SYLHET, Bangladesh, CMC – West Indies Twenty20 star Andre Fletcher helped raise the curtain on the 2017 edition of the Bangladesh Premier League in style when he stroked a handsome half-century to steer Sylhet Sixers to a comfortable victory here yesterday.
Chasing 137 at Sylhet International Stadium, Sixers swept past Dhaka Dynamites by nine wickets with 19 balls to spare, to make a winning start to the tournament.
The right-handed Fletcher carved out 63 off 51 deliveries, blasting five fours and three sixes while adding 125 for the first wicket with Sri Lankan Upul Thuranga who hammered an unbeaten 69 off 48 balls.
They looked to be taking the hosts to victory when Fletcher perished in the 16th over, holing out to long-on off England leg-spinner Adil Rashid.
Earlier, Dynamites mustered only 136 for seven off their 20 overs, with Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara top-scoring with 32 and West Indies opener Evin Lewis chipping in with 26.
After losing Mehedi Maruf to the sixth ball of the innings, Dynamites benefitted from a 54-run stand between Sangakkara and Lewis.
Left-hander Lewis, a rising star in international cricket, struck three fours and a six off 24 balls while Sangakkara faced 28 balls and also counted three fours and a six.
West Indies big-hitter Kieron Pollard failed with 11 while former Jamaica and Windies left-arm pacer Krishmar Santokie went wicket-less from his four overs which cost 36 runs.
In the second game of the doubleheader at the venue, not even a small cameo from two-time former T20 World Cup-winning captain, Darren Sammy, was enough to avert a six-wicket defeat for Rajshahi Kings.
Sent in by Rangpur Riders, Kings rallied to 154 for eight off 20 overs, with Rony Talukdar top-scoring with 46 and Sammy blasting 29 off 18 balls, with a four and two sixes, down the order.
Sammy put on a brisk 45 for the sixth wicket with New Zealander James Franklin (26 not out) after Kings slipped to 90 for five in the 13th over.
In reply, Windies opener Johnson Charles fell cheaply for nine but Riders got 46 from Mohammad Mithun and an unbeaten 39 from Ravi Bopara, as they romped to their target with seven deliveries remaining.