Mirpur – Duronto Rajshahi beat Khulna Royal Bengals by 8 wickets to become the first team to reach the semifinals of the Bangladesh Premier League on Sunday. This was Rajshahi's sixth win in 9 matches. At the Shere Bangla National Stadium, the Bengals elected to bat first after winning the toss. They lost wickets at regular intervals to fold for 106 in the 19th over. Apart from Niall O'Brien (35), none of the Bengals batsmen looked comfortable against the Rajshahi bowling duo of Mohd Sami (3/16) and Sean Ervine (3/19).
The Rajshahi got the target with 35 balls to go with Shahzaib Hasan (28), Junaid Siddique (29 not out) and Marlon Samuels (50) contributing significantly. Ervine was adjudged the Man of the Match for his brilliant bowling performance. Earlier, Khulna won the toss and elected to bat but the whole team was dismissed for 106 in 18.5 overs. Only Niall O’Brien provided some resistance against the Rajshahi bowlers and made 35 whereas only three other batsmen could reach the double figures. For Rajshahi, Mohammad Sami and Sean Ervine grabbed three wickets each. Sylhet Royals' nightmarish run in the BPL extended to seven losses in seven games, as Dhaka Gladiators added to the crowd in the middle of the table with an eight-wicket win in Chittagong. – Agencies