Rajshahi v Khulna, BPL, Mirpur February 26, 2012

Rajshahi storm into semi-finals

ESPNcricinfo staff

Duronto Rajshahi 110 for 2 (Samuels 50) beat Khulna Royal Bengals 106 (Sami 3-16, Ervine 3-19) by eight wickets

Three wickets each from Mohammad Sami and Sean Ervine helped Duronto Rajshahi thrash Khulna Royal Bengals in Mirpur, and become the first team to qualify for the Bangladesh Premier League semi-finals. Rajshahi shot Khulna out for 106, and they reached the target in just 14.1 overs thanks to a blazing 28 from Shahzaib Hasan and a half-century from Marlon Samuels.

Rajshahi got off to an ideal start when Sami trapped Sanath Jayasuriya lbw with the second ball of the match. They stayed on top for the length of the game. Herschelle Gibbs was dismissed by Abdul Razzaq and then Ervine struck three times to cause a middle-order collapse. Sami came back to wipe out the tail and Khulna were bowled out in 18.5 overs.

The chase was straightforward. Hasan gave Rajshahi a blazing start, and Samuels kept the momentum going, scoring 50 off 38 balls. Shakib Al Hasan was impressive again, bowling his four overs for just 17 runs, and dismissing Hasan, but Rajshahi were always comfortable in the chase.