Mominul fashions Rajshahi’s first win

Rajshahi Kings beat Rangpur Riders by eight wickets to register their first win of the fifth edition of the Bangladesh Premier League, thanks to a magnificent 122-run opening stand between Mominul Haque and Lendl Simmons, at the Sher-e-Bangla National stadium yesterday.

Mominul remained unbeaten on 63 off 44 balls featuring four fours and three sixes while Simmons added 53 off 50 balls as Rajshahi chased down a modest target of 135 with 20 balls to spare.

However Mominul was a bit lucky as he had a reprieve on one when he pulled a short delivery from Rangpur skipper Masharfe Bin Mortaza straight to deep square leg where Nazmul Islam dropped the rather straight forward catch. The pocket-sized dynamo, as Mominul is known in local circuit, made the blowing side pay for that transgression.

The left-hander, who last played a T20I for Bangladesh more than three years ago, was the more aggressive of the two openers, with his six over long-on against Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga being one of the highlights of his effortless batting.

Interestingly Mominul also became the first Bangladeshi batsman to score a fifty in the ongoing BPL after a series of disappointing run from the other locals.

“I think I am still being myself,” Mominul said when he was asked whether he was eyeing a return to the limited overs side. “It’s actually about how you set the target.  If you make up your mind to improve, you have to make it a habit of not getting out after scoring 40-50 rather you have to stay till the end. Only then you can improve and I am trying just that.”

Earlier Rangpur skipper Mashrafe opted to bat, reportedly by mistake, after a miscommunication with the coach Tom Moody who had asked him to field first. The decision came back to haunt Mashrafe’s side who found going tough on a pitch which was on the slower side early on.

Rangpur openers continued their poor run of form in their third consecutive game as Johnson Charles departed after scoring two while his opening partner Adam Lyth was dismissed by Farhad Reza for just four.

Mohammad Mithun was the second victim of Reza as he top-edged a short ball to cover after scoring 18.

All-rounder Ravi Bopara, however, continued his fine form and resurrected the innings somewhat. The Englishman remained unbeaten on 54 off balls, featuring three fours and two sixes. Shahriar Nafees was the second highest scorer for the side with 23 runs off 31 balls.

The last three overs of the innings yielded 34 runs as Rangpur thought they put a modest total on the board, only to find Rajshahi come out with all guns blazing.

Source: The Daily Star

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