POST TIME: 7 December, 2017 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 7 December, 2017 01:34:59 AM
Dhaka take a giant stride towards final
Comilla beat Sylhet
Sports Reporter

Dhaka take a giant stride towards final

Dhaka Dynamites skipper Shakib Al Hasan sends the ball to the boundary during his unbeaten 47-run knock against Rangpur Riders during their BPL-5 match at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the capital yesterday. BCB PHOTO

Defending champions Dhaka Dynamites took a giant stride in playing their second consecutive BPL final following their comprehensive 43-run win over Rangpur Riders yesterday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. The victory put them in second position, meaning they will play the first Qualifier against Comilla Victorians—the winner of the game will have direct entry to the final. The looser will get another chance to play the final when they will meet the winner of the Eliminator game, which will be played between Khulna Titans and Rangpur Riders.

Dhaka and Khulna earned same 15 points but the former edged the latter with a better run rate.

While Dhaka fielded their full-strength side, considering the significance of the game, Rangpur chose to rest some of the key players like Chris Gayle, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza since the positive outcome of the match even wouldn’t have guaranteed them a place in the Qualifier game. They finally finished the group phase with 12 points in 12 matches.

Brendan McCullum led the side in absence of Mashrafe but continued his poor BPL form, which is the reason of his side’s huge defeat despite they restricted Dhaka to 137 for seven. Only three batsmen of Rangpur could reach double digit figure as they were able to score just 94 for seven in the stipulated 20 overs.

Ravi Bopara was the highest scorer for them with 28 not out while opener Johnson Charles made 26.

Dhaka captain Shakib Al Hasan led the side from the front with a tremendous all-rounder effort, returning a figure of 4-1-13-2 and an unbeaten 33 ball-47.

Shakib was key in propelling the side to the safe zone after Dhaka had wobbled at 48 for five in 10th over. He shared a crucial 55 runs partnership with Mehedi Maruf for the sixth wicket stand in which the latter made 23 ball-33.

Shakib was slow in his approach in a bid to protect the wicket but came up with the fire in the death overs to steer the side towards safety. He hit two fours and as many sixes in his knock.

Later in bowling, he made valuable contribution. He simultaneously stemmed the run flow of Rangpur and at the same time scythed through the middle order to make his side favourite to win the match in low-scoring affair. Shakib’s wickets included dangerman Brendan McCullum and inform Mohammad Mithun, the duo who could fire Rangpur to the victory.

Mosaddek Hossain Saikat drew the blood first with the wicket of Adam Lyth while Abu Haider Rony dismissed Johnson Charles who grew with confidence as the time passed. Johnson smashed two sixes in his 26.

Haider also finished with two wickets after removing Shahriar Nafees for 7. Shakib Al Hasan however was adjudged man of the match for his all-round performance.

In the second match of the day, Comilla Victorians warmed up well ahead of their Qualifier game against Dhaka Dynamites, as they beat Sylhet Sixers by 25 runs in the last match of BPL group phase at the same venue.

The 2015 BPL champions racked up 170 for four after which their bowlers restricted Sylhet to 145 for seven.

Opener Liton Das found his form finally, striking 43-ball 63, a knock studded with six fours and three sixes, in a match what was considered for a warm-up game for Comilla ahead of the qualifier game against Dhaka Dynamites.

Marlon Samuels played a perfect foil to Liton with 55 off 43, hitting five fours and two sixes. The duo added 83 runs for the third wicket after Comilla were left to 37 for two, losing Joss Buttler (3), promoted to opening position, and Imrul Kayes (7) cheaply.

Standing on the superb platform, Shoaib Malik, who led the side in absence of Tamim Iqbal, hammered an 18-ball 28 with one four and two sixes to steer the side to a strong total. Tamim has been given rest for the upcoming encounter

Sylhet’s aim to bow out the tournament with some pride was severely dented by leg-spinner Graeme Cremer, who in his unchanged four over spell claimed three wickets to slice the top order conceding just 15 runs. Left arm spinner Mehedi Hasan Rana then joined the party to make sure there would be no miracle. Sabbir Rahman was the top scorer for Sylhet with a 20-ball 31.

Comilla finished the group phase as table topper with 18 points in 12 matches while Sylhet Sixers earned 9 points from 12 matches to end the tournament as fifth.