Shehzad ton powers Barisal into final
Barisal Burners 189 for 2 (Shehzad 113*) beat Duronto Rajshahi 184 for 6 (Ervine 82, Mushfiqur 58, Arafat 3-30) by eight wickets
A master-class in big-hitting from Ahmed Shehzad put the unlikely semi-finalists, Barisal Burners, in the final of the Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20. They beat the in-form Duronto Rajshahi by eight wickets, with ridiculous ease. Shehzad, the Pakistan opener, struck an unbeaten 49-ball 113, guiding the steep 185-run chase and giving the slowly-growing crowd a lot to cheer about at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
Man-of-the-match Shehzad hit six sixes, including four in a row off Abdul Razzaq (who conceded 26 in that over), and a dozen boundaries in his whirlwind innings - his hundred was the fourth fastest in all Twenty20 cricket. He added 103 runs in 7.5 overs for the first wicket with Brad Hodge, who made 33 off 23 balls with three fours and two sixes. Then, Shehzad added 74 runs for the second wicket with Phil Mustard, who also made 33.
It was entirely Shehzad's day as he also survived two dropped chances on 23 (at midwicket by Sabbir Rahman) and 71 (at deep-square leg by Taijul Islam). In fact, Hodge also got a few lives in an un-Rajshahi like display out on the field. The ease with which Barisal won was demonstrated by the fact that they cruised home with 24 balls to spare.
Earlier, Rajshahi overcame a first-over burst from Yasir Arafat, to make 184 for 6. Arafat, the Pakistan seamer, removed Shahzaib Hasan, Junaid Siddique and Marlon Samuels in the very first over - Shahzaib miscued a pull and was caught at mid-on, Junaid was bowled and Samuels adjudged lbw to a ball seemingly headed down the leg side.
Rajshahi captain Mushfiqur Rahim and Zimbabwe's Sean Ervine led the revival with a 110-run fourth-wicket stand. Mushfiqur made 58 off 33 balls with six fours and three sixes, while Ervine made 82 off 61 balls (eight fours and three sixes). After Arafat backed up his early burst with the run-out of Mushfiqur at a crucial time, Razzaq put the finishing touches to the innings, slamming 32 off 19 balls.