Barisal cruise home against Khulna
Barisal Burners 146 for 2 (Hodge 53, Mustard 35) beat Khulna Royal Bengals 142 for 8 (Wessels 48, Kapali 1-18) by eight wickets
New arrival Brad Hodge led from the front, scoring a half-century as his team Barisal Burners beat Khulna Royal Bengals by eight wickets in the Bangladesh Premier League on Sunday. It was the first win for Barisal after they were trounced by Sylhet in the first game on the opening day, while Khulna lurched to their second defeat in as many games.
The Barisal captain struck 53 off 40 balls with five fours and a six, as he and Phil Mustard began their chase of 143 with a 78-run opening stand. Hodge opened up with a straight six and a boundary off Farhad Reza in the third over.
The loss of Mustard hardly bothered Hodge, who continued to dominate the largely inexperienced Khulna bowlers, including Afghanistan's left-arm fast bowler Shapoor Zadran. Hodge was also severe on Sanjamul Islam in the seventh over, hitting the left-arm spinner for two boundaries and a six. By the time Islam dismissed Hodge in the 13th over, Barisal had their chase under control.
Another new player for Barisal, Englishman Joe Denly, also contributed, putting on an unbroken 45-run, third-wicket stand with Azhar Mahmood.
Choosing to bat first, Khulna once again felt the absence of their Pakistan players, as they mustered a below-par score on a batting track. Captain Shahriar Nafees and Riki Wessels consolidated the innings with a stand of 58, after the loss of a couple of early wickets including that of opener Nazimuddin, who edged a cut off the first ball of the mach.
Nafees started slowly before launching into Nazmul Islam's left-arm spin in the tenth over, hitting him for four fours. Wessels, too, had his moment, hitting English pacer Kabir Ali for two sixes in the 12th over, before he was eventually dismissed for 48.
Barisal's bowlers, especially Alok Kapali and Elias Sunny, kept the opposition in check during the final overs with regular wickets.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent