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BPL 2016: Khulna Titans overpower Barisal Bulls to become table-toppers

586   //    21 Nov 2016, 12:18 IST

Mahmudullah’s and Riki Wessel’s knocks were instrumental in Khulna’s victory

Khulna Titans versus Barisal Bulls

Khulna Titan’s expertise of flawlessly defending totals was on show yet again as they humbled the Barisal Bulls comprehensively to register their 5th win of Bangladesh Premier League 2016. Barisal strained every muscle, but Khulna were simply insurmountable on their day.  

After winning the toss, Barisal Bulls decided to field first. Quite astonishingly, it was left-arm orthodox Taijul Islam who stole the show in the power-plays. Not only was he miserly in conceding runs, he also forced the batsman in taking undue risks.

First, it was Andre Fletcher, who mistimed a lofted shot to long on and then it was the turn of Hasanuzzaman who perished via a similar stroke. Hasanuzzaman was creaming Rumman Raees through the green carpet, but couldn’t quite gauge the guile and trajectory of Taijul Islam.

Taijul, in the meantime, ripped apart the backbone of the Titans batting with figures of 3-0-8-2 during the power-plays. Khulna crawled to 26/2 in the first 6 overs. Mahmudullah, yet again, was presented with the responsibility of resurrecting a derailed start by the Titans.

The skipper got his team back into contention through some lusty blows. He swept effectively, shimmied down the track and deposited a pickup shot among the crowds to infuse some much-needed momentum in the innings. Khulna cantered along with 67/2 at the end of 10 overs.

Mahmudullah went on living by the sword, muscling Taijul for a monstrous six and then threw his wicket away after reaching 44 off 26 balls. Shuvagata Hom, in the next over, fell short of the crease to perish for a duck.

Riki Wessels, after finding it tough in the first 10 balls of his innings, slowly but surely shifted gears to play some ravishing shots. It lifted Titan’s total to 112/4 in 15 overs. The platform was well and truly set for a blistering finish.

Wessels, after scoring 40 off 29 balls, dragged a delivery by Rayad Emrit on to his stumps. Rumman Raees inflicted further blows, getting rid of Kevon Cooper though a faint edge to the keeper. Ariful Haque pierced the gaps with perfection to provide the impetus. Khulna Titans eventually ended with 151/7.  

Mushfiqur Rahim tried valiantly to get the Bulls over the line

Chasing 152, Jeevan Mendis got Barisal off to a decent start with a couple of boundaries of Mahmudullah, but Junaid Khan struck first blood by dismissing Fazle Rabbi in the 2nd over. Mendis’s promising knock came to a halt when he skied a delivery of Shafiul Islam into the safe hands of Kevon Cooper.

Barisal scored 31 runs in the power-plays, b The required rate was nearing 9 and the onus was on Shahriar Nafees and Shamsur Rahman to get a partnership going. Barisal’s innings went downhill as they lost Shamsur Rahman to Mahmudullah. At the end of 10 overs, Barisal struggled at 51/3. With a required rate of 10.10 the Bulls were looking down the barrel.

The duo of Shahriar Nafees and Mushfiqur Rahim maneuvered the gaps for singles and doubles, but the boundaries weren’t coming thick and fast. Rahim pulled Mosharraf for a couple of boundaries in the 13th over to inject some impetus.

The Bulls lost Nafees at the wrong time to Mosharraf, leaving Mushfiqur with a chunk of the responsibility, but Thisara Perera didn’t last long either. Mosharraf grabbed his 2nd wicket in the process. At the close of 15 overs, the Bulls were tottering at 92/5.

The last 5 overs needed a required run-rate of a dozen an over. Shafiul Islam delivered the body blow for the Bulls as Mushfiqur was dismissed after playing a handy knock of 35 off 23 balls. The Bulls never recovered from the slump and finally folded for 129, handing Khulna a win by 22 runs. Khulna Titans, as a result, moved up the ladder to grab the top spot in the league table.

Man of the Match: Mahmudullah

Brief Scores

Khulna Titans                                                   

Mahmudullah44(26)Taijul Islam3/18
Riki Wessels40(29)Rayad Emrit1/30
Ariful Haque 26*(22)Rumman Raees1/32
Total: 151/7 (20 overs)   

Barisal Bulls

Mushfiqur Rahim35(23)Shafiul Islam4/17
Shahriar Nafees28(35)Mosharraf Hossain2/24
Jeevan Mendis21(16)Junaid Khan2/29
Total: 129/10 (19.3 overs)   

Khulna Titans beat Barisal Bulls by 22 runs

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