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The Report by Mohammad Isam
January 23, 2013
Sylhet Royals 146 for 4 (Masakadza 52, Stirling 38) beat Khulna Royal
Bengals 145 for 7 (Wessels 63*) by six wickets
Hamilton Masakadza and Paul Stirling made it a short evening's work for Sylhet Royals, who blazed to a six-wicket victory - their third in a row - against Khulna Royal Bengals. Their 78-run stand, which helped Royals to the highest Powerplay total of the BPL - 81 for 1 - came after the unlikely new-ball pair of Dirk Nannes and Sohag Gazi had produced identical figures to limit Royal Bengals.
Nannes and Gazi both had figures of 2 for 20 from four overs, and Suhrawadi Shuvo took 1 for 22, making it only 62 runs off those 12 overs. Though Khulna tried to make up by adding 83 in the other eight overs, their total of 157 for 4 was modest. The Royals captain Mushfiqur Rahim also had a role to play: he took two superb catches, the first one breaking an important partnership between Riki Wessels and Daniel Harris. Wessels remained unbeaten on 63 off 44 balls, with four boundaries and a couple of slog-swept sixes.
During the chase, Masakadza blasted Shapoor Zadran for a boundary and two sixes before Stirling finished the innings' second over with two more boundaries to take 25 off it. Masakadza scored four boundaries in Farhad Reza's next over, before leaving it to Stirling to pick up four sixes in the next two overs off Nabil Samad and Sanjamul Islam, who was hit for three sixes in the space of four balls in his first over.
Stirling missed a straight one from Nabil before Masakadza was cleaned up by a beauty from Zadran, this time coming from around the wicket. By then, however, the Royals needed to score at four an over in the next nine overs to complete the win, which they eventually did with 22 balls to spare.
The Royal Bengals are bottom in the league after losing their third game in a row, while the Royals are level with Dhaka Gladiators on six points at the top of the table.
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