Chittagong Kings v Sylhet Royals, BPL 2012-13, Chittagong January 28, 2013

Chigumbura takes Royals home

Sylhet Royals 176 for 7 (Nabi 43, Cooper 3-21) beat Chittagong Kings 172 for 6 (Naeem 72, Gazi 2-21) by three wickets
Scorecard

Sylhet Royals bludgeoned their way to a fifth consecutive win, beating Chittagong Kings by three wickets, to increase their lead at the top of the table.

Paul Stirling, Mohammad Nabi and finally Elton Chigumbura, with 31 off 17 balls, batted aggressively to take the Royals to victory with three balls to spare. The win silenced a sell-out crowd at the MA Aziz Stadium, but part from disappointing the home support it is the sort of cricket that the BPL requires to bring in more crowds.

Stirling started the chase by going across the line a number of times in his 25-ball 38 before getting run out after a mix-up with Nabi. Stirling had earlier survived a chance off a top edge that was dropped after Ravi Bopara and Naeem Islam collided at mid-on.

Nabi made up for his error by hitting consecutive sixes soon after in a vital 43 off 26 balls. But the chase came down to Chigumbura and the Zimbabwean made the difference with his three sixes, shepherding the finish with Suhrawadi Shuvo who crunched a boundary to complete the victory.

Earlier, Naeem anchored the Kings innings to make a career-best 72 off 52 balls with nine boundaries showing he could adapt after remodelling his game to suit longer versions. Naeem and Ravi Bopara added 78 for the first wicket before the Kings started to lose regular wickets. Ryan ten Doeschate made 21 off 10 balls towards the end to prop up the total, which seemed to be enough on a slow wicket.

But the wickedly fast outfield, with barren patches around the rope, played a role as the Royals used their power to good effect. For the Kings it continued their problems at home and this was their third loss in four matches.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

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