Mighty Dhaka overpower Rajshahi in one-sided BPL affair
|| CF Correspondent ||
Showing the might that made them red-hot favourite in the sixth edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), Dhaka Dynamites began their campaign in emphatic fashion as they secured a 83-run win over Rajshahi Kings in their opening game of the cash-rich tournament on Saturday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
Opener Hazratullah Zazai, the Afghanistan recruit of Dhaka dazzled with 41 ball-78, keeping his more illustrious colleagues under his shadow, to help Dhaka post a mammoth 189 for five after which the bowlers made a mockery with Rajshahi Kings batting line up to wrap them up for just 106 in 18.2 overs.
Known for his big-hitting prowess, Zazai lived up to the reputation in an innings in which he struck seven sixes and four fours, in a display of clean hitting.
His opening partner Sunil Narine played a second fiddle to him but yet brought up boundaries and over boundaries so often to help Dhaka reach 100 runs in just nine overs.
Zazai got off the mark, hitting Rajshahi Kings skipper Mehidy Hasan Miraj three sixes in his first over, to make his captaincy debut a forgettable one. He treated all bowlers in equal disdain and Rajshahi Kings only compounded their woes when wicket-keeper Zakir Hasan shelled an easy catch of Zazai when he was on 50.
However the all important breakthrough came when Mohammad Hafeez dismissed Narine for 38 before he smashed four fours and two sixes in his 28 balls knock. The partnership by then reached 115 in 10.5 overs.
A 200 was on the cards but Rajshahi bowlers bounced back nicely to stem the run flow. Skipper Mehidy was at the fore, having Zazai caught by Soumya Sarkar at long on.
Afghan leg-spinne Qais Ahmed and left-arm spinner Arafat Sunny then sparked a mini middle order collapse to leave Dhaka 136 for five from 124 for one.
But Dhaka got such a superb depth in batting that it mattered little. Andre Russell and Shuvagata Hom then took the charge with the latter surprisingly outshining a natural attacking batsman Russell, who boasted a strike rate of 170 in T20s, in shot making.
Clobbering five fours and two sixes, Hom hammered an unbeaten 14 ball-38 while Russell’s 21 not out came off 19 balls as they combined for a 53 off 28 in an unbroken sixth wicket stand.
Dhaka’s bowlers then made the Rajshahi Kings batsmen’s life hell in an unpredictable Mirpur pitch, which suddenly got slower and lower. Pace bowler Rubel Hossain led the charge with three for seven while young pacer Mohor Sheikh returned figures of two for 24 in four overs in his maiden T20 appearance.
It all started with skipper Shakib Al Hsan who opened the gate of a one-sided victory, dismissing Mominul Haque for eight.
Mohor Sheikh and Rubel then dismantled the middle order in a gem of pace bowling, leaving Kings batsmen in clueless state.
Opener Mohammad Hafeez was the highest scorer for Kings with 29 while three other batsmen—Arafat Sunny (18), Mustafizur Rahman (11 not out) and Loury Evans (10) could reach double digit figure.
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