A strong opening stand by Mominul Haque and Lendl Simmons helped Rajshahi Kings to earn their maiden victory in the AKS Bangladesh Premier League T20 as they blew away Rangpur Riders by eight wickets in the ninth match of the tournament held Saturday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium at Mirpur.
With this victory, Rajshahi Kings opened their account with two points from three matches while Rangpur Riders remained at their previous credit of two points playing the same number of matches.
The left-handed batsman Mominul played a classy knock off 63 runs from 44 balls laced with four boundaries and three towering over boundaries to take Rajshahi at home along with Rony Talukder (10 n.o) making 138 for 2 with 20 balls to spare, after Rangpur set a modest winning target of 135 runs.
The 26-year Mominul also paired with West Indies batsman Simmons, who gave Rajshahi a solid start contributing 122-run for the opening stand. When Rangpur got the first wicket of Rajshahi removing Simmons Rajshahi were only 13 runs away from their maiden victory in the tournament.
The 32-year-old right-handed batsman Simmons scored 50 balls off 53 runs studded with four fours and one six before he fell victim of a run out. Thisara Perera of Rangpur took one wicket for 12 runs.
Earlier, Rangpur Riders, rode on English batsman Ravi Bopara’s responsible half century, by scoring a modest total of 134 for 5 from their allotted 20 overs, after they opted to bat first.
The 32-year right handed batsman Bopara scored an unbeaten 51 balls off 54 runs studded with three boundaries and two over boundaries and shared an important 49-run fourth wicket stand with Shahriar Nafees (23), after Rangpur suffered early batting jolt losing their three top order batsmen scoring just 33 runs at the scoreboard.
However, Bopara kept his nerve up till the end of the innings enabling his team to post a modest total, despite a tight bowling display by Rajshahi Kings bowlers.
Mohammad Mithun (18) and Ziaur Rahman (11 n.o) were the other two Rangpur Riders who were able to reach the double digits.
Farhad Reza was the most successful bowler as he bagged two Rangpur wickets giving away 28 runs.
Mominul Haque of Rajshahi Kings was named the player of the match for his impressive batting performance.