Dhaka Dynamites clinched the Bangladesh Premier League in style, as they dismantled Rajshahi Kings to win by 56 runs in front of a full house in Mirpur. This is the third triumph for a Dhaka franchise in four BPLs, with the Gladiators having won in the 2012 and 2013 editions.
It was also sweet revenge for Dhaka who were beaten by Rajshahi in both their league games earlier in the tournament. Rajshahi, one of two new franchises this season, were left dejected after having made a late dash into the final by beating Chittagong Vikings and Khulna Titans in the playoffs.
While they would be proud of their overall campaign, their top order left the middle and lower order too much to do in the final, as they collapsed from 62-1 to 98-8, losing seven wickets for 36 runs as they tried to chase down 160. They were eventually bowled out for 103 in 17.4 overs.
Nurul Hasan, like he has in most of this BPL, holed out to mid-off after hitting a boundary in the third over. Mominul Haque and Sabbir Rahman added 47 runs for the second wicket which led the recovery but they were dismissed within four deliveries of each other. Mehedi Maruf’s direct hit from short fine-leg found Sabbir a few inches short while Mominul, who made 27 off 30, was given out leg-before although the Shakib Al Hasan delivery appeared to have been missing off-stump.
Rajshahi’s chase was hence dependent on Samit Patel, James Franklin and Darren Sammy, but the big-hitting trio fell in three consecutive overs when it mattered the most.
In the 13th over, Franklin chipped left-arm spinner Sunzamul Islam to deep midwicket before Shakib’s arm-ball bowled Sammy after he had struck a six off the previous ball. Dhaka removed Patel in the 15th over, brilliantly caught by Andre Russell who ran forward at least 15 yards from long-off and dived full length. They also didn’t forget to mimick Rajshahi’s selfie celebration at this point.
The final ended on a sour note after Kesrick Williams was struck on his right elbow by a full-blooded and needless return throw from Dwayne Bravo. Williams was floored for several minutes, before walking back to the pavilion retired hurt. The trophy was clinched when Nazmul Islam’s top-edge off Russell was easily caught by Kumar Sangakkara who had earlier played an important hand to see Dhaka through to 159.
Dhaka had stuttered through most of their 20 overs. Maruf was dropped twice, on 1 and 6, before giving a catch to point off his namesake Mehedi in the fourth over. Nasir Hossain, who also survived a chance on 4, was stumped off Afif Hossain’s well angled delivery later in the same over before Darren Sammy trapped Mosaddek Hossain leg-before for 5.
But Evin Lewis bided his time at the other end, before getting into the groove. He’d hit eight boundaries to reach 45 when Rajshahi removed him with a poor Farhad Reza delivery down the leg-side that had Lewis fall over while flicking it to short fine-leg. Dhaka’s big-hitting trio of Bravo, Russell and Shakib Al Hasan didn’t come good either, leaving much of the hitting to Sangakkara.
Left to bat with the tail-enders, Sangakkara scooped Kesrick Williams for a six – only the second of the innings – in the 19th over, before he and Sunzamul managed to take 15 runs from the last over, which ultimately gave Dhaka an above-average score which proved too formidable for Rajshahi.