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Sylhet Strikers make a flying start winning a low-scoring match

Sylhet Strikers won the first match of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) beating Chattogram Challengers by eight wickets on Friday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

The match was scheduled to take place at 2:30 pm, but it kicked off a half hour earlier – a further testament to the subpar management of the BPL.

Sylhet won the toss and sent Chattogrma to bat first.

Chattogram had a disappointing start as Mehedi Maruf was run out for 11 in the 3rd over and Darwish Rasooli, their Afghan recruit, was out for a mere 3 runs in the 4th. Their hopes of a major score were pinned on Al-Amin, but he too fell for just 18 runs. Skipper Shuvagata Hom’s single run only added to their woes, further worsening the situation.

But, Afif Hossain got the innings back on track with 25 runs off 23 balls with 3 fours. Unmukt Chand couldn’t make a big score as he was out for 5 runs.

Mrittunjoy Chowdhury added 3 runs while Nihaduzzaman scored 8 runs before getting out. Malinda Pushpakumara and Mehedi Hasan Rana remained unbeaten and added 6 and 2 runs respectively. At the end of 20 overs, Chattogram Challengers made 89 runs for the loss of 9 wickets.

For Sylhet, Rejaur Rahman Raja bagged four wickets conceding only 14 runs in four overs.

In reply, Sylhet Strikers had to do better on a difficult Mirpur surface to take the lead. They started well, with Najmul Hossain Shanto making 43 runs off 41 balls.

Colin Ackermann was out for 1 run but Zakir Hasan made a quick 27 runs off 21 balls to set up a winning total. Mushfiqur Rahim remained not out on 6 runs as Sylhet Strikers achieved their target in 12.3 overs.

Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, the former Bangladesh captain, made a return to competitive cricket after an eight-month hiatus, captaining the Sylhet Strikers in this edition of the BPL.