KRB humbled at homeStaff Correspondent
Sylhet Royals romped to their third consecutive win in the Bangladesh Premier League when they hammered local side Khulna Royal Bengals by six wickets at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna on Wednesday.
Hamilton Masakadza and Paul Stirling set up the crushing win with a quickfire 78-run opening stand as Royals, who have now joined Dhaka Gladiators at the top of the table, raced to 146-4 having restricted the Royal Bengals to 145-7.
Royals still trail Gladiators on net run rate but that should not give any ill feeling to the side which lost their first seven matches in the previous campaign.
Masakadza smacked 52 off 30 balls before he was bowled by Afghan pacer Shapoor Zadran, who was earlier at the receiving end of some disdainful hammering from the Zimbabwean and his Irish opening partner Stirling.
Stirling also hit left-arm spinner Sanjamul Islam for three sixes in one over on his way to a 14-ball 38, which included three fours and four sixes. Thanks to the duo Sylhet reached 81-1 in their first six overs of batting powerplay, the highest by any side in the competition.
Royals’ win was never in doubt after such a terrific start, though they lost a few wickets late on before reaching their target with 22 balls to spare. Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim was unbeaten on 19 when Elton Chigumbura, man of the match in their previous win, hit the winning boundary off Asif Ahmed.
This was Khulna’s third defeat in three matches despite Riki Wessels making the first half-century for side in the tournament with his unbeaten 63 off 44 balls.
Khulna Royal Bengals 145-7 in 20 overs (MH Wessels 63 not out, L Vincent 29; S Gazi 2-20, DP Nannes 2-20) v Sylhet Royals 146-4 in 16.2 overs (H Masakadza 52, P Stirling 38; N Samad 2-23).
Result: Sylhet Royals won by 6 wickets.
Man of the match: H Masakadza (SR)
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