), Mahmudullah Riyad (7) and Jahrul Islam failed to impress with the bat. However, Ariful (41*), Shamim Hossain (35) and Anamul Haque (26) and Shahidul Islam (17) did well.
Ariful, who smashed four sixes in the last match, hit Mukidul off for two sixes during the 19th over of this game. He helped Khulna to get close to 150-run mark. But due to the lean display from other batsmen, Khulna failed to offer a tough challenge.
For Rajshahi, Mukidul Islam took two wickets for 44 while Ebadat Hossain, Mahedi Hasan and Arafat Sunny bagged one wicket each.
After this game, the authority of Bangabandhu T20 Cup 2020, conducted a one-minute silence to pay homage to late football legend Diego Armando Maradona, 60, who passes away last night. The players of Gemcon Khulna, Minister Group Rajshahi, Beximco Dhaka and Gazi Group Chattogram were presented while observing the silence, which was telecast live.