Chittagong: Khulna Royal Bengals held their nerves for a two-run victory over Sylhet Royals in a nail-biting Bangaldesh Premier League encounter at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium on Saturday.
Chasing 172, Kamran Akmal put the Royals on course with a blazing 41-ball 82, smashing 11 boundaries and four sixes at a strike rate of 200.00. However, once he was dismissed in the 12th over when Sylhet were 101 for 2, the batting fell apart. The spinners curbed the scoring, while Shakib Al Hasan, Abdur Razzak and Andre Russell finished with two wickets each.
Still, Scott Styris scored an unbeaten 48 - only the second Sylhet batsman to reach double figures - to give his side some hope. 11 runs were needed off the final over, but two wickets came off the first two deliveries by Shakib Al Hasan, and although Styris hit a six off the penultimate ball, the Royals eventually fell short of an unlikely first win by two runs.
Earlier, Dwayne Smith posted 55 despite two early strikes from Sohail Tanvir, and then late-order contributions from Nasir Hossain (23), Nazmul Hossain Milon (22 not out) and Russell (35 not out) took Khulna Royal Bengals to 171-6.
Having lost all their five matches so far, Sylhet Royals prop up the points table, with the Khulna Royal Bengals in third with six points, having played a game more than the two teams ahead of them - Duronto Rajshahi and Chittagong Kings.