rren Sammy blitzed an unbeaten 34-ball 71 as Rajshahi Kings completed a nine-run win over table-toppers Khulna Titans in a 2016 Bangladesh Premier League encounter at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka on Saturday (November 26). Sammy’s onslaught, that came at a staggering strike rate of 208.82 and included as many as five sixes, dragged Rajshahi’s total from a mediocre 88 for 6 after 15 overs to finish with a competitive 154 for 8 in 20 overs. The Kings captain then accounted for Khulna’s top-scorer Riki Wessels as the the Titans fell nine short of their target in an enthralling encounter. 

Rajshahi, who elected to bat on a weary surface, found themselves slipping to 66 for 4 after Umar Akmal received a dubious LBW call off the bowling Kevon Cooper. The West Indian medium pacer then accounted for the in-form Samit Patel and suddenly Rajshahi’s match had gone pear shaped. 

Out walked the captain to vindicate his own call at the toss and sent the Khulna bowlers on a leather hunt. The former West Indies T20 captain afforded himself a few sighters before peppering the leg side boundary with a series of big hits. Rajshahi milked 58 off the final four overs bowled by the accurate Junaid Khan and Shafiul Islam (2 for 53). 

In reply, the league leaders lost Mohammad Hasanuzzman early to a run out while Titans’ hero from the last game, Shuvagata Hom, fell in the following over. Wessels added 47 with captain Mahmudullah before Sammy intervened to sink Khulna hearts yet again. Nicholas Pooran smashed three sixes in his 12-ball 28 but once the required rate had jumped to 13, the target got out of reach. Mohammad Sami’s penultimate over cost Rajshahi only seven, all but sealing their fourth win of the season. 

Brief Scores: Rajshahi Kings 154/8 in 20 overs (Darren Sammy 71*, Junaid Siddique 21; Kevon Cooper 2-31) beat Khulna Titans 145/6 in 20 overs (Riki Wessels 36, Mahmudullah 33; Nazmul Islam 1-17) by nine runs