A captain’s knock from Shakib Al Hasan powered Dhaka Dynamites to a 32 run win over Comilla Victorians in the first of Saturday’s double header in the Bangladesh Premier League at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. Opting to bat first, Dhaka Dynamites started solidly, courtesy a 38-run opening partnership between Mehedi Maruf and Kumar Sangakkara which was broken when the former was stumped off the bowling of slow left arm bowler Nabil Samad.
Thereafter, the legendary Sri Lankan duo of Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene rolled back the years when they combined to score a steady 45 run partnership for the 2nd wicket. While there was not one exceptional individual contribution, the Dynamites’ batting ticked all boxes for raising a decent score, with five out of the 6 batsmen scoring more than 20.
The skipper provided the much-needed impetus in the last five overs with his 26-ball unbeaten knock of 41 to set the Victorians a target of 171. For the Victorians, Afghan spinner Rashid Khan continued his good bowling show, prising out the wickets of the Lankan duo – both clean bowled by the leggie.
In reply, the defending champions’ poor run in this season continued as they crashed to their seventh loss in eight matches. The Victorians kept losing wickets at regular intervals in a batting performance in stark contrast to that of the Dynamites’ – only the Pakistan pair of Khalid Latif and Ahmed Shehzad crossed 20. Dwayne Bravo, who sent back both these players as well as the Victorians’ captain Mashrafe Mortaza, was Dhaka’s pick of the bowlers.
Brief Scores: Dhaka Dynamites – 170/4 (Shakib Al Hasan 41* (26), Kumar Sangakkara 33 (28), Mahela Jayawardene 31 (27); Rashid Khan 2/26 (4), Nabil Samad 1/16(3))
Comilla Victorians – 138/8 (Khalid Latif 38(33), Ahmed Shehzad 22(22); Dwayne Bravo 3/32(4), Abu Jayed 1/20(4))
Result: Dhaka Dynamites won by 32 runs. The ‘Player of the match’ was awarded to Shakib Al Hasan for his unbeaten 41*.
In the second game of the day, Darren Sammy led Rajshahi Kings to their third consecutive victory within a week with a whirlwind knock of 71 off 34 balls against the top-of-the-table Khulna Titans. After winning the toss and opting to bat first, Sammy had seen the Kings lose almost half their side for just 66 by the 11th over and Samit Patel shortly after, when he walked into bat at the fall of Umar Akmal.
During the innings studded with 9 boundaries – as many as four 4s and five towering 6s – Sammy swung his bat around nonchalantly, reviving his team after the top order collapse. Medium pacer Shafiul Islam bore the brunt of his attacking mood as he was repeatedly launched into the stands by Sammy with his trademark leg side slogs.
Khulna Titans, despite being rocked by two early wickets, kept themselves in sniff of the target of 155 for most part of their innings. A steady 47 run partnership for the 3rd wicket, between the top scorer Rikki Wessels and the captain Mahmudullah, had steadied the ship after the early damage and set the stage for a good finish when Sammy chipped in by knocking over the former’s stumps.
Titans’ wicketkeeper Nicholas Pooran took over with a 12-ball 28 cameo and threatened to take the game away in a hurry, but the ball seemed to follow Sammy today as he pulled Bangladesh’s new find - spinner Mehedi Hasan - straight into his hands at deep-midwicket. Ariful Haque(25*) and Kevon Cooper(14) tried to stretch the game but they eventually ended a few runs short.
Brief Scores: Rajshahi Kings – 154/8 (Darren Sammy 71* (34), Junaid Siddique 21 (18); Kevon Cooper 2/31 (4), Shafiul Islam 2/53, Mosharraf Hossain 1/25 (4))
Khulna Titans – 145/6 (Rikki Wessels 36 (32), Mahmudullah 33 (33), Nicholas Pooran 28(12); Nazmul Islam 1/17 (4), Abul Hasan 1/25 (4))
Result: Rajshahi Kings won by 9 runs. The ‘Player of the match’ was awarded to Darren Sammy for his all-round display.