Sylhet Sixer make a dream Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) debut when they beat holders Dhaka Dynamites by nine wickets in front of a full-house home crowd today.
It was almost a perfect day for Sylhet against the heavyweights of Dhaka. They bowl beautifully to restrict the holders to a modest 136 and then batted spectacularly to post 137-1 in 16.5 overs.
Openers Upul Tharanga and Andre Fletcher virtually toyed with the Dhaka bowlers in a 125-run stand before West Indian Fletcher was out for a 51-ball 63 that contained three massive sixes and five fours. Sri Lanka’s Tharanga hit an unbeaten 69 off 48 balls. The left-hander struck five boundaries and a couple of sixes.
Earlier, winning the toss and electing to field the home side entertained the crowd with some controlled bowling.
Led by their captain Nasir Hossain, Sylhet never allowed the star-studded Dhaka to break free. Although the wicket at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium was on the slower side, almost all the home bowlers bowled intelligently to set the platform of a comfortable win.
Nasir bowled his off-spinners with great effect to finish with 2-21. Opening the bowling, a wily Nasir dismissed both the Dhaka openers including a menacingly poised Evin Lewis for 26. England pacer Liam Plunkett then dismissed a vastly experienced Kumar Sangakkara, who offered a tame catch at mid-off after scoring a 23-ball 32.
Dhaka skipper Shakib Al Hasan and big-hitting West Indian Kieran Pollard tried to rebuild the innings after young Mosaddek Hossain was run out in a comical fashion. But every changes Nasir made in bowling turned gold. Medium pacer Abul Hossain struck in his very first over. He had Pollard caught by Nasir in the deep for 11.
Shakib tried to up the tempo but perished to Plunkett at mid-off for 23. South African left-hander Cameron Delport hit a 13-ball 20, but there was little firework from Dhaka in an innings that contained eight fours and four sixes.
Plunkett was most economical with 2-20 in his four overs. Hasan also took 2-24. But it was Nasir who was involved almost in everything Sylhet created in the first half much to the delight of the raucous home crowd.