Barisal Burners v Dhaka Gladiators, BPL, Final February 29, 2012

Dhaka Gladiators crowned BPL's first champions

ESPNcricinfo staff

Dhaka Gladiators 144 for 2 (Nazir 75, Anamul 49*) beat Barisal Burners 140 for 7 (Hodge 70*, Afridi 3-23) by eight wickets

Dhaka Gladiators won the inaugural Bangladesh Premier League by bringing out their A-game in the knockout stages of the tournament. They took only 15.4 overs to overhaul the Barisal Burners total and complete a eight-wicket win in front of a packed Shere Bangla Stadium in Mirpur.

The gulf between the two teams was evident as the Pakistan-heavy Gladiators had a lot more to offer with bat and ball compared to the top-heavy Burners, who could only score 140 for 7 in 20 overs. Gladiators' young Anamul Haque was the only local player to impress, scoring 49 off 38 balls with five fours and a six. He sealed the victory for the home team with a lofted on-drive against left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam with 26 balls to spare.

Anamul added 110 for the second wicket with the opener Imran Nazir, who hammered six fours and six sixes in his 43-ball 75. That partnership ensured victory for Gladiators, whose turnaround in the tournament in the knockout stages coincided with the arrival of Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal.

The Burners' defence of their modest total suffered because of poor catching. Mohammad Mithun, a wicketkeeper who was auctioned for $80,000, had a terrible time under the lights. Fielding in the deep, he dropped Nazimuddin twice at deep square-leg off consecutive Kabir Ali deliveries in the second over.

Their problems weren't restricted to poor catching and bowling. The Burners' batting also suffered from early losses. As soon as Ahmed Shehzad fell for 28 in the fifth over by failing to clear mid-off, and Phil Mustard followed by getting trapped leg-before by Saeed Ajmal, it was all down to the captain Brad Hodge.

The Australia batsman didn't disappoint, hitting four boundaries and four sixes in his unbeaten 51-ball 70. Hodge, despite his efforts, couldn't put together a decent partnership against a high quality bowling attack as the rest simply wilted.

The Burners also benefited from some slip-ups in the field, with Gladiators' Dhiman Ghosh topping the list of offenders. The wicketkeeper first dropped a skier from Shehzad before missing a stumping off Ajmal, but he made amends with a reflex catch off a ripper from Afridi. Later, even Afridi and Azhar Mahmood dropped a skier each.

In the end, it was the Gladiators' star power that took them through. Their efforts to keep some Dhaka players in the line-up paid off as Mohammad Ashraful, Elias Sunny and Anamul all performed well. It was disappointing that no Barisal-born players were given enough opportunities in the Burners line-ups throughout the tournament.

But as far as a Twenty20 jamboree goes, some of the cricket was breathtaking, though the off-field issues will remain the talking point till the next edition.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 2, 2012, 12:49 GMT

    I do not know why you people are running after raising dispute about the man of the series. Its Sakib who really deserve it. Look at the statistics: Sakib- 11 innings(4 not out)-280 runs(40.0 avg)-15 wickets(7.1 per over). & Azhar-11 innings(2 not out)-298runs (33.1 avg)-10 wickets(8.3 per over). Now be fair and take decision. Even he was leading the team in the front having some glorious victory by himself only. You better pray to allah so that the tournament goes year after year and more Pakistani will be there to snatch it from Sakib. Best of luck BPL. Best of Luck Sakib Al Hasan, The Number 1 Al Rounder in both form of cricket in the world.

  • Dummy4 on March 2, 2012, 6:38 GMT

    Asia Cup tournament is around the corner, and this is my best 11 for BD: (1) Tamim Iqbal, (2) Junaid Siddiqui, (3) Asif Ahmed/Dhiman Ghosh, (4) Ashraful, (5) Shakib, (6) Mushfiqur, (7) Mahmudullah, (8) Anamul/Alok Kapali, (9) Ilias Sunny, (10) Mashrafe, (11) Shafiul/Syed Rassel/Nazmul.

  • Dave on March 1, 2012, 21:45 GMT

    good tournament . Its impressive a cricket developing nation like bangladesh organised this , well done. I believe next tournaments there will have more quality. Couple of uncapped local boys seems to have more potential than some of the players in bangladesh team. I think they should be given chance for asia cup .

  • Dummy4 on March 1, 2012, 20:27 GMT

    i am from PAKISTAN .. shakib deserve this he is a good player in all aspect! can anyone tell me that there are rumours about the winner of BPL will play in CCL OR IPL??

  • narbavi on March 1, 2012, 16:35 GMT

    @Kazi Shadhin: ya big money spins in ipl but its also the quality of cricket which u have to mention here, we can't see fielding blunders, some insane bowling and batting in the ipl like what we saw in the BPL

  • Dummy4 on March 1, 2012, 13:47 GMT

    Some of PAK fan try to underestimate Sakib Al Hasan of gaining Man of the Series... Always a all rounder got best chance to be Man of the series..See in WC 96 & 99...Sakib certainly showed better performance than any all rounder...And PAK fan should be grateful that IPL didn't give chance any Pak player but BPL gave best chance all those PAK player who r behind the scene lilk Imran Nazir, Ahmed Shehjad, Nasir Jamshed, Azhar Maehmood ....also BPL create facilities to the non playing test country player........

  • Dummy4 on March 1, 2012, 12:19 GMT

    @nadir rahman& Erum malik- Sakib- 11 innings(4 not out)-280 runs(40.0 avg)-15 wickets(7.1 per over) addition 2 that he captained khulna royal bengals to the semis as the team with the second highest points....even in the match that they lost in the semi against dhaka gladiators...he scored 80+ not out in 40 odd balls...hitting consecutive sixes to azhar mahmood and also off the bowling of ajmal....shehzad and mahmood certainly played outstanding through out the tournament but i think Shakib deserved the award @ all the critics- This tournament was organized in a space of 1 and a half months...atleast it was about cricket and not the joke that we see in IPL where its more abt bollywood stars....our cricket board made it MANDATORY for teams to have atleast 1 Player from the associate nations to be kept in the team...this will contribute 2 cricket unlike IPL which is all abt da money

  • azmal on March 1, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    @ Nadir Rahim: Brother, try to find your answer in my previous comment.

  • Salman on March 1, 2012, 10:44 GMT

    1. Sakib- 11 innings(4 not out)-280 runs(40.0 avg)-15 wickets(7.1 per over). 2. Azhar-11 innings(2 not out)-298runs (33.1 avg)-10 wickets(8.3 per over). So, it is fair enough for Sakib being the Man of the tournament. Anyway. great tournament all the way. Geo BPL !!!

  • Hanz on March 1, 2012, 10:13 GMT

    definitely & most definitely, i have enjoyed this tournament more than any other tournament. it's sad to see.....cricinfo is always after India and their tournaments; even if that helds on a mountain with some retired players!! shame on cricinfo......!!!

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