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Allround Nasir sails Dhaka in low scoring BPL match

Captain Nasir Hossain came up with an allround performance as Dhaka Dominators made a good start to the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), beating Khulna Tigers by six wickets at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Saturday.

Nasir, once considered as the finisher, before his misdemeanor and inconsistent performance saw him discarded from the national team, claimed 2-29 and added unbeaten 36, which was instrumental in the side’s victory in low-scoring affair.

But it was pacer Al-Amin Hossain whose 4-28 played a vital role in restricting Khulna to paltry 113-8 after Dhaka opted to bat first following a 30-minute delay to the game due to foggy condition.

Nonetheless, it was not a cake-walk for Dhaka as they huffed and puffed to seal the victory in 19.1 overs, reaching 117-4.

While chasing the target, Dhaka received a setback when their Pakistan recruit Ahmed Shehzad had to retire after scoring 4.

Still Dhaka got a fluent start, thanks to Soumya Sarkar who seemed to bring back his past aura, coming down heavily on the spinners right from the words go. He cut and swept left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed twice for a boundary before hitting Pakistan speedster Wahab Riaz a towering six over long on.

But as has been the case, the beautiful start was marred by an injudicious shot as he edged a moving delivery to wicket-keeper Azam Khan. Soumya scored 16 off 13 with two fours and one six.

Mohammad Saifuddin then had Munaweera leg-before for 22 after which Netherlands recruit Paul Van Meekeran uprooted Mohammad Mithun’s stump for 8.

Khulna suddenly sensed a victory and the chance further brightened when Siafuddin (2-22) had Usman Ghani caught by Meekeren for 14.

But to Nasir’s credit, he kept the nerve in the trying situation and serenely drove the side to the victory with a run-a-ball-36, an innings studded by four boundaries.

Yasir Ali Chowdhury who was given the captaincy responsibility this year ahead of Tamim Iqbal, was the highest scorer for Khulna with 24. Sans him, only three other batters reached double digit figure, marking Khulna’s struggle in batting.

Tamim’s rust was visible as he was playing his first T20 game after the last BPL. He scored just 8 and got out at a moment when Khulna were in tatters, losing Sharjeel Khan (7) and Munim Shahriar (4).

Nasir, however, took the wicket of Yasir who looked set to rally Khulna to a good total. And his dismissal dented Khulna’s hopes effectively. Al-Amin cleaned up the tail, paving Dhaka a way to achieve a facile victory in their opening game.