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BPL 2016: Comilla Victorians eliminate Rangpur Riders; Mahmudullah steers Khulna Titans to play-offs

Neelabhra Roy
SENIOR ANALYST
765   //    04 Dec 2016, 23:24 IST
Imrul Kayes starred for the Victorians with the bat

The Khulna Titans confirmed their spot in the play-offs of the Bangladesh Premier League by defeating table-toppers Dhaka Dynamites by six wickets with two overs to spare. Their victory effectively eliminated the Rajshahi Kings who were beaten by the Comilla Victorians in the first match of the day. The reigning champions had nothing to play for except pride and ended their tournament on a high.

The Victorians were put into bat first by Rangpur Riders captain Naeem Islam and were off to a flyer with Imrul Kayes and Khalid Latif putting on an opening stand of 88 before the former was dismissed for an impressive 52 off 35 deliveries. Latif soon followed suit, having made 43 off 36 balls. The remainder of the Victorians’ batting did not have much to offer with Marlon Samuels scoring a 24-ball 30 and Azhar Zaidi and Rashid Khan hitting cameos off 17 and 11 respectively.

The Victorians ended their innings on 170 at the loss of six wickets. As far as the Riders’ bowling was concerned, most of their bowlers went for above seven an over with Rubel Hossain and Arafat Sunny picking up two wickets apiece and Shahid Afridi getting one.

In reply, the Rangpur Riders were off to a steady start thanks to Mohammad Shahzad who was showing a lot of aggressive intent right from the beginning. However, they lost four quick wickets including Shahzad for only nine runs and were tottering at 57 for four. Shahid Afridi restored some hope for the Riders through his aggressive batting before being dismissed for a quick-fire 19-ball 38 by Rashid Khan who was introduced late in the innings.

Khan did substantial damage to the Riders’ batting as he took another two wickets and the pressure was solely on Ziaur Rahman with the Riders needing 24 runs of the final over. Rahman did hit a couple of sixes in the final over but it was too little too late for the Riders as they fell short by eight runs. Rashid Khan was the pick of the bowlers for the Victorians, picking up three wickets for 13 runs in his four overs with captain Mashrafe Mortaza and Nabil Samad picking up two wickets each.

Khan was adjudged the man of the match for his brilliant spell in addition to his four-ball cameo of 11 which, in the end, proved decisive for the Victorians.

Both teams had their final game of the BPL with Comilla Victorians already eliminated prior to the match and the Rangpur Riders being eliminated from the competition as the Khulna Titans defeated the Dhaka Dynamites in the second match of the day which helped them advance to the play-offs.

Brief Scores: Comilla Victorians- 170/7 in 20 overs (Imrul Kayes- 52, Khalid Latif- 43, Rubel Hossain- 30/2); Rangpur Riders- 162/8 in 20 overs (Mohammad Shahzad- 45, Shahid Afridi- 38, Rashid Khan- 13/3)

Result: Comilla Victorians win by eight runs.


Khulna Titans enter the play-offs with win over Dhaka Dynamites
 

Khulna Titans’ skipper Mahmudullah’s fifty took his team to the play-offs of the BPL


The Khulna Titans confirmed their spot in the play-offs by beating the already-qualified Dhaka Dynamites by six wickets at Dhaka. The win meant that the Titans end the round-robin in second place with seven wins and five defeats and will have an extra chance of reaching the final.

The Dynamites were sent into bat first by Khulna Titans skipper Mahmudullah and were off to a decent start with the experienced Kumar Sangakkara dealing with boundaries and his fellow opener Mehedi Maruf playing calmly on the other end. The duo put up an opening stand of 58 before Maruf was dismissed for 16 in the seventh over. Sangakkara brought up his second fifty of the competition before being bowled by Benny Howell for 59 off 41 deliveries.

The middle-order batsmen could not stay in the crease for too long and the Dynamites ended their innings at 158 for seven in 20 overs. Junaid Khan was the pick of the Khulna bowlers, picking up three wickets for just 22 runs in his four overs with Benny Howell being extremely economical, going for only 14 runs in his four overs and getting the key wicket of Kumar Sangakkara.

In their run-chase, the Titans lost opener Andre Fletcher as early as the second over before Abdul Mazid joined Hasanuzzaman at the crease. While Mazid was playing quite patiently, Hasanuzzaman was going after the Dynamites bowlers before being dismissed for a quick-fire 40 off just 19 deliveries. In came captain Mahmudullah and he soon started taking the match away from the Dynamites. After Mazid was dismissed, Benny Howell joined the captain at the crease and the match started getting beyond the reach of the Dynamites.

Mahmudullah got his second fifty of the competition and by the time he was dismissed, the Titans had already taken full control of the match. The Titans reached the target in just 18 overs to qualify for the play-offs. Ravi Bopara was the pick of the bowlers for the Dynamites, taking two wickets for 17 runs in three overs. Mahmudullah was adjudged man of the match for his captain’s knock of 50 from just 28 deliveries.

Both teams will now lock horns at the first qualifier at Dhaka on Tuesday while the Eliminator will take place between the Chittagong Vikings and the Rajshahi Kings, also on Tuesday.

Brief Scores: Dhaka Dynamites- 158/7 in 20 overs (Sangakkara- 59, Junaid Khan- 22/3, Benny Howell- 14/1); Khulna Titans- 159/4 in 20 overs (Mahmudullah- 50, Hasanuzzaman- 40, Ravi Bopara- 17/1)

Result: Khulna Titans win by six wickets.

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