Khulna sneak home in nailbiter
Khulna Royal Bengals 171 for 6 (Smith 55, Russell 35*) beat Sylhet Royals 169 for 8 (Akmal 82, Styris 48*) by two runs
Chittagong's first match of the BPL went down to the wire as Sylhet Royals fell short by two runs against Khulna Royal Bengals. The opener Kamran Akmal put Sylhet on track with a blazing 82, but the batting fell apart, leaving plenty to do for Scott Styris, who nearly gave his side their first win (after four defeats) with an unbeaten 48.
Akmal scored at two runs-a-ball in his 41-ball knock, smashing four sixes. However, the Khulna spinners took the initiative away from Sylhet with quick strikes. Akmal fell off the first ball of the 12th over with the score on 101 for 2. At 129 for 6, Khulna were on the upswing, but found it difficult to control a rampaging Styris.
The New Zealand batsman took the game till the final over, bowled by Shakib Al Hasan. Ten were needed off the last two balls and a massive straight six by Styris brought it down to four off one. Shakib fired it full on the pads and Styris could only drill it down to long-on. Akmal and Styris were the only two players to pass double figures, in an otherwise sorry Sylhet scorecard.
Earlier, it was the West Indian duo of Dwayne Smith and Andre Russell who combined to push Khulna to a match-winning score. Smith arrested a top-order failure with a 31-ball 55, before Russell finished the innings in a flurry with a 14-ball 35.