Stirling fifty sets up Sylhet win
Sylhet Royals 175 for 7 (Stirling 50, Mominul 45) beat Barisal Burners 142 for 9 (Kabir 50, Shuvo 3-23) by 33 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Paul Stirling and Mominul Haque helped Sylhet Royals to a competitive score of 175 for 7 before their bowlers put in a spirited effort to secure a 33-run win against Barisal Burners in their first game. It was an impressive start for the franchise that won just two games in the first edition of BPL.
Put in to bat first, Sylhet began at a good pace but lost Hamilton Masakadza in the fourth over when left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam had him trapped lbw for 19. Thereafter, Stirling and Mominul added 51 quickly, using the pace of the ball on most occasions to find boundaries. Stirling cracked eight fours and a six in his 29-ball half-century, backing away whenever he sought a boundary, while Mominul showcased strength in hitting three fours and a six and supported the big-hitters at the other end well.
But after the team had reached the hundred-run mark in the tenth over, the Sylhet batsmen lost their way. Kabir Ali and Alok Kapali took two wickets each, as Barisal restricted them to 175 but that total was still going to be a challenge for a team that has lost players like Kamran Akmal and Umar Gul in the mass Pakistani pull-out.
Mohammad Nabi, the Afghanistan allrounder who was acquired by Sylhet after they lost two West Indies players (Andre Russell and Tino Best), took two early wickets with his flighty offspin before the rest of the slow bowlers took over. Sohag Gazi didn't pick up a wicket but created enough pressure for the likes of Elton Chigumbura, Suhrawadi Shuvo and Bishawnath Halder to pick up cheap wickets. Ali was the only man to make some runs, hammering 50 off 21 balls with four huge sixes, before being stumped the off Shuvo. None of the other Barisal batsmen stayed at the crease long enough to have a serious go at the target.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent