Mohammad Mithun’s 72 went in vain for Sylhet
Khulna Tigers 144 for 1 (Fletcher 71*, Soumya 43) beat Sylhet Sunrisers 142 for 5 (Mithun 72, Mosaddek 34, Khaled 2-20) by nine wickets
Andre Fletcher and Soumya Sarkar blasted out Sylhet Sunrisers with a rapid opening partnership that set up Khulna Tigers’ nine-wicket win. The partnership followed their captain Mushfiqur Rahim’s criticism after Khulna’s previous match, when he expressed his frustration over their slow starts.
The pair added 65 in the powerplay, before Soumya was dismissed with Khulna’s score on 99 in the 11th over. Fletcher, who remained unbeaten on 71 off 47 balls, and Thisara Perera wiped out the 44 runs required in just 3.3 overs. Perera ended the match with his only six to finish unbeaten on 22 off nine balls.
Fletcher struck four sixes over long-on and one high past long-off. The cut shot also worked well for him, as he hit four boundaries in that region, apart from a flicked four off a Muktar Ali full-toss. Soumya, who made 14 runs in his previous three innings, struck the ball cleanly through midwicket and long-on, as well as blasts over extra cover and long-off.
Mithun smashed four straight sixes, two over the bowlers’ head and two over long-on. His fours came mostly through the covers, but he also played a superb sweep shot off the fast bowler Kamrul Islam Rabbi in the penultimate over.
Sylhet handed out BPL debuts, one to left-arm seamer Shiraz Ahmed, who became the first cricketer from the UAE to play in the tournament, and the legspinner Jubair Hossain, who played his first T20I for Bangladesh in 2015. Both were economical, but neither was able to pick up a wicket.
Nazmul Islam also returned for Sylhet after recovering from a hand injury, but Khulna hit him for 39 runs in 3.2 overs.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84