CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh, CMC – Shivnarine Chanderpaul upstaged hometown hero Mohammad Ashraful, when he smashed an unbeaten 87 to lead Khulna Royal Bengals to a seven-wicket victory over Dhaka Gladiators in the Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 yesterday.
The left-hander gave some proof that he could be an outside choice for West Indies for the Twenty20 World Cup later this year in Sri Lanka, as the Bengals successfully chased 141 for victory at the Chowdhury Stadium.
In front of a tiny crowd, he smote 11 fours and one six from 49 balls to earn the Man-of-the-Match award, as the Bengals reached their target with 20 balls remaining.
West Indian import Kieron Pollard, bowling his uncomplicated medium-pace, was one of the bowlers to feel the weight of Chanderpaul’s bat, as he conceded 13 from two overs.
Chanderpaul said there was life left in the old man yet, so he had a point to prove that he is capable of amazing things in the shortest version of the game.
“[Being successful in T20] depends on whether you are a good player or not,” said the 37-year-old. “Age doesn’t really matter.”
He added: “The pitch took some turn early in the match, but by the time we batted it became easier.
“The team position is looking pretty good now, but we cannot let up. We have to try and win the next few games.”
The result meant that the Bengals share top spot with Chittagong Kings and Duronto Rajshahi with eight points each from six matches, while Dhaka remained on six points from the same number of matches.
Ashraful, the former national captain, struck four fours and one six in 53 from 42 balls to lead the Gladiators to 140 for eight from their allocation of 20 overs. Pollard made just 10.
No bowler for the Bengals distinguished themselves, but West Indian all-rounders Andre Russell and Dwayne Smith snared one scalp apiece.
DHAKA GLADIATORS 140 for eight off 20 overs (Mohammad Ashraful 53, Azhar Mahmood 33; Sanath Jayasuriya 2-25)
KHULNA ROYAL BENGALS 141 for three off 16.4 overs (Shivnarine Chanderpaul 87 not out, Shakib Al Hasan 39)