The trend of fielding first and winning in day games remained intact as the Sylhet Sunrisers registered their first win in the ongoing Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) by beating Minister Dhaka by seven wickets. They chased 101 successfully with three overs to spare.
The in-form Nazmul Islam Apu starred with a four-wicket haul for Sylhet and he was adjudged the player of the match. There were crucial contributions from Taskin Ahmed, Sohag Gazi and Mosaddek Hossain with the ball and Anamul Haque with the bat. Dhaka succumbed to their third defeat in the tournament.
Chasing a moderate 101, Sylhet Sunrisers got off to a steady start. What they did well was to build substantial partnerships and maintain a good run rate given the target. Despite losing Lendl Simmons in the fourth over to Mashrafe Mortaza in his comeback game, Sylhet managed to remain on top at the halfway mark courtesy of the 38-run partnership for the second wicket between Mohammad Mithun and Anamul Haque.
In spite of losing his partner Mithun in the 11th over, Anamul carried on and found an able partner in Collin Ingram. The duo added 40 in quicker time - 34 balls - and ensured that they won by a handsome margin to up the net run-rate. By the time the wicketkeeper-batter departed for a run-a-ball 45, Sylhet almost got home.
Earlier, put in to bat, Minister Dhaka were off to a terrible start. After an expensive first over by Taskin Ahmed, Sylhet Sunrisers captain Mosaddek Hossain turned to the spinners and they utilised the moisture on the pitch very well. The Sunrisers picked up three wickets inside the powerplay including the two openers - Tamim Iqbal (3) and Mohammad Shahzad (5).
Sohag Gazi and Mosaddek himself shared the first three wickets among themselves that fell inside the first six overs, leaving Dhaka in trouble at 22 for three after the powerplay.
The onus was then on Mohammad Naim and Mahmudullah to rebuild the innings after a tough start. Mahmudullah batted positively and made use of almost every possible scoring opportunity to take the pressure off Naim. But Naim struggled to get going and finally got out leg-before off Nazmul Islam Apu. Their partnership contributed 40 to the total. Naim made a slow 15 off 30.
Andre Russell was out in a similar manner in the same over bowled by Apu but both the decisions by the on-field umpire were controversial. Russell's dismissal left Dhaka reeling again at 57 for five.
One brought three for Apu and his third victim was the dangerous Mahmudullah who got out after scoring a well-made 33 off just 26 balls. Before finishing his spell, Apu got another wicket and this time he accounted for the wicket of Shuvagata Hom who was looking positive (21 off 16). He followed up his three for 17 in the previous match with four for 18 in four overs.
Dhaka were all-out for 100 with eight balls remaining. Apu's four-for was backed up by Taskin's three-wicket haul and economical spells from Gazi and Mosaddek.
"The wicket was absolutely fine. It was a good belter. Didn't quite get the start or partnerships. Overall it was disappointing," said Mahmudullah in the post-match presentation.
Sylhet got off to the mark in the tournament with this vital win. "Before the match, I said that we needed a bit of momentum and we have got that now," said Mosaddek Hossain, the Sylhet captain.