C'paul sinks Dhaka
Veteran batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul proved that age is not a factor in the newest version of the game as Khulna Royal Bengals kept up the momentum with an easy 7-wicket victory over Dhaka Gladiators in the BPL T20 at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium yesterday.
In front of a tiny crowd, Khulna proved their mettle to share top spot with Chittagong Kings and Duronto Rajshahi with eight points each from six matches while Dhaka remained on six points from the same number of outings.
Fresh from a two-run victory over Sylhet Royals on Saturday, the Khulna slow bowlers did an excellent job to restrict Dhaka to 140-8 despite Mohammad Ashraful's 42-ball 53 that featured four boundaries and a six. However, veteran Chanderpaul shaped the comfortable win as the West Indies left-hander hit all over the park during his unbeaten 49-ball 87. The southpaw smote eleven fours and a six as Khulna posted 141-3 in 16.4 overs.
Shakib was the other notable scorer with 39 off 34 balls that contained two fours and as many sixes.
Dhaka's hopes of avenging their 19-run first-leg defeat was dashed when they were shot out for a paltry total following disciplined bowling from Sanath Jayasuriya, Abdur Razzak and Shakib.
Chanderpaul, who got the man-of-the-match award for his scintillating innings, however said that the pitch initially helped the bowlers.
“The pitch took some turn early in the match but by the time we batted it became easier,” said the experienced campaigner.
It's often said that T20 is a young man's game but Chanderpaul had a different opinion. “It depends on whether you are a good player or not. Age doesn't really matter,” observed the 37-year old cricketer from Guyana who has so far played 137 Tests and 268 one-day internationals.
With the victory, Khulna improved their tally to increase their chances of reaching the last four but Chanderpaul wanted to focus on the next matches.
“The team position is looking pretty good now but we cannot let up. We have to try and win the next few games,” said Chanderpaul.
On the other hand Dhaka skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza believed that their total was 15 runs short. “It was a good batting pitch but we were 15 runs short,” said Mashrafe.
When asked whether his performance in the BPL improved his chances of making the Asia Cup squad next month, the pace spearhead said that while he was happy with his bowling it would be unwise to judge any player on the basis of performances in T20 matches.
He placed greater importance on his performances in the Dhaka Premier League prior to the BPL, and preferred to let the national selectors decide on his Asia Cup place.
SCORES IN BRIEF
DHAKA: 140-8 in 20 overs (Ashraful 53, Mahmood 33, Pollard 10, Anamul 15; Jayasuriya 2-25)
KHULNA: 141-3 in 16.4 overs (Chanderpaul 87 not out, Jayasuriya 10, Shakib 39; Mahmood 1-12, Mosharraf 1-19, Mashrafe 1-22)
Result: Khulna Royal Bengals won by seven wickets.