Russell downs Barishal to give Dhaka first win in BPL
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Russell downs Barishal to give Dhaka first win in BPL

Caribbean hard-hitter Andre Russell struck a marauding 15 ball-31 not out, following up his two-wicket haul as Minister Group Dhaka recovered from a shaky start to beat Fortune Barishal by four wickets in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) yesterday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

This was Dhaka’s first victory after losing the first two matches to Khulna Tigers and Chattogram Challengers. For Barishal, it was their first defeat after beating Chattogram Challengers by four wickets in the first match.

Put into bat first, Shakib Al Hasan-led Fortune Barishal put up 129-8 and Dhaka raced to the victory with 130-6 in 17.3 overs.

Dhaka had to start again without Mashrafe Bin Mortaza despite the pacer was supposed to play the match after recovering from his back pain.

Chasing the paltry target, Dhaka was reduced to 10-4 with Barishal’s fast bowlers Shafiqul Islam (2=20) and Alzzari Joseph (2-34) slicing the top order in a game of pace bowling.

Shafiqul bowled Tamim Iqbal, who struck consecutive two half-centuries in the first two matches, for a duck and followed it up with the wicket of Mohammad Shahzad for 5.

Joseph meanwhile took the scalp of Naim Sheikh (4) and Jahrul Islam for duck to leave Dhaka in a state of embarrassment.

Skipper Mahmudullah Riyad and Shuvagata Hom however brought the side back into the contention with 69-run partnership for the fifth wicket.

The partnership was broken when Dwayne Bravo had Hom caught by Taijul Islam for 29.

The asking run rate also climbed up at this juncture, making Barishal a favourite to win the game.

But Russell showed his power-hitting capability to dent Barishal’s chance. He struck three fours and two sixes in his 15 ball-31 not out to sail the side home despite Riyad was out for a run-a-ball-47.

Riyad innings was studded by three fours and one six.

Barishal included Chris Gayle in the first XI after he returned negative in Covid-19 test. But he was not sent to open the innings, rather Gayle played at No. 5 position from where he top-scored the side with 36 off 30 with three fours and two sixes.

Dwayne Bravo made 33 off 26, hitting three fours and one six. He and Gayle was the reason that Barishal could propel them past 100 runs. Skipper Shakib Al Hasan was the other notable scorer with 23. Andre Russell and Isuru Udana took two wickets apiece.

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