Dwayne Smith hit an unbeaten 58 as Khulna Royal Bengals beat Barisal Burners by seven wickets in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
The West Indies international hit four sixes and added 45 with former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya to help his team overhaul a modest 126-run total in the 18th over. Earlier, a disciplined show by Bengals reduced the Burners to 67 for seven before Mominul Haque hit a 24-ball 42 to give his team’s bowlers a total to work with.
New-ball bowlers Shafiul Islam and Shakibal Hasan picked up two wickets each and Jayasuriya chipped in with a brace as well. The top three Burners batsmen – Ahmed Shehzad, Chris Gayle and Brad Hodge – all failed as pressure built. It was left to the number eight Haque to restore some pride but the total did not prove enough.
Pollard, Stevens inspire Dhaka win
In another BPL match, Kieron Pollard and Darren Stevens added 95 runs to guide Dhaka Gladiators to a six-wicket win over Chittagong Kings.
Set a competitive total of 154, Dhaka were reduced to 61 for four before Pollard and Stevens combined to steer the team past the finish line. Stevens was 43 not out, while his aggressive partner Pollard hit a 34-ball 50 as the duo took just 11 overs to seal the win.
Earlier, last-match hero and opener Nasir Jamshed added 47 in quick time with Jahurul Islam to set the platform for a competitive total. However, a collapse saw Chittagong lose five wickets for 56 runs with Elias Sunny claiming three wickets.
West Indies international Dwayne Bravo provided the final impetus to the innings, chipping in with a crucial 43 off just 31 deliveries as Kings went past 150. However, the total proved insufficient as Chittagong lost their first match of the tournament.
This was Dhaka’s second win, having played three matches.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 14th, 2012.