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January 18, 2013
Dhaka Gladiators 204 for 4 (Shah 84, Anamul 50) beat Khulna Royal Bengals 142 for 8 (Wessels 30, Mosharraf 4-9) by 62 runs
Flashes of spectacular cricket marked the first innings of BPL's second season but the difference in strength between the star-studded Dhaka Gladiators and the hastily gathered Khulna Royal Bengals, who played with just one foreign player, was stark. Owais Shah's blast with the bat and Mosharraf Hossain's good form with the ball exacerbated the difference and Dhaka's margin of victory in Mirpur was 62 runs.
After faring poorly for Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League, Shah found form immediately in Bangladesh, hammering six sixes and four fours in his 48-ball 84. He targeted the on-side in his typical method, using the angles even while lofting the ball. Shah added 90 runs for the third wicket with Anamul Haque, who batted with utmost freedom against a bowling attack that lacked direction.
Anamul scored 50 off 39 balls with four boundaries and three sixes, and thrived on Shah's aggression at the other end. He was caught off Dolar Mahmud in the 15th over, letting Shakib Al Hasan take the crease for the first time since he suffered a shin injury in late November. He blasted his first ball for six over wide mid-on, and gave support to Shah in their 64-run stand for the fourth wicket. Shakib was unbeaten on 27 off 14 balls.
Royal Bengals depended a lot on Riki Wessels and though he delivered a 23-ball 30, it was never enough when the asking rate was above ten an over. When he fell in the ninth over with his team on 67, Khulna lost their way, with Mohammad Mithun and captain Shahriar Nafees also falling on the same score.
Left-arm spinner Mosharraf took four wickets, all important ones in the context of the innings, and it masked the gaps in the Dhaka bowling attack, which is based mostly on spin. Asif Ahmed made 29 low in the order, but it was too late in the day to turn the game.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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