BPL 2016: Caribbean Calypso at the BPL

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Rajshahi Kings moved one step closer to the finals

Captain Darren Sammy took the Rajshahi Kings one step closer to their final ambitions after leading his side to a three-wicket victory over the Chittagong Vikings in the Eliminator round of the playoffs at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. Rajshahi recovered from 55 for 5 to chase down 143 in 18.3 overs, incidentally after Sammy scored an unbeaten 55, thus knocking out Chittagong from the competition.

Walking in to bat with half his side back in the pavilion, Sammy hammered Mohammad Nabi’s off-spin for three consecutive fours in the 12th over to get the chase back on track. Sammy kept going despite losing a well-set Nurul Hasan and Kiwi all-rounder James Franklin at the other end.

The suicidal run-out of Mehedi Hasan Miraz in the 15th over further dented their hopes as they slipped to 94/7. But Sammy was equal to the task as he repeated his earlier act and smashed three consecutive fours past backward point in the next over bowled by Subhasis Roy, to bring down the target from 43 required off 30 to a more achievable 27 from 24 balls.

He reached his second fifty of the tournament with a straight six off Nabi, bringing it up in just 23 balls, but there was no show of emotions as he overlooked the personal milestone and focussed on the job of taking his team through. However, as soon as Farhad Reza struck the winning runs, he joined the Rajshahi players as they celebrated the moment by pretending to pose for selfies.

Earlier, Chittagong’s ploy of including Dwayne Smith in the opening slot and pushing Chris Gayle to No.3 backfired when the former was caught at slips for a duck, in the third over of the innings bowled by fast bowler Kesrick Williams.

However, Gayle went on a rampage in a 74-run partnership with Tamim Iqbal. The West Indian marauder struck as many as five sixes in his innings of 44 that came off 30 balls. At the other end, Tamim continued his fine form as he notched up his sixth fifty of this season – a tournament record he now shares with fellow Bangladeshi Shamsur Rahman – but did not end up on the winning side.

The Vikings’ batting, with the exception of Tamim and Gayle, made no notable contributions in a total of 142. Kesrick Williams starred with the ball for the Rajshahi Kings and finished with exceptional figures of 4/11 off his 4 overs.Brief Scores: Chittagong Vikings – 142/8 (Tamim Iqbal 51 (46), Chris Gayle 44 (30); Kesrick Williams 4/11 (4), Farhad Reza 2/26 (4) ;)Rajshahi Kings – 143/7 (18.3) (Darren Sammy 55* (27), Nurul Hasan 34 (28), Farhad Reza 19* (11); Saqlain Sajib 2/24 (4), Subashis Roy 2/28 (3) ;)Result: Rajshahi Kings won by 3 wickets and progress to the second Qualifier. Darren Sammy was adjudged the ‘Player of the Match’ for leading his team to victory with a quick-fire 55.

Andre Russell was on song for the Dynamites

Shakib Al Hasan’s Dhaka Dynamites routed Khulna Titans by a resounding 54-run margin to march into the finals of the 2016 edition of the Bangladesh Premier League. Khulna Titans will have another go at it when they meet the Rajshahi Kings in the second Qualifier tomorrow.

Winning the toss, the Khulna Titans opted to bowl and made early inroads into the Dynamites’ batting. Pakistani left-arm pacer Junaid Khan removed their top three – Mehedi Maruf, Evin Lewis and Kumar Sangakkara – leaving them reeling at 28/3 by the end of the first four overs.

Captain Shakib Al Hasan and Nasir Hossain stayed briefly to double the score before they both gifted their wickets to the harmless, part-time bowling of Andre Fletcher. The Caribbean pair of Andre Russell and Bravo combined in the back end of the innings to lift the score to 140. The duo added 49 for the 7th wicket, the former scoring a quick 25-ball 46. For the Titans, Junaid Khan finished with figures of 4/24 off his 4 overs.

The Khulna Titans got off to a flyer, courtesy Andre Fletcher, who top scored with 28. However, the West Indian T20 specialists were at it again, this time with the ball. Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo ran through the Titans’ batting and picked three wickets each as the Khulna Titans suffered a massive collapse from being 33/0 at the end of five overs to be bowled out for a paltry 86. No other Titans batsman, except Ariful Haque, touched double figures.Brief Scores: Dhaka Dynamites – 140/8 (Andre Russell 46 (25), Dwayne Bravo 23* (22); Junaid Khan 4/24 (4), Andre Fletcher 2/22 (3) ;)Khulna Titans – 86 (16.2) (Andre Fletcher 28 (22), Ariful Haque 14 (16); Andre Russell 3/16 (4), Dwayne Bravo 3/10 (2.2) ;)

Result: Dhaka Dynamites won by 54 runs and moved to the finals. Andre Russell’s all-round match-winning contribution won him the ‘Player of the Match’ award.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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