Defending champion Dhaka Dynamites produced yet another commanding performance as they defeated Rajshahi Kings by 68 runs in their BPL 2017 match at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Saturday.
Chasing 202, Rajshahi managed to score 133 losing all of their wickets within 18.2 overs. This is Rajshahi’s fourth loss in six games.
Rajshahi lost opener Rony Talukder (nought) in the very first over as in-form Dhaka pacer Abu Haider Rony trapped him in front. Rajshahi lost regular wickets in their chase and never really managed to keep a lid on the required run rate.
Young left-handed batsman Zakir Hasan scored some quick runs as he made 36 off 23 balls with five fours and a six. Captain Darren Sammy (19 off 15 balls) and opener Mominul Haque (16 off 22 balls) also posted contributions with the bat but it proved to be inadequate in the end.
Pakistan recruit Shahid Afridi was the best performer for Dhaka with the ball as the veteran all-rounder took four wickets with his leg-spin, conceding 26 runs in his quota of four overs. Haider took three wickets while skipper Shakib al Hasan bagged two.
Earlier, Rajshahi won the toss and elected to field. Rajshahi made two changes to their playing XI from the previous match as there were no places for seamers Mohammad Sami and Kesrick Williams. And surprisingly, Rajshahi played with only three foreign players.
Afridi opened the innings alongside the West Indies’ Evin Lewis and as expected, Dhaka made a flying start.
Dhaka crossed the 50- run mark within four overs and mainly, credit should go to Lewis. Afridi (15 off eight balls) was the first batsman to be dismissed as Rajshahi spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz cleaned him up.
Player of the match Lewis continued his aggressive batting at the other end and eventually scored 64 off 38 balls with 10 boundaries and an over-boundary. In the meantime, Miraz picked up another wicket for Rajshahi with a beautiful delivery in the seventh over.
After losing Lewis’ wicket, Dhaka’s run rate came down a little bit as they lost the wickets of Shakib (11) and Nadif Chowdhury (six).
But the giant West Indian Kieron Pollard once again played a superb innings in the latter part of their innings, helping his side past the 200-run mark. Pollard remained unbeaten on 52 off just 25 balls, hitting five fours and three sixes.
Pollard formed a 62-run partnership with Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara (28) for the sixth wicket to enable Dhaka register a huge total.
Young pacer Hossain Ali was the best bowler for Rajshahi as he took three wickets giving away 38 runs while Miraz took two wickets.
With this win, Dhaka remained at the top of the points table with nine points from six games.
133 in 18.2 overs (Afridi 4/26, Haider 3/11) lost to Dhaka Dynamites
201/7 (Lewis 64, Pollard 52*) by 68 runs
WHAT THEY SAID
Darren Sammy, Rajshahi Kings captain
During the start of our game we had to enforce two changes. Two of our key bowlers [Mohammad] Sami and Kesrick [Williams] were out. Dhaka [Dynamites] have some good players. They really attacked on us. I thought we fought back in the middle part of the innings by taking wickets. But dropped catches cost us. We dropped four catches in our innings and paid the price. I am going to have serious words with our players in the dressing room. As professional players, our fielding standard is poor. I know nobody drop catches intentionally but at the moment we are not able to catch the ball when it goes to the air. So that is definitely one area we need to improve.
Khaled Mahmud, Dhaka Dynamites coach
It was part of our planning to open the innings with [Shahid] Afridi and [Evin] Lewis. We try to figure out the strength of our opponent and according to that we plan our batting order. Initially we want to cash in in the first six overs. That’s why we sent two power hitters at the top. Lewis is a genuine opener but Afridi can also hit cleanly during the fielding restriction. In a T20 tournament it is not possible to fix a batting order. You have to go with the pace of the game in a T20 match. And that’s what we are trying to do. We are trying different combinations according to match situation.