Howzzat! Mohammad Amir appeals © Getty Images
Khulna Tigers 158-3 (Shanto 78*, Irfan 2-13) beat Rajshahi Royals 131(Malik 80, Amir 6-17) by 27 runs
Khulna Tigers became the first side to reach the BPL final after they defeated Rajshahi Royals by 27 runs in the first qualifier. Mohammad Amir‘s maiden six-wicket haul made it a cruise following Najmul Hossain Shanto‘s unbeaten 78 had taken Khulna to 158 for 3 in 20 overs.
At the halfway mark, Rajshahi would have felt that they restricted Khulna to a small total despite Shanto’s long stay in the middle. But Amir buried all hopes with his opening spell of three overs as he became the first bowler in BPL history to take a six-wicket haul.
Amir rips out Rajshahi’s top-order
Amir began by removing the in-form Liton Das in the first over of the chase. He then had Afif Hossain, the other half of Rajshahi’s successful opening pair, in his next over, before adding Alok Kapali, caught at slip, later in the same over.
After Ravi Bopara was brilliantly caught by Rilee Rossouw at long-off in the fifth over, Amir, kept on for a third over with Andre Russell fresh at the crease and removed the West Indian giant with a superb delivery, for a duck.
Russell could do very little against the peach, apart from giving Rossouw his second catch in the space of six balls, this time at mid-on. With their captain gone in the sixth over, Rajshahi were nowhere in the contest at 23 for 5.
More to follow
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo