Dhaka Dynamites qualified for the BPL final by crushing Khulna Titans by 54 runs in the first qualifier in Mirpur. They will play the winner of Wednesday’s second qualifier between Rajshahi Kings and Khulna, who will get a second chance for a place in the final.
Andre Russell turned in a fine all-round performance, making 46 to help Dhaka recover from a poor start to finish with 140 for 8. He then took three wickets to help bowl Khulna out for 86 runs in 16.2 overs.
Dhaka’s defense turned feisty in the first over when pace bowler Abu Jayed charged towards umpire Khalid Mahmood after he had denied a lbw appeal against Andre Fletcher. Shakib Al Hasan released Dhaka’s anger by having Fletcher stumped in the sixth over.
Russell then removed Mahmudullah and Hasanuzzaman, who was given out lbw by umpire Mahmood but replays showed the full toss was missing the leg stump. Shakib sent Hasanuzzaman with a few words.
Benny Howell was also the recipient of a poor umpiring decision. He was given out lbw after getting a thick inside edge onto his front pad, but umpire Nadir Shah didn’t budge. Left-arm spinner Sunzamul Islam was the beneficiary.
Abdul Mazid and Nicholas Pooran popped easy catches to the bowler and long-off in the 10th and 13th overs respectively. Bravo removed Shuvagata Hom and Mosharraf Hossain in the 15th over, which left Khulna tottering at 84 for 8. Bravo finished the game with his third wicket.
Junaid Khan had earlier rocked Dhaka’s top order, removing Mehedi Maruf, Kumar Sangakkara and Evin Lewis withing the first four overs. Nasir Hossain and Shakib Al Hasan recover the innings briefly but fell to Fletcher’s legspin after making 13 and 18 respectively as Dhaka slipped to 65 for 5.
Russell counter-attacked with three sixes and four boundaries in his 25-ball 46, and also added 49 runs for the seventh wicket with Dwayne Bravo who struck one six in his 22-ball 23.
Junaid finished with his second four-wicket haul of the tournament by dismissing Alauddin Babu in the final over. (ESPNcricinfo)
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent.