Shakib al Hasan's Dhaka Dynamites seem to have lost the spark with which they began the sixth edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) as they lost their fifth consecutive match at the business end of the tournament yesterday.
In the first match of the third Dhaka leg, the home side lost to Comilla Victorians by a solitary run at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. In the day's second match, Sylhet Sixers -- already eliminated from the playoff race -- completed a consolation 29-run win over Chittagong Vikings. Mushfiqur Rahim's Vikings -- one of three teams through to the playoffs -- were bowled out for 136 in response to Sylhet's 165 for five.
It was Dhaka that had the most promising start to this year's BPL, winning four matches on the trot and being on top of the points table for a considerable amount of time. Dhaka had last won against Sylhet Sixers by six wickets in their final game of the Sylhet leg. Since then the tournament had moved to Dhaka, saw its most exciting phase in Chattogram and returned to the capital.
Shakib's team, however, could not register a win in the meantime, losing all matches during the second Dhaka leg and the Chattogram phase of the tournament with their latest defeat being yesterday's nail-biter against top-placed Comilla. That makes Dhaka's encounter with Khulna Titans today a must-win one for the home side if they are to ensure a spot in the last four. If they fail to win today, Rajshahi Kings, on 12 points from 12 games, will go through.
After bowling Comilla out for 127, Dhaka's batsmen could not back up the good work done by their bowlers. However, credit should be given to the Comilla bowlers, especially Mohammad Saifuddin, who returned figures of four for 22 and defended 13 runs in the last over against Dhaka's power hitter Andre Russell. Saifuddin's heroics landed him the player-of-the-match award.