Smith steers Royals

Dwayne Smith delivered with bat and ball for the Royals today.
Dwayne Smith delivered with bat and ball for the Royals today.

CHITTAGONG – Barbados and West Indies batsman Dwayne Smith was in good form with both bat and ball today at the M A Aziz Stadium as his Sylhet Royals prevailed in a tight contest against Rangpur Riders in the Bangladesh Premier League.

First Smith took 3 for 23 as the Riders were restricted to 122 in their 20 overs. The belligerent right-hander, who had an indifferent Caribbean Twenty20 Tournament recently, then returned to open the Royals’ innings and made a quick-fire 31 in 21 balls as his side reached 126 for 5 with Nazmul Hossain Milon top-scoring with an unbeaten 29-ball 45.

The five-wicket win, their sixth of the season, gave the Royals a clear lead at the top of the points table.Known for his ability to clear the boundary, Milon has lived up to his reputation so far in the tournament with some short bursts in the middle order. Today he hit one over deep midwicket off Nasir Hossain and when the asking rate rose in the last five overs, Milon blasted West Indies fast bowler Fidel Edwards over cover and drove Abdur Razzak straight and edged him past the wicketkeeper.

The late blows put the Royals firmly in control and they won with three balls to spare.

Milon added 37 for the fifth wicket with captain Mushfiqur Rahim, who made 17 off 24 balls, before finishing the chase with Elton Chigumbura, who was unbeaten on 10.

Smith’s West Indian team-mate Shivnarine Chanderpaul fell cheaply for 11.

The Riders had imploded from a position of strength after they were sent in to bat. From 101 for 1 in the 15th over, they collapsed to 122 all out, the same score they had been dismissed for in the last game. The platform had been set by Shamsur Rahman’s third half-century in the competition, 52 off 46 balls with five fours and a six, but it was wasted.

Sohag Gazi picked up three wickets for the Royals, while Australian Dirk Nannes also took two for the winners.

In another BPL encounter, Trinidad and Tobago’s Kevon Cooper took 2 for 27 in four overs and scored an unbeaten 14 in a losing effort as his Chittagong Kings were beaten by six runs by Barisal Burners.

Batting first the Burners made 182 for 5 and the Kings responded with 176 for 6.The Kings are now at the bottom of the points table, with one win from five games, replacing the Burners, who now have two and have pushed themselves up to sixth.†††

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