Three wins in a row for Rajshahi
Duronto Rajshahi 144 (Samuels 36) beat Dhaka Gladiators 130 for 7 (Nazir 54*, Sami 3-23) by 14 runs
Duronto Rajshahi continued an impressive revival with their third victory on the trot, to move up to joint-second on the points table. A tight penultimate over from Abdul Razzaq and a final-over hat-trick from Mohammad Sami helped them end Dhaka Gladiators' three-game winning streak.
After Rajshahi were sent in to bat, their openers Shahzaib Hasan and Junaid Siddique raced to 45 in five overs before the innings lost momentum. Both openers and new recruit Khalid Latif, the Pakistan batsman playing his first match in the league, were dismissed in the space of 10 runs. Marlon Samuels then steered the innings, top scoring with a 38-ball 36. While it wasn't the most frenetic of innings, it was one Rajshahi needed as none of Samuels' partners lasted long, so much so that the team was bowled out for 144.
It might have seemed a straightforward target for Dhaka's array of big-hitters, but even though Imran Nazir batted through the innings they ended up short. The chase began smoothly with a solid opening stand, before being interrupted due to a power failure at the stadium. The asking-rate began to climb after that, but Dhaka were still in with a chance, especially when Kieron Pollard and Nazir were in the middle.
Latif contributed with a smart catch of Pollard at the boundary in the 17th over but Dhaka stayed alive by taking 14 off Sami's next over. Sami will get plenty of headlines for getting the first hat-trick of the league, but the game-changing over was the penultimate one from Razzaq. Coming on to bowl when 26 was needed off two overs, Razzaq gave away only five runs leaving Dhaka an almost impossible 21 to get off the final over. Sami knocked over the stumps off three successive deliveries to confirm the victory for Rajshahi.