BPL T2O: Dhaka Gladiators sneak 13-run win over Rajshahi

Dhaka Gladiators, showing their grit in later half of both the innings against Duronto Rajshahi, earned a 13-run victory in their 6th match of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 Season 2 at the MA Aziz Stadium here Friday.Opting to bat first after winning the toss, Dhaka Gladiators scored 137 runs for 5 wickets in quota 20 overs.
Dhaka lost Mohammad Ashraful (1) early in the 2nd over, but they rolled back with a 52-run partnership in the 2nd wicket between opener Soumya Sarker and one down Enamul Haque Bijoy.
Bijoy scored 25 runs off 18 balls with two fours and a six before getting out in the 8th over (total 53-2) while his partner, left-handed Soumya, scored 30 runs off 24 balls with four fours and a six. Soumya got out in the 10th over when the team total was 65 for 3.
After that two down Owais Shah steered the Gladiators’ innings without any contribution from the other batsmen.
Owais Shah, getting two lives, capitalized on the opportunity to hold the innings that severely lacked any late order pushing for the tempo. Shah scored 43 runs off 40 balls with four fours and a six. He remained not out with number seven Mashrafe bin Mortaza (7) as Dhaka managed 137 for 5.
Two slow left-arm bowlers Taijul Islam and Naeem Islam Jr claimed two wickets each for 24 and 37 runs respectively in their 4-over spells while Sri Lankan off-break Dilshan Munaweera took one wicket for 18 in 4 overs.
Chasing a moderate 138 runs, Duronto Rajshahi opener Tamim Iqbal started with a bang and picked up 27 runs from the first two overs of Gladiators skipper Mashrafe Mortaza. He drove the first ball of the innings down the ground for a four and came down in the track to smash the next ball over the long off for a maximum.
Tamim charged down the track several times in his quickfire 18-ball 33 that included six fours and a six. In the 2nd over bowled by Alfonso Thomas, Tamim smashed a back of length delivery, coming down the track, which beat the diving mid-off fielder. In the 3rd over, Tamim put Mashrafe to the sword with the hits of 0,4,0,4,4,4.
Rajshahi, however, lost the aggression after Tamim got out in the 4th over giving an easy catch to short mid wicket Owais Shah off an Alfonso Thomas delivery.
In fact, Rajshahi had not had any partnership going that cost them the match. Apart from Tamim and number five Chamara Kapugedera (31), the top order failed miserably. With 88 for 5 in 12.1 overs, there was still a glimmer of hope for Rajshahi with skipper Jahurul Islam (9) and Sri Lankan Kapugedera in the crease.
But the pair could not provide the momentum needed as the two managed only 26 runs off 28 balls before Kapugedera’s 29-ball knock including two fours came to an end.  Jahurul got out in the 18th over when Rajshahi needed 23 runs off 16 balls.
And the tail enders coming into the act, the Durontos eventually fell 13 runs short of the target scoring 124 for 9 in 20 overs.
Though number eight Abul Hasan (7) hitting a four in the 19th over created some chances, it could not turn the table as he was run out in the last over.
Dhaka Gladiators’ right-arm fast-medium Alfonso Thomas, left-arm fast medium Chris Liddle of England, and two slow left-arm spinners Saqlain Sajib and Mosharraf Hossain Rubel, all claimed two wickets each.
But Alfonso Thomas was named player of the match for his economical spell of 15-2 in 4 overs.
The day’s win ensured Dhaka Gladiators 10 points from six matches to closely follow Sylhet Royals who top the table with 12 points from seven matches.

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