Dhaka Gladiators 202 for 5 (Ashraful 73, Nasir 1-25) beat Rangpur Riders 167 for 4 (Nasir 80, Shakib 2-17) by 35 runs Scorecard
Dhaka Gladiators made it two wins out of two after another comfortable win, this time beating newcomers Rangpur Riders by 35 runs. Mohammad Ashraful played like the old, carefree approach he's been known for with a 47-ball 73. He struck the ball sweetly to set up the win, as Riders couldn't do enough to reach the target that had a required rate of more than 10 an over.
Nasir Hossain and Niall O'Brien steadied the Riders' innings after they lost three early wickets by the sixth over, which included the wicket of Kevin O'Brien. They added 118 runs for the fourth wicket, the first century partnership of the tournament. A confident Nasir struck half a dozen sixes and five boundaries in his 49-ball 80 which kept the small crowd entertained. He had support from Niall who didn't contribute a boundary during the partnership, but fed him the strike regularly. He ended up with an unbeaten 40 off 35 balls with a solitary boundary.
Earlier, Ashraful began his innings by playing second fiddle to Luke Wright, Dhaka's latest arrival from the Big Bash League. Wright looked set for a big innings but mistimed left-arm spinner Amit Kumar in the fifth over. The former Bangladesh captain then dominated the second-wicket stand, worth 57 runs, with Anamul Haque as he reached a half-century off 30 balls.
Shakib Al Hasan came and went after hitting a six and a four, after which Ashraful and Owais Shah added 36 runs for the fourth wicket. Ashraful, with eight fours and three sixes, dictated the Riders bowling attack that lacked the pace to unnerve him, but it was the final push from Shah and Joshua Cobb that got Gladiators to their second score of over 200 runs. The pair added 54 off just 25 balls, with excellent running and good hitting from Cobb who struck two fours and two sixes in his 17-ball 34.
Riders bowled poorly, despite their local experience in the form of Tapash Baisya, Mohammad Sharif and captain Abdur Razzak, though it was Nasir Hossain's tidy off-breaks that gave away least runs in the innings.