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    Rajshahi first team to reach BPL semis

    West Indian Marlon Samuels led Rajshahi

    West Indian Marlon Samuels led Rajshahi's chase with a brilliant 50. (AP PHOTO)

    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.

    Later in the day, Barisal Burners joined the Rajshahi in the semifinals after beating Chittagong Kings by five wickets. The Burners chased down the Kings' 150/9 with 30 balls to go. Australian Brad Hodge bagged the Man-of-the-Match for a 36-ball 67.