Khulna Royal Bengals beat Dhaka Gladiators by 19 runs

Published: February 12, 2012

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Khulna Royal Bengals and Barisal Burners won their respective matches in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 in front of a cheering crowd at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

The tournament finally came to life as the stands finally got the anticipated number of spectators on the second day of the competition where Khulna beat Dhaka Gladiators by 19 runs and Barisal Burners posted their second consecutive victory with a 22-run success against Duronto Rajshahi, who suffered their second defeat in the one-sided affair. It is believed that the reduction in ticket prices and a hurricane hundred from Chris Gayle on the opening day changed the scenario after a frustrating turnout in the opening ceremony and opening day’s matches.

Though there was nothing like Gayle’s innings on the second day there was no shortage of entertainment in terms of big-hitting display.

A win could have brought relief for Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, who is going through a tough time following the disclosure of spot-fixing allegation, but Dhaka Gladiators were short of discipline in their bowling and then lacked fireworks in the batting, which helped Shakib Al Hasan’s Khulna Royal Bengals secured a 19-run victory in the first game.

Andre Russell, the 29-year old all-rounder from Jamaica, was the hero of the match taking four wickets after an unbeaten 15-ball 37 cameo.

“They (Khulna) played better cricket. It would be fantastic for me if we could win the match. I’m not worried with anything because I know how to handle tough situations in life,” said Mashrafe when asked about whether he was under pressure with the off-field happenings.

Dhaka sent the two experienced campaigners Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Harschelle Gibbs back to the pavilion cheaply but Shakib joined another West Indian Dwayne Smith to set the platform for a score of 175 for five.

Shakib, who later also contributed with the leather by taking one for 25 runs in four overs, batted brilliantly during his 31-ball 42 that contained four sweetly timed boundaries while Smith added 37 off 31 balls with three fours and a six.

Then the job was perfectly finished by Russell and Nasir Hossain who was unbeaten on a 12-ball 22 that saw two fours and a massive six.

Dhaka desperately needed a flying start in reply but their openers Imran Nazir and Nazimuddin failed to do that the players like the dashing Kieron Pollard were nowhere near their best.

Requiring 34 runs from the last two overs, all eyes were on the big West Indian but Dhaka could manage only nine runs from the penultimate over to make the job difficult as they needed 25 runs from last over.

Russell picked up two wickets off the first two deliveries to kill all hope for Dhaka. Pollard’s unbeaten 32-ball 39 only reduced the margin.

KHULNA ROYAL BENGALS: 175-5 in 20 overs (Chanderpaul 19, Gibbs 14, Smith 37, Shakib 42, Russell 37 not out, Nasir 22 not out; Mahmood 2-20)

DHAKA GLADIATORS: 156-7 in 20 overs (Nazir 14, Nazimuddin 21, Mahmood 28, Stevens 38, Pollard 39 not out; Russell 4-35)

Result: Khulna Royal Bengals won by 19 runs.

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