Royals captain Russell was adjudged both man-of-the-match and player-of-the-tournament
The Rajshahi Royals Friday won a topsy-turvy encounter against Khulna Tigers by 21 runs to become Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 champion for the first time.
The Royals bowlers delivered yet another team effort to restrict the Khulna bowlers to 149/8, after the batsmen had posted 170/4.
Earlier, Khulna had opted to field first after winning the toss.
Rajshahi started their innings poorly and lost their first wicket in third over, when Afif Hossain went back to the pavilion after scoring just 10 runs.
In-form opener Liton Kumar Das also struggled in the middle, scoring 25 off 28 deliveries before getting dismissed, while experienced campaigner Shoaib Malik failed to get a big score as well.
No 3 batsman Irfan Sukkur led the recovery with an attacking 52 off just 32 deliveries for Rajshahi.
Late rallies from skipper Andre Russell (27 off 16 balls) and Mohammad Nawaz (41 off 20) ensured that the Royals posted a competitive 170/4.
Mohammad Amir picked up two wickets for Khulna.
During the chase, Khulna did not start well either.
The early wickets of Nazmul Hossain Shanto (nought off two balls) and Mehedi Hasan Miraz (two off four balls) immediately put them on the back foot.
However, the Khulna middle-order of Shamsur Rahman, Rilee Rossouw and Mushfiqur Rahim ensured the match would not be a walk-over.
Shamsur led the way with a composed 52 off 43 balls, while Rossouw chipped in with 37 off 26 balls and Mushfiq with 21 off 15.
Khulna were looking like favorite to win the match with Shamsur and Rossouw at the crease, as the pair formed a 74-run partnership, but Rossouw’s dismissal in the 11th over broke the rhythm of their innings.
The 14th over proved to be another major turning point, with Shamsur and Najibullah Zadran dismissed in quick succession.
After Mushfiq lost his wicket on the penultimate ball of the 18th over, the Khulna innings petered out.
Mohammad Irfan, Andre Russell and Kamrul Islam Rabbi took two wickets each for the Royals, while Mohammad Nawaz and Abu Jayed chipped in with one each.
Royals captain Russell was adjudged both man-of-the-match and player-of-the-tournament.
RAJSHAHI ROYALS INNINGS R B
Liton c Shanto b Shahidul 25 28
Afif c Miraz b Amir 10 8
Sukkur c Shafiul b Amir 52 35
Malik c Shanto b Frylinck 9 13
Russell not out 27 16
Nawaz not out 41 20
Extras (lb 3, w 3) 6
Total (20 Overs) 170/4
Fall Of Wickets
1-14 (Afif), 2-63 (Liton), 3-94 (Malik), 4-99 (Sukkur)
Amir 4-0-35-2, Frylinck 4-0-33-1, Tanvir 1-0-11-0, Shafiul 4-0-38-0, Miraz 3-0-27-0, Shahidul 4-0-23-1
KHULNA TIGERS INNINGS R B
Shanto c Liton b Irfan 0 2
Miraz c Malik b Abu Jayed 2 4
Shamsur c Afif b Rabbi 52 43
Rossouw c Russell b Nawaz 37 26
Mushfiqur b Russell 21 15
Najibullah c Nawaz b Rabbi 4 4
Frylinck c Malik b Irfan 12 15
Shahidul b Russell 0 6
Shafiul not out 7 4
Amir not out 1 1
Extras (lb 2, w 11) 13
Total (20 Overs) 149/8
Fall Of Wickets
1-0 (Shanto), 2-11 (Miraz), 3-85 (Rossouw), 4-101 (Shamsur), 5-105 (Zadran), 6-134 (Mushfiqur), 7-141 (Frylinck,), 8-142 (Shahidul)
Irfan 4-1-18-2, Jayed 2-0-24-1, Russell 4-0-32-2, Malik 2-0-15-0, Nawaz 4-0-29-1, Rabbi 4-0-29-2
Rajshahi Royals won by 21 runs
MoM: Andre Russell (RR)
MoS: Andre Russell (RR)
ROLL OF HONOR
Year Winners Runner-Ups
2020 Rajshahi Royals Khulna Tigers
2019 Comilla Victorians Dhaka Dynamites
2017 Rangpur Riders Dhaka Dynamites
2016 Dhaka Dynamites Rajshahi Kings
2015 Comilla Victorians Barisal Bulls
2013 Dhaka Gladiators Chittagong Kings
2012 Dhaka Gladiators Barisal Burners