Nurul Hasan and Mominul Haque began the chase with a couple of boundaries, but they kept the bowlers always interested with their inclination flay their blades at anything that was pitched up. That eventually led to the downfall of Nurul, who failed to read a slower delivery from Aby Jayed and found Andre Russell at mid-off. On a pitch that wasn’t the best one for stroke-making, rotating the strike and latching on to the bad balls were key. Realising that, Mominul and Sabbir Rahman got busy, keeping the scorecard ticking and putting away anything that was in their zone as they built a steady partnership to take Rajshahi to 40 for 1 at the end of the powerplay.
Rajshahi went boundary-less for a few overs but the second-wicket pair kept the required rate under 10 and looked in control. However, the partnership – worth 47 runs – came to an end when Sabbir failed to make it to the crease in time after being called for a quick single. Mominul followed soon after, trapped leg-before by Shakib.
Dwayne Bravo’s ‘Champion’ dance made an appearance as the West Indian held on to a catch at mid-wicket after James Franklin had mistimed a flick off Sunzamul Islam. But Dhaka Dynamites still had to deal with Samit Patel – the hero of Kings’ wins against Dhaka in the league stage – and Darren Sammy, a proven finisher.
When Patel and Sammy combined for a four and a six off Shakib in the 14th over, the tension was palpable on the faces of Dhaka players. However, their skipper soon provided them some cheer by striking timber after Sammy tried to cut a delivery that was full. And then there was uncontrollable joy for Shakib’s team as Russell took a superb diving catch to send back the England allrounder.
Nazmul Islam was the last to depart, falling to Russell in the 18th over, leading to scenes of jubilation in the Dhaka camp.
Earlier, asked to bat first, the unchanged Dynamites did not have the best of starts on a trying wicket. Mehedi Maruf was troubled by short deliveries and wasn’t getting getting the connection right, his struggle finally came to an end when he could not get the elevation while trying to clear Williams at cover, giving Mehedi Hasan his first wicket.
Kings’ bowlers stuck to disciplined lines, not letting the batsmen get away. While Lewis preferred to play the wait-and-watch game, Nasir Hossain looked to wield the long handle, which eventually brought about his downfall. Although he was dropped by Samit Patel at mid-off, the 17-year-old spinner Afif Hossain did not have to rue too long about the dropped chance as he had the batsman stumped a short while later in the fifth over. Dhaka, who had managed 42 in the powerplay, lost another important batsman soon after the fielding restrictions were lifted as Mosaddek Hossain was trapped in front by Sammy off his first delivery.
The onus was on Lewis and Kumar Sangakkara to lead Dhaka’s recovery and put them on course for a good total. Lewis, who had initially taken his time, was beginning to find the ropes as his innings wore on. A couple of productive overs helped Dhaka’s cause as Lewis took the attack to Sammy and Afif, whose two overs yielded 28 runs as Dynamites moved to 82 for 3 after 10 overs. Lewis was looking set for the long haul but his innings came to an abrupt end as a sharp fielding effort from Williams as short fine-leg gave Reza a wicket.
Bravo, with his lusty hitting, helped Dynamites regain the momentum that was halted with the fall of Lewis’s wicket. But his stay was cut short when he was short of the crease at the striker’s end. Andre Russell was put down by Sabbir Rahman, much to the frustration of Nazmul and his team. But Rajshahi could heave a sigh of relief in the very next over as Reza held on to a fine catch at long-off – keeping the ball in play while he crossed the ropes and then getting back in time to hold on to the ball – to see the back of Russell.
Sangakkara saw batsmen depart after cameos at the other end even as he battled on, trying to push Dhaka to a strong total. Shakib Al Hasan hit a couple of useful boundaries before being bowled by Raza while Alauddin Babu fell to Williams. Sangakkara though was undeterred as he employed the paddle-scoop to good effect, sending a Williams delivery over the fine-leg fence and executing a similar shot off Reza in the last over for a four. He departed off the penultimate delivery, but a 15-run final over meant that Dhaka finished their innings on a strong note.
Brief scores: Dhaka Dynamites 159/9 in 20 overs (Evin Lewis 45, Kumar Sangakkara 36; Farhad Reza 3-28) beat Rajshahi Kings 103 in 17.4 overs (Mominul Haque 27, Sabbir Rahman 26; Abu Jayed 2-12, Sunzamul Islam 2-17, Shakib Al Hasan 2-30) by 56 runs.