Khulna Titans survive late scare
For the first time, Khulna’s bowling battery was given a run for their money and it was Seekkuge Prasanna who wreaked havoc during the fading stages of the match. Somehow it wasn’t enough to deny Khulna Titans their 4th win of this season’s BPL.
Khulna won the toss and decided to bat. The start wasn’t an auspicious one as they lost Hasanuzzaman through some shambolic piece of running between the wickets. Andre Fletcher was starting to hit his straps, but an ambitious stroke got rid of him in the 4th over.
The two Bangladesh nationals in Suvagata Hom and Mahmudullah had the onus to take Khulna out of the hole. The power-play was a mixed bag with Khulna notching up 46 runs for the loss of 2 wickets. A partnership was looking ominous for the Dynamites, but against the run of play, Bravo castled Suvagata to leave Khulna reeling.
At the half-way mark, Khulna piled on 76 runs with 7 wickets in the hut. Mahmudullah was set and ready to shift gears along with Nicholas Pooran. The pair was itching to race forward, but a screamer from Kumar Sangakkara sent Pooran packing, gifting Dwyane Bravo his 350th T20 wicket.
At the 15th over mark, Khulna walked along to 109/4 and the good news was that Mahumudullah was looking cool as a cucumber. Mahmudullah strolled along to his half century and Khulna’s highest individual score this season with a clean six over long on.
Mohammad Shahid snapped up the big fish in Mahmudullah, but not before the skipper rescued his team with a gritty 62 off 44 balls. Khulna ended on 157/5. The five dropped catches by the Dynamites could have made a difference to the eventual score, but the Dynamites bowled beautifully in the death overs to restrict the Titans.
Chasing 157, Dynamites lost Mehedi Maruf as Kevon Cooper struck first blood courtesy a wily slower in-dipper to trap Maruf dead in front of the stumps. Junaid Khan delivered the body blow for the Titans in the 3rd over when Sangakkara uncharacteristically tried to hoick a cross batted shot to hold out inside the circle.
Kevon Cooper piled on the agony with his 2nd wicket in the 5th over when Nasir Hossain guided the ball into the hands of short third-man. The power-play turned out to be a nightmare as Shafiul Islam cartwheeled Matt Coles’ middle stump. Dhaka eventually scored 30 runs with the loss of 4 wickets in the first 6 overs.
It was up to Shakib-Al-Hasan and an in-form Mosaddek Hossain to resurrect the horrendous start. Mosaddek Hossain carted the bowling around in the next 4 overs. Meanwhile, Shakib perished to Mosharraf. At the end of 10 overs, Dhaka was 68/5. With a required rate of 9 in the last ten overs, Dhaka was up against it.
The wicket of Dwyane Bravo off the bowling of Taibur Rahman pushed Dhaka further back. Mosharraf drilled yet another nail in the coffin of the Dynamites’ hopes when Mosaddek was caught in the deep. At the completion of 15 overs, Dhaka was in dire straits with the score at 93/7 and 64 more runs to get.
It was all over, but Seekkuge Prasanna had different ideas. He went berserk to bring Dhaka within striking distance. He peppered the stands with 7 sixes to set the cat among the pigeons in the Titans dugout. His partnership of 56 from 24 balls with Sunzamul Islam turned the match on its head. Prasanna accomplished his fifty in 18 balls, which is the 2nd fastest fifty in all editions of the BPL.
In the last two overs, Dhaka required a meagre 15 runs. A comedy of errors sent Suhrawadi Shuvo packing. Prasanna was still there, willing to hit everything out of the park. No, it wasn’t Mahmudullah in the last over. Kevon Cooper, after going for 21 runs in his previous over, was trusted with Prasanna on strike. Unfortunately for the Dynamites, Prasanna holed out to long off, handing Khulna a win by 9 runs.
Man of the Match: Mosharraf Hossain
|Shuvagata Hom||24(20)||Sunzamul Islam||1/22|
|Taibur Rahman||21(22)||Mohammad Shahid||1/38|
|Total: 157/5 (20 overs)|
|Sekkuge Prasanna||53(22)||Mosharraf Hossain||3/31|
|Mosaddek Hossain||35(28)||Kevon Cooper||3/35|
|Sunzamul Islam||12(15)||Shafiul Islam||1/21|
|Total: 148/10 (19.1 overs)|
Khulna Titans beat Dhaka Dynamites by nine runs
Comilla Victorians versus Rajshahi Kings
Rajshahi were clear favourites to win against a struggling Comilla Victorians, but defying all odds Comilla cantered to their opening victory in the tournament. Mashrafe Mortaza and his men made sure that there were no hiccups. Though their batsmen didn’t quite hammer everything, the bowlers were effective enough to leave the Kings in the doldrums.
Rajshahi won the toss and sent the Victorians to bat. They had a steady start before Farhad Reza gave the Kings their first breakthrough through the wicket of Khalid Latif. The Victorians survived the power-play with the loss of a solitary wicket and racked up 40 runs.
Ahmed Shehzad and Nazmul Hossain Shanto had got their eyes in. Mehedi Hasan Miraz gave Rajshahi their second scalp when Shehzad swept the ball into the palms of short fine leg. Imrul Kayes’s experience was in dire requisite to pull the Victorians out of the mini-hole.
69/2 is all that the Victorians could score in the first 10 overs and they needed a flourish to raise themselves to a respectable total. Nazmul Hossain was looking steady and Imrul Kayes was gaining back his touch after scoring 52 runs in the last 5 games.
Just when things were falling in place for the Victorians, Darren Sammy got rid of Nazmul Hossain Shanto in the 12th over of the match. Imrul Kayes followed suit courtesy a stupendous direct hit from substitute fielder Nazmul Islam Apu.
Comilla’s score raised to 111/4. With two new batsmen at the crease in Mashrafe Mortaza and Ryan ten Doeschate, it wasn’t easy going for the Victorians. In the first ball of the 16th over, Mortaza knicked a delivery of Darren Sammy into the hands of the keeper.
A partnership of 41 from 29 balls lifted the Victorians to 152/5, but the boundaries were dried up by some immaculate display of line and length. The Rajshahi bowlers were frugal, gifting away nothing. The total wasn’t a poor one, but since Comilla got into a habit of losing, they had to play out of their skins to register their first win.
Chasing 153, the Kings got off to a subdued start, but they didn't lost a wicket in the early part of the innings, and Mominul Haque and Junaid Siddiqui started handsomely. Sohail Tanvir changed that and clean bowled Junaid to get some life back in the match.
Sabbir Rahman was the next man in and Tanvir didn’t take much time to remove him with a bouncy out-swinger as Sabbir’s bat found the edge into the hands of first-slip. The Victorians clawed their way to edge the Kings out of the power-plays. The power-play fetched 30 runs for the loss of 2 wickets.
With the required rate inching towards 9, it was up to Mominul and Akmal to build a partnership. Akmal’s mediocre run in the BPL continued as he slapped the ball to the deep point fielder to get out on 3 runs from 12 balls.
After 10 overs, Rajshahi struggled along to 58/3. By that time it was pretty much evident that Mominul had to play a vital role in steering Rajshahi for the rest of the chase. Nurul Hasan Sohan struggled with his timing and finally got out for 8 in 9 balls.
Meanwhile, Mominul Haque reached his fifty in 41 balls. The 14th over was an epic one from Ryan ten Doeschate. It had 9 wides and the wicket of the set Mominul, but it was the wicket of Darren Sammy that made the Victorians believe that they can pull this one off. At the end of 15 overs, Rajshahi needed a dozen an over to get over the line.
It all went downhill for the Kings. They were somehow unable to counter the slower deliveries and an array of wickets in the death overs ensured that Comilla Victorians, finally, registered their maiden victory in this season’s BPL by 20 runs.
Man of the Match: Sohail Tanvir
|Nazmul Hosain Shanto||41(40)||Darren Sammy||2/34|
|Imrul Kayes||34(25)||Farhad Reza||1/26|
|Ryan ten Doeschate||21*(15)||Mehedi Hasan Miraz||1/29|
|Total: 152/5 (20 overs)|
|Mominul Haque||53(43)||Sohail Tanvir||4/18|
|Samit Patel||12(14)||Mohammad Saifuddin||3/27|
|Junaid Siddiqui||10(13)||Mashrafe Mortaza||1/15|
|Total: 120/10 (19 overs)|
Comilla Victorians beat Rajshahi Kings by 32 runs