Rangpur Riders 169 for 3 (Rossouw 76*, Bopara 40*) beat Khulna Titans 161 for 5 (Stirling 61, Shafiul 2-44) by 8 runs
How the game played out
Rangpur Riders picked up their first win in the BPL, after beating Khulna Titans by eight runs in a contest that was alive until the penultimate ball of the match. Farhad Reza defended 20 runs in the last over, keeping Carlos Brathwaite quiet.
Paul Stirling’s 61 off 46 balls had put the Titans in a strong position chasing 170, but his dismissal in the 14th over, and captain Mahmudullah’s in the 18th over, put them under pressure in the last two overs.
The Riders, after being bowled out for 98 in the first game, corrected their batting strategy significantly, despite losing Mehedi Maruf in the fourth over. They lost two more wickets by the tenth over before Rossouw and Bopara put on the game’s most important partnership, adding an unbroken 104 for the fourth wicket.
Rossouw struck eight fours and two sixes, both off Ali Khan in the 16th over, while Bopara, who made 44 in the first game, struck three fours and a six in his unbeaten 40 off 29 balls.
Rossouw and Bopara blast 67 off the last five overs, including 21 off Carlos Brathwaite’s 18th.
Stirling and Junaid Siddique propel Titans to 85 for no loss in 10 overs.
Stirling falls to Mashrafe Mortaza in the 14th over with his side still needing 62 off 41 balls.
Mahmudullah falls with Titans needing 30 off the last 14 balls.
Star of the day
Rossouw exacted revenge on the Titans, for whom he had made 187 runs in nine innings in last season’s BPL. This was his first fifty in the competition too – he paced himself initially before launching into the big shots in the last few overs.
The big miss
After removing Ariful Haque off the first ball of the penultimate over of the Titans innings, Shafiul Islam conceded 10 runs off the rest of the over, including three consecutive wides.
Where the teams stand
Rangpur’s first win, especially after a poor performance in the first game, comes as a significant confidence builder.