Abul Hasan and Liam Plunkett picking three-wicket hauls capped off an all-round performance for the Sylhet Sixers who bagged a 33-run win to extend their unbeaten streak to three games in the Bangladesh Premier League 2017.
In a steep chase of 206 on Tuesday (November 7), Rajshahi Kings started strong, but barring Luke Wright and James Franklin, none of the other batsmen were up for the challenge. At the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium after opting to chase, they only managed to reach 172 for 8 at the end of 20 overs, unable to register a win now in two games.
Sylhet’s openers, Upul Tharanga and Andre Fletcher took on the Kings’ bowling and gave the side the perfect start with a century-run opening stand. A stand that came at almost ten an over came to an end when Fletcher was run out two runs short of a half-century – but a 48 that came off just 30 balls, with five fours and three sixes. Tharanga fell in the next over for a 37-ball 50 as the Kings roared back into the game. It was a Sri Lankan special for Sylhet though as middle-order batsman Danushka Gunathilaka stood up after the double strike.
Gunathilaka attacked from the onset and raced away to 42 in no time. It took him just 22 balls with three sixes and two fours before Kesrick Williams had him sent back. An unbeaten 12-ball cameo from Ross Whiteley that fetched him 25 runs took Sylhet over the 200-run mark.
Wright and Mominul Haque shared a 50-run stand for the opening wicket but Plunkett levied a double blow by striking twice in the same over. Haque and Rony Talukdar fell in the space of three deliveries. Hasan then followed suit and the double strike in the tenth over pegged the Kings back with a lot of work left for the lower middle-order to do.
Wright was fighting a lone battle en route a fifty, falling for a 39-ball 56 to Kamrul Islam, while Franklin (35 off 23 balls) was run out by Plunkett in the following over after the pair added 54 runs for the fifth wicket.
There was too much for the lower order to do, as the rate rose beyond reach, who as expected, fell well short with Hasan and Plunkett striking once again to pick up their third wickets. Hasan finished with figures of 3 for 22 in four overs, while Plunkett had 3 for 29. But Gunathilaka was named the Man of the Match for his dynamic cameo in the middle.
Sylhet Sixers 205/6 in 20 overs (Upul Tharanga 50, Andre Fletcher 48, Danushka Gunathilaka 42; Kesrick Williams 2-39) beat
Rajshahi Kings 172/8 in 20 overs (Luke Wright 56, James Franklin 35; Abul Hasan 3-22, Liam Plunkett 3-29) by 33 runs.