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Dhaka keep semi-final hopes alive

November 04, 2008 08:37 IST

A quickfire 57 by opener Murray Goodwin went in vain as Dhaka Warriors registered a 13-run win over Ahmedabad Rockets and kept themselves in contention for a semi-final berth in the ICL Twenty20 league.

Chasing a total of 181, at Panchkula on Monday night, Rockets could score only 168 for 8.

The 35-year-old former Zimbabwean cricketer's knock came in just 42 balls and was studded with seven hits to the fence and a six.

But when he was dealing in boundaries, he tried to hit former Bangladesh all-rounder Alok Kapali out of the ground, and found the safe hands of a substitute player on the boundary ropes who did not have to move an inch to take the catch.

Goodwin's wicket was the third one to fall and after his exit at the end of 11th over, when his team was cruising at 104, Rockets skipper Damien Martyn (23) tried to accelerate and maintain momentum, but misread the flight from left-arm spinner Moshraff Hussain and popped an easy catch to Mohammed Sharif.

After his exit in the 15th over, Heath Streak (8) also failed to last for long leaving his team struggling at 5-126 in the 16th over. Left arm slow bowler Mohammed Rafique then dealt a double blow, sending B A Yadav (1) and P Bhima Rao (3) back to pavilion.

The Warriors have played seven games and won four while the Rockets made an exit from the competition and are at the number eight spot with just two wins, only better than Mumbai Champs.

Earlier, Damien Martyn won the toss and put the Warriors in to bat. They posted a formidable 181 for 7. It was a crucial match for both sides to remain in contention for a berth in the semi-finals.

After suffering an early jolt when former Australian pacer Jason Gillespie took the wicket of Shahriar Nafees (5) in the second over, the latter's opening partner right-handed Mohammed Nazimuddin batted with elegance.

Nazimuddin's knock of 48 came of in just 29 balls with four towering sixes and three boundaries. Warriors' 50 came up in just five overs.

After Heath Streak had one-down and Aftab Ahmed (16) sent back to pavilion in the fifth over (2-46), Nazim kept the momentum going.

However, Gillespie returned to do further damage and was rewarded with Nazimuddin's wicket in the tenth over when he had him caught by Bhima Rao. The Warriors were cruising at 79 when they lost his wicket.

24-year-old right-hander Alok Kapali also chipped in with a quickfire 26 of 22 balls, but middle-order batsman Mahbubul Karim tore apart the weak Rockets attack.

Karim, who remained unbeaten and had a crucial 53-run partnership for the sixth wicket with wicketkeeper Dhiman Ghosh (18), looked solid, with his 45 runs coming in just 24 balls that included three sixes and four hits to the fence.

For Rockets, Gillespie was the most successful bowler claiming four wickets including that of Ghosh who was bowled out, while left-arm spinner S Sriram had bowled out Kapali and skipper Habib-ul-Bashr (17) became his second victim.

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