Barisal lose to Khulna Royal Bengals

Published: February 14, 2012

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Pacer Shafiul Islam initiated an early blow from which Barisal Burners failed to recover and consequently suffered their first defeat at the hands of Khulna Royal Bengals in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

West Indies batsman Dwayne Smith won the man-of-the-match award for his unbeaten 41-ball 58 which helped Shakib Al Hasan’s Khulna Royal Bengals sail to an easy seven-wicket victory and stopp Barisal’s winning spree as eclipsed Barisal’s 125 all out with 131 for three and 16 balls to spare.

But it was lanky paceman Shafiul who laid the platform for Khulna to bounce back in emphatic fashion after losing the previous game against the Chittagong Kings. Dashing opening pair Chris Gayle and Ahmed Shehzad played the pivotal roles behind Barisal’s success in the first two games but Shafiul removed both the openers cheaply by the time the score reached 13 in 4.2 overs. The Barisal middle-order could not repair the damage to put up a fighting total, and were only able to score 125 because of Mominul Haque, who was magnificent during his innings of 42 off 24 balls.

It was fantastic to watch the 20-year old left-hander and the way he executed shots during his impressive knock. The young left-hander swept Shakib through fine leg to hit his first boundary and it was eye-catching when he slogged Sanath Jayasuriya over square leg for the maximum.

Mominul then smashed two consecutive boundaries against pacer Andre Russell and hammered a six over long on against the same bowler in his next over before he mistimed a scoop against Shahadat Hossain to find a fielder at fine leg.

Smith also entertained the small crowd as the right-hander clobbered four sixes — one against Gayle to finish the game in style — and three boundaries while Chanderpaul chipped in with a 26-ball 27 that saw two sixes and a boundary.

The defeat raised the question of whether Barisal was overly dependent on one Chris Gayle but captain Shahriar Nafees dismissed the notion.

“Khulna is the most balanced side in the tournament and they bowled brilliantly to restrict us to only 125 runs. Gayle played his part in the first two games but that doesn’t meant we totally depend on him. I think this defeat will help us to play better cricket in the next matches,” said Nafees.

BARISAL: 125 all out in 20 overs (Hodge 12, Mustard 25, Arafat 10, Mominul 42, Nazmul 10; Shafiul 2-7, Shakib 2-19, Jayasuriya 2-17)

KHULNA: 131-3 in 17.2 overs (Chanderpaul 27, Gibbs 11, Smith 58 not out, Jayasuriya 23; Shuvo 2-20)

RESULT: Khulna Royal Bengals won by seven wickets.

Man-of-the-match: Dwayne Smith

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