Sylhet dominated Dhaka to seal a five-wicket victory thanks to their Pakistani duo Imad Wasim and Mohammad Harris.
Sylhet Strikers created history on Monday as they made it five wins in their five matches in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). With this victory, the Mashrafe-led side became the first-ever franchise team to win five consecutive matches before tasting a defeat.
Earlier, four teams bagged four straight victories before they tasted a defeat as a new franchise. Sylhet joined the list with Chennai Super Kings (2008), Hobart Hurricanes (2011), Barbados Tridents (2013) and Jaffna Stallions (2020) with their win over Dhaka on 10 January.
On Monday, Sylhet dominated Dhaka to seal a five-wicket victory thanks to their Pakistani duo Imad Wasim and Mohammad Harris.
Chasing a modest 129 runs, Sylhet made a bright start. Openers Harris and Shanto built a 52-run partnership in eight overs.
Shanto played a sluggish knock of 12 from 20 balls but his partner Harris was the top scorer for the Strikers scoring 44 off just 32 balls. He hit five boundaries and two sixes in his innings.
Strikers didn’t have to toil much after that. Mushfiqur Rahim played a 25-ball 27-run innings and Imad played another sluggish innings of 11 from 20 balls.
But Thisara Perrera and Akbar Ali guided the team home with four balls remaining. Both played at a strike rate of more than 190.
Dhaka’s captain Nasir Hossain picked up two wickets for 19 runs.
Earlier, Sylhet were asked to bowl first after losing the toss and they made full use of their opportunity and restricted Dhaka to 128 for seven after their allotted 20 overs.
Dhaka were on the backfoot right from the word go. They lost Soumya Sarkar in the very first over for a golden duck.
Much-hyped British batter Robin Das made his debut but he couldn’t show his firepower against Sylhet. He was the second Dhaka batter to be dismissed for a golden duck as he became Imad Wasim’s second victim after the Pakistani all-rounder picked up the wicket of Dilshan Munaweera in the sixth over.
Dhaka were reduced to 51 for four in the tenth over. Skipper Nasir Hossain then played a useful knock of 39 off 30 balls to guide his team past 120. He was accompanied well by Ariful Haque who bagged 20. Nasir hit three boundaries and one maximum in his 39-run innings.
Imad was the star bowler for Sylhet. He picked up three wickets for only 20 runs from his four overs. Apart from him, Rubel Hossain, Mohammad Amir and Nazmul Islam Apu all bagged a wicket each.
Imad Wasim was adjudged the player of the match for his brilliant bowling.
Sylhet skipper Mashrafe said the confidence is high for the Strikers but they need to keep the momentum in the remaining part of the tournament.
“It was another fine win, it did get a little tricky in the end, but it was a fine effort from Thisara to get the job done. We did not bat well in the middle period. I feel that this was a typical Chattogram wicket where 150 would have been a good score for sure. The confidence is high, however, it is important for us to carry forward the momentum into the next match and take things as they come,” he said at the post-match presentation.
Player of the Match Imad credited the whole team for the winning streak. He even thanked the crowd who came all the way from Sylhet.
“Everyone in the team is chipping in, every base is covered so far, but you can’t be relaxed as it is a long tournament with 12 games, need 8 wins and we can’t relax before that. Thanks to the crowd for coming all the way from Sylhet,” he said.
“The last game we saw a couple of times, it was keeping low and spinning, today it was keeping low but not spinning and the plan was to bowl wicket to wicket. The line is important and length is important as well, if you bowl a back of a length, it is not easy for the batter and you need to vary your pace,” Imad added.