Barisal bow out
The Barisal Burners were eliminated from the Bangladesh Premier League after Sylhet Royals beat them by two wickets, in a tense finish at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday. Batting first Barisal scored 144 which Sylhet managed to overtake with two balls and one wicket remaining.
Sylhet's victory cuts the chase for the all important fourth spot between Duronto Rajshahi and the Rangpur Riders. Rangpur will go through only if they beat Barisal in today's game. If they fail, Rajshahi will make it through, based on head to head wins.
With 47 runs required of the last six overs and seven wickets in hand, Sylhet were eyeing a comfortable victory. However, things changed as Royals suddenly lost crucial wickets of Mushfiqur Rahim (34) and Nazmul Hossain Milon (1) in the 16th over and the pressure was back on. It would have been worse had Alauddin Babu held on to a diving catch to get rid of Elton Chigumbura in the same over.
The 'pressure-game' continued between the teams as Sylhet required another 39 of the last four overs. Seven runs of the 17th over was followed by a six and a four in the first two balls of the 18th. The balance however shifted just for a brief period as Sylhet lost both Chigumbura and Mominul Haque in consecutive deliveries.
With 19 runs required of the last two overs, the 'pressure-pendulum' stopped as Mohammad Nabi smacked three fours. Sylhet needed just four runs in the last over; a task they completed with ease. Sylhet's chase had earlier been boosted by Paul Stirling's 29-ball 42.
Earlier, the Barisal Burners slumped to 92 for 8 in 16 overs after being put into bat. A 30-run partnership between Elias Sunny (20) and Alok Kapali (34) for the ninth wicket, helped the Burners post 144. Skipper Brad Hodge top-scored with a 40-ball 46. Mominul Haque with his slow-left armers was the pick of the bowlers with two for 14 in three overs.
SCORES IN BRIEF
BARISAL BURNERS: 144 for 9 in 20 overs (Hodge 46, Kapali 34; Mominul 2-14).
SYLHET ROYALS: 145 for 9 in 19.4 overs ( Stirling 42; Hamid Hasan 3-31).
Result: Sylhet won by one wicket.
Man-of-the-match: Paul Stirling