Khulna: Khulna Royal Bengals edged past Rangpur Riders by nine runs in a close encounter in front of a jam packed Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium on Friday. Winning the toss and opting to bat first, Khulna Royal Bengals lost opener Lou Vincent early but Shahriar Nafees played a gem of an inning to help them post a competitive total of 150.
Nafees made 53 from 50 balls that included five boundaries and two sixes. At one point Royal Bengals were struggling for 44 for 4 in ten overs. But a blitz from Nafees and later a 41-ball 48 from Daniel Harris helped them out of trouble. Royal Bengals made 106 runs in the last 10 overs.
Then, defending a 150, brilliant show by fielders and bowlers helped them restrict Riders to 141 for 7 in their quota of overs. Shapoor Zadran, the Afghanistan left-arm fast bowler, bowled a brilliant spell to take three wickets in his first two overs, while Daniel Harris kept things tight with his medium pace to restrict the Riders to 141 for 7.
Captain Shahriar Nafees scored a fifty and Shapoor Zardan picked up three wickets as Royal Bengals beat Riders.
Nasir Hossain continued his fine form as he smashed 70 off 49 balls but his effort went in vain as rest of the batsmen failed to make any impact. Khulna Royal Bengals have now won two matches after a stuttering start in this edition of Bangladesh Premier League.