Bangladesh Premier League 2019-20: 5 performances that stood out
The 2019-20 edition of the Bangladesh Premier League was a big success. Apart from Sylhet Thunder who never really came to the party, there was fierce competition between the remaining six teams.
The tournament witnessed some of the finest batting performances, not only from the locals like Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das, Imrul kayes and Tamil Iqbal but also from the overseas picks like Rilee Rossouw, Shoaib Malik and Dawid Malan.
Among the bowlers, Mustafizur Rahman got back some of his fizz back, ending as the league's top wicket-taker, with experienced hand Rubel Hossain also making an impact. Pakistan pacers Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz also had a good run in the tournament.
Najmul Hossain Shanto (Khulna Tigers)
Najmul Hossain Shanto hadn't had the best of tournaments and was somewhat playing for his place against Dhaka Platoon. Chasing 206, Shanto came out to open the batting for the Tigers.
With pressure to go after the bowling from ball one, the opener, not known for his power game, put forth a masterclass of powerplay batting to keep up with the required run rate throughout. He finished with a 57-ball unbeaten 115, his maiden T20 ton. The knock came at a strike rate of 200 + and took the Tigers to victory with almost two overs remaining.
Mohammad Amir (Khulna Tigers)
Having said goodbye to red-ball cricket, the pressure is always high on Mohammad Amir. Somehow, he is expected to deliver game-changing performances all the time. To add to that, his national team is also keeping a close eye on the pace bowler.
One thing that stands out with Amir is that he may not make the most impact in the not so important games but when it comes to the big matches, he is pumped up and rises to the occasion.
Playing for Khulna Tigers against Rajshahi Royals in Qualifier 1, his team needed a good hand from the experienced bowler to make it to the finals. Defending a par score of 158, Amir struck first up, claiming four wickets within his first three overs.
Not only that, the wickets he accounted for were Liton Das, Afif Hossain, Alok Kapali, Andre Russell, Taijul Islam and Shoaib Malik - all of whom could have had a big impact on the match. With figures of 6/17, Amir made it to history books as the best figures ever recorded in the Bangladesh Premier League.
Mushfiqur Rahim (Khulna Tigers)
It is amazing why Mushfiqur Rahim doesn't feature for more franchises across the world in T20 leagues. He is equally capable against the spinners and the pace bowlers and has no difficulty in playing the cut and pull shots.
One of the finest specimens of his batting came in Bangladesh Premier League's league match between Khulna Tigers and Cumilla Warriors at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Dhaka. Batting first, Rahim came out at number 4 and set up a master class with an unbeaten 98 off 57 deliveries, that came at a strike rate of 171.
Despite ending the innings just two shy of his century, the Khulna Tigers skipper batted the Warriors out of the match and helped his team to a 92-run victory.
Wahab Riaz (Dhaka Platoon)
If Mohammad Amir rocked the BPL with best bowling figures in the tournament, how could his perpetual partner in crime, Wahab Riaz lag far behind? Playing for Dhaka Platoon against Rajshahi Royals, the Platoon were chasing 178 when Riaz came to the party.
He dismissed Liton Das, Alok Kapali and Shoaib Malik - three of the Royals' top batsmen to break their back. The pacer returned to dismiss Nahidul Islam and Kamrul Islam to record sensational figures of 5/8 and take the team to a 74-run victory.
Andre Russell (Rajshahi Royals)
Andre Russell started off his Bangladesh Premier League campaign with bowling figures of 37/1 and a quick-fire 28 but was out of the headlines thereafter. The Royals skipper however, continued his good work in the background and stepped up only when required.
One of such occasions was in a knockout - the 2nd Qualifier - when the Royals needed to beat Chattogram Challengers in order to move to the finals. On the big stage, Andre Russell upped his game, first claiming a crucial wicket of Imrul Kayes.
With the Royals lagging behind the match after losing some quick wickets, the skipper came out to bat at number 6 and changed the face of the match in no time. Off just 22 deliveries, he clobbered an unbeaten 54, at a strike rate of close to 250, to take the team home in the last over and walk away with the Man of the Match award.
Russell also bagged the Man of the Match in the final and the Man of the tournament to leave an indelible mark over BPL 2019-20.
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