Khulna Royal Bengals skipper Sakib al Hasan’s valiant 41-ball 86 could not prevent his side’s 9-run defeat to Dhaka Gladiators in the second semi-final of the Bangladesh Premier League as the latter booked their place in today’s final on Tuesday.
Dhaka was pumped up with the presence of Shahid Afridi, the most expensive player of the tournament, along with Saeed Ajmal while Khulna also ensured the service of Mohammed Hafeez.
In a wicket that had absolutely nothing for the bowlers Dhaka batted first to pile up a challenging total of 191-4 courtesy of some big hitting from Imran Nazir (41 off 25 balls), Azhar
Mahmood (65 off 39), Mohammad Ashraful
(47 not out from 33 balls) and Afridi’s unbeaten 11-ball 27 which had three big sixes.
Mahmood and Ashraful were involved in a crucial 72 runs partnership for the fourth wicket after they were left at 63-3 in eight overs. Mahmood’s blazing knock had six fours and three sixes in it.
With the asking run rate close to 10 runs per over, Khulna were left trailing at 55-4 in eight overs before Sakib and Nasir Hossain (35 off 28) fought back.
Khulna were starting to believe they can win but their 87-run partnership was broken by Afridi, who otherwise was expensive giving away 35 runs in four overs.
Needing 43 from three overs Ajmal and Sunny bowled the 18th and
19th over brilliantly giving away just five and eight runs respectively, leaving 30 runs to get in the final over.
Sakib, slammed nine fours and four sixes, finished off with two sixes in the last two balls which only reduced the deficit margin.
-With New Age input