BPL 2016: Rapid Lewis and reliable Sangakkara lift Dhaka Dynamites to the title
A final which appeared to be swaying from one direction to another eventually ended in Dhaka Dynamites’ clutches. On a sluggish surface at the Shere Bangla Stadium in Mirpur, Rajshahi Kings let slip quite a few moments and had to settle for the runners-up position in the fourth edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
The Dynamites were boosted by Evin Lewis and Kumar Sangakkara who paved the way for a formidable total. While the Caribbean opener adopted the aggressive route to get the innings going, the Sri Lankan legend batted with responsibility and calmness during the end overs even as wickets fell around him quite regularly.
Rajshahi might rue their decision to field first on a pitch which seemed to get slower and slower as the match progressed. They did reduce Dhaka to 42/3 around the Power Play overs but could not prevent Lewis’ onslaught or land the knockout punch by getting rid of Sangakkara.
Discarded Bangladeshi medium pacer Farhad Reza was the pick of their bowlers with his three-wicket haul including the above mentioned duo. Skipper Darren Sammy surprisingly under utilised left-arm spinner Samit Patel who conceded only eight runs from two overs and picked up Andre Russell’s wicket at an opportune time.
With the required run-rate at around 8, the Kings looked to set the platform before unveiling the big shots. Opener Mominul Haque, who averages a praiseworthy 51.66 in Tests, got off to a cautious start which only kept piling on the pressure. He added 47 runs for the second wicket alongside Sabbir Rahman before attempting an ill-fated sweep shot.
Dhaka captain Shakib Al-Hasan led from the front and also got rid of his counterpart by varying his length quite smartly. The likes of Patel and James Franklin threw away their wickets with rash while Sabbir had to pay the price for a suicidal single.
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The lower order was razed without too much fuss as Shakib kept his regular bowlers in action right throughout the game. The all-rounder celebrated the victory by bringing his daughter along for the presentation ceremony. He felt, “This year was the best of the four years of the BPL. The league keeps on improving on and off the field. Hopefully this would help our boys help when they come into the national side.”
Sangakkara eclipsed Lewis for picking up the Player of the Match award. Showing his class off the field, the 39-year old stalwart noted, “I thought it was a great team performance and everybody contributed. Lewis was pretty unlucky to get out when he was threatening to go all out. Our entire tournament has never been about one individual player, it is a team effort that has seen us through.”
Not surprisingly, the Player of the Tournament award went to Khulna Titans skipper Mahmudullah for his contributions with both bat and ball. Aside from finishing as the league’s second highest run-scorer, he picked up ten wickets as well with most of those coming under pressure.
Brief Scores: Dhaka Dynamites – 159/9 from 20 overs (Evin Lewis 45, Kumar Sangakkara 36, Farhad Reza 3-28); Rajshahi Kings – 103 all out from 17.4 overs (Mominul Haque 27, Sabbir Rahman 26, Abu Jayed 2/12)
Result: Dhaka Dynamites won by 56 runs and lift the 2016 BPL edition.