New franchise Sylhet Sixers created quite a buzz at the beginning of the money-spinning tournament when they won the first three matches at their home ground - Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.
But their blistering start did not last long as they started to lose games and suddenly, lost their next six matches in a row to blow away their chance of sealing a top four spot in the points table.
They however, had a slight chance of qualifying for the next round when they defeated Chittagong Vikings by 10 wickets in the latter part of the cash-rich competition. But at that point, another contender for fourth, Rangpur Riders had to lose all of their remaining games to give Sylhet an opportunity. Eventually that did not happen and Sylhet finished the tournament at fifth with four wins out of their 11 games. The other match was washed away and points were shared.
Sylhet perhaps were heavily reliant on the opening pair of Andre Fletcher and Upul Tharanga as both the openers played well at the beginning of the tournament. Injuries to key players also halted their charge during the middle stage of the competition.
A lot depended on batsman Sabbir Hossain and captain Nasir Hossain in the middle-order to accelerate the run rate. Both Sabbir and Nasir scored some runs but were not upto the mark considering their reputation as big hitters. Sabbir was struggling for runs at the beginning but later found the scoring touch. Sabbir scored 211 runs in 10 innings at an average of 23.44 and strike rate of 125.59. Nasir meanwhile, made 158 runs in eight innings at an average of 26.23 and strike rate of 107.48.
Sabbir and Nasir batted really well against Rangpur in their first group stage match, forming a 117-run partnership for the fourth wicket while chasing 170. Eventually, Sabbir got out and Sylhet fell short by seven runs. That loss was crucial from Sylhet’s point of view as it hampered their chance of coming back to the tournament.
Abul Hasan Raju (Local)
The right-arm pacer was impressive with his bowling in the most crucial stage of a game – the death overs. Although he was unable to continue his good form in the latter stages of the tournament, he ended up taking 10 wickets in nine innings. His slower delivery was effective, giving him some variation during the death overs.
Andre Fletcher (Overseas)
The opening batsman was in superb form for the Sixers at the top of the order. Fletcher scored 317 runs in 10 innings at an average of 35.22. His opening partnership with Tharanga was the key reason why Sylhet were successful in the early stages of the competition.
Taijul Islam (Local)
The left-arm spinner was one of the main wicket-taking options for Sylhet but Taijul only managed to take five wickets in eight innings. His economy rate of 8.46 was also not good enough for the bowler himself as he is regarded as one of the best spinners of the country. His tight line and length was nowhere to be seen.
Ross Whiteley (Overseas)
The Worcestershire all-rounder was a big signing for Sylhet. Whiteley is renowned for his six-hitting ability as he recently hit six sixes in an over against Yorkshire’s Karl Carver, which attracted the attention of the Sylhet franchise. But the all-rounder scored only 91 runs in six innings and took two wickets.