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Dhaka Gladiators crowned BPL's first champions

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Dhaka Gladiators crowned BPL's first champions

Post  nazmul07npk on Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:05 am

Dhaka Gladiators 144 for 2 (Nazir 75, Anamul 49*) beat Barisal Burners 140 for 7 (Hodge 70*, Afridi 3-23) by eight wickets

Dhaka Gladiators became the winners of the inaugural Bangladesh Premier League on Wednesday evening by bringing out their A-game in the knockout stages of the tournament. They took just 15.4 overs to overhaul the Barisal Burners in a seven-wicket win in front of a packed Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

The gulf of difference between the two line-ups was for all to see as the Pakistan-heavy Gladiators had a lot more to offer with bat and ball than the top-heavy Burners, who could only muster 140 for 7 in 20 overs. Dhaka's young Anamul Haque was the only local player to impress, scoring 49 off 38 balls with five fours and a six.

Anamul sealed the victory for the home team with a lofted on-drive off left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam with 26 balls to spare.

He added 110 for the second wicket with the opener Imran Nazir, who hammered six fours and six sixes in his 43-ball 75. Their partnership put the screws on the chase as Dhaka, who had an ordinary second-half of the tournament, dominated the knockout stages by beating a strong Khulna Royal Bengals by nine runs, coinciding with the arrival of the deadly Pakistani pair of Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal.

Barisal's defense of their modest total was not helped by their poor catching with Mohammad Mithun, the youngster who was auctioned off for $80,000, having a terrible time under the lights. A wicketkeeper by trade, Mithun dropped Nazimuddin twice at deep square-leg off consecutive Kabir Ali deliveries in the second over, both catchable for any fielder of merit.

Their problems weren't restricted to poor catching and bowling. Their batting too suffered from early losses. As soon as Ahmed Shehzad fell for 28 in the fifth over by failing to clear mid-off, and Phil Mustard followed in the fifth by getting trapped leg-before by Saeed Ajmal, it was all down to the captain Brad Hodge.

The Australia batsman didn't disappoint, slamming four boundaries and four sixes in his unbeaten 51-ball 70. Hodge, despite his efforts, couldn't put together a decent partnership against a very high quality bowling attack as the rest simply wilted.

Barisal too benefited by some slip-ups in the field, with Dhiman Ghosh topping the list of offenders. The wicketkeeper first dropped a skier from Shehzad before missing a stumping off Ajmal, but the much-maligned Rangpur lad made amends with a fine reflex catch off a ripper from Shahid Afridi. Later, even the experienced pair of Afridi and Azhar Mahmood dropped a skier each.

In the end, it was the star power of Dhaka that saw them through. Their efforts to keep some Dhaka players in the line-up paid off as Mohammad Ashraful, Elias Sunny and Anamul all gave a good account of themselves. Disappointing though was the fact that no Barisal-born players were given enough opportunities in the Barisal Burners line-ups throughout the tournament.

But as far as a Twenty20 jamboree goes, some of the cricket was breathtaking, though the off-field issues would remain the talking point till the next edition.

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