The MA Aziz Stadium filled to the brim on the weekly holiday and the electrifying crowd saw Dhaka Gladiators continue their winning run in the port city as they beat Duronto Rajshahi in the day's first game of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
Defending champions Dhaka Gladiators won the match, their fifth in six encounters, without star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who watched the match from the dugout due to a hamstring injury which may even sideline him from today's match against Chittagong Kings.
Chasing a manageable 138 to win, the left-handed opener Tamim Iqbal entertained his home fans initially with a sparkling 18-ball 33 that saw six fours and a six. But the Chittagonian's good start went in vain as Duronto Rajshahi continued their poor middle order batting. Rajshahi were in a very strong position to win their third game in six matches as they required only 33 runs from last five overs with five wickets in hand but ultimately they finished their 20-over quota on 124-9.
“There was some turn in the pitch but it cannot be an excuse because it was a chaseable target. We got a start from Tamim but the problem remained same with the middle order. One from the middle order should have finished the game. Chamara Kapugedera and myself went for shots too early which was a mistake,” said Rajshahi skipper Jahurul Islam.
But the Dhaka's bowlers especially Alfonso Thomas, Chris Liddle, Saqlain Sajib and Mosharraf Hossain also deserved some praise not only taking two wickets each but also for their tight bowling when defending a small total.
“The wicket was not easy for batting but Rajshahi got a start from Tamim. We were waiting for a wicket and it happened. Our bowlers did an excellent job,” said Dhaka's wicketkeeper batsman Anamul Haque.
Earlier Owais Shah guided Dhaka towards a decent total after Mashrafe Bin Mortaza had decided to bat first. Soumya Sarker and Anamul provided the foundation sharing a 51-run stand for the second wicket. And Shah followed that up by hitting four boundaries and a six during his unbeaten 40-ball 43.
SCORES IN BRIEF
DHAKA GLADIATORS: 137-5 in 20 overs (Soumya 30, Anamul 25, Shah 43 not out, Cobb 14, extras 7; Nayeem 2-37, Taijul 2-24, Munaweera 1-18)
DURONTO RAJSHAHI: 124-9 in 20 overs (Tamim 33, Munaweera 15, Kapugedera 31, Ervine 15, extras 6; Thomas 2-15, Liddle 2-27, Saqlain 2-17, Mosharraf 2-17)
Result: Dhaka Gladiators won by 13 runs.
Player-of-the-match: Alfonso Thomas