DHAKA, Bangladesh, CMC – Hard-hitting batsman Dwayne Smith smashed his maiden Twenty20 century to fire Khulna Royal Bengals to a comfortable 69-run win over Sylhet Royals in their final preliminary round game of the Bangladesh Premier League here yesterday.
The right-hander finished on 103 not out as the Bengals, sent in by Sylhet Royals, piled up an impressive 186 for two at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.
In reply, the Royals stumbled to 117 all out off 16 overs with Sohail Tanvir hitting 26 not out, and Abdur Razzak (2-8) and Nasir Hossain (2-15) getting among the wickets.
Smith claimed one for 16 from his two overs.
It was with the bat, however, that he made the biggest impact. The Bengals lost veteran West Indies left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul for four to the second ball of the innings, paving the way for Smith to dominate.
He struck six fours and six sixes in an innings requiring 73 balls, but more importantly anchored two key partnerships to see the Bengals to a challenging total.
Smith put on 84 with South African Herschelle Gibbs (41) for the second wicket before adding another 100 for the third wicket with captain Shakib Al Hasan who hit a run-a-ball 21 not out.
In the semi-finals, Bengals will now face Kieron Pollard’s Dhaka Gladiators who went down to Marlon Samuels’ Duronto Rajshahi by three wickets in the other game.
The big-hitting Pollard scored only 11 as the Gladiators were dismissed for 116 off 18.2 overs after choosing to bat.
Samuels grabbed two for 35 from his four overs of off-spin but then failed to score as the Rajshahi got home with three balls to spare.