BPL 2016: Masterful Mahmudullah's last over heroics seals the game
The first four days of the 4th edition of the Bangladesh Premier League have treated its fans with some enthralling cricket. Day 5 promised no less. With the weekend ready to take guard, the temperature soared up prodigiously.
Khulna Titans and Chittagong Vikings were all set to resurrect their rusty starts in the opening match of Saturday. Both teams were in dire requisite of a win. Chittagong got off the mark with a comprehensive victory by 29 runs against defending champions Comilla Victorians, but soon slumped to a 9 wicket defeat against Rangpur Riders.
Courtesy Mahmudullah, Khulna stumbled over the finishing line against Rajshahi in their opening game only to bow down embarrassingly against Rangpur Riders.
Rangpur Riders locked horns with Dhaka Dynamites in the day’s second game. Rangpur Rides, the in-form team, has cantered along with two thumping wins and will be looking to carry forward their winning run.
Dhaka Dynamites, on the other side, rolled over Barisal Bulls by 8 wickets in their opening game. In the next contest versus Rajshahi, they were unable to topple their opposition. They were up against an ominous looking Rangpur Riders in their 3rd match of the season.
Both matches had everything to offer. We take a look at how the contests panned out.
Khulna Titans versus Chittagong Vikings
History does repeat itself sooner or later, but Mahmudullah has ensured that it’s done in a gap of 4 days. Albeit astoundingly, Mahmudullah has again manifested his temperament as a cricketer as he churned out 3 wickets in the final over to seal the match versus Khulna Titans by 4 runs. BPL 2016 had its second cliffhanger in the process.
After winning the toss, Khulna was sent to bat by Tamim Iqbal. Khulna’s intentions were pretty much clear from the first over itself, when Riki Wessels pierced the infield for a couple of boundaries to score 13 of the first over. At the end of the 3rd over Khulna carted the Chittagong bowlers around the park for 34 runs. Abdur Razzak was erratic in his line and length conceding 20 runs in his first two overs with a dropped caught and bowled opportunity.
The tides started turning from the first ball of the 4th over when Mohammed Nabi drew first blood courtesy an ugly hoick from Hasanuzzaman. Shuvagata Hom gifted his wicket away in the same over, attempting a lofted shot down the ground. From 34/0 after 3 overs, Khulna capsized to 42/3 in 5.1 overs. Razzak redeemed himself by castling Riki Wessels to push Khulna further back.
Taskin Ahmed delivered the body blow for the Vikings, as he dismissed Mahmudullah through a stunning catch by Tamim Iqbal, running backwards. After 10 overs, Khulna was looking down the barrel with a total of 58/4 on the board.
Alok Kapali’s painstaking vigil wasn’t helping the cause either. He was dismissed for 23 off 35 balls, going for a pressure-release stroke only to mistime the ball in the hands of the fielder. It was for some lusty blows by Ariful Haque that took Chittagong to a score of 127/7 at the end of the 20 overs. Mohammed Nabi again showed why he is considered a force in international cricket or for that matter any cricket.
Chasing 128, Chittagong got off to a subdued start. Khulna needed an early wicket and Kevon Cooper showed Tamim Iqbal the road to the pavilion in the 3rd over. He also got rid of Dwayne Smith in his second over, setting the cat among the pigeons in the Chittagong dugout.
At the end of the power-play, Khulna crawled along to 22/2. With the required rate of 7.57 in the remaining overs, Khulna were up against the task on a precariously slow wicket. The experienced Shoaib Malik couldn’t survive either, perishing to Shaifiul Islam. At the halfway mark, Chittagong was all at sea with a required rate of 9 and 6 wickets in hand.
Jahurul Islam and Mohammad Nabi somewhat pulled it back, but Shafiul had other ideas. He dismissed Jahurul with Khulna needing 50 off the final 30 balls. The match was heading for a nail-biting finish. Nabi was rock solid though.
A partnership of 45 off 25 balls between Nabi and Chathuranga de Silva took the Vikings ever so close to the target. The six by Nabi off Junaid Khan in the first ball of the 19th over bought it to a run-ball position for Chittagong.
With 6 runs required off the last over the onus was on the skipper to yet again pull off something miraculous and he didn’t disappoint one bit. Not only did he pick up two set batsman in de Silva and Nabi, he ensured that the Titans survive a hiccup to register their 2nd win of this edition.
Man of the Match: Mahmudullah
|Nicholas Pooran||29(30)||Mohammad Nabi||3/22|
|Riki Wessels||28(17)||Taskin Ahmed||2/17|
|Ariful Haque||25*(16)||Abdur Razzak||1/23|
|Total: 127/7(20 overs)|
|Mohammad Nabi||39(23)||Shafiul Islam||4/28|
|Chaturanga de Silva||19(14)||Kevon Cooper||2/17|
|Total: 123/9 (20 overs)|
Khulna Titans beat Chittagong Vikings by 4 runs
Rangpur Riders versus Dhaka Dynamites
After winning the toss, Rangpur Riders selected to field first. Dhaka Dynamites came out all guns blazing, when Mehedi Maruf dispatched Shohag Gazi for a couple of boundaries. Nevertheless, Gazi sent him packing when Maruf hit a sweep shot straight into the hands of Shahid Afridi.
The power-play went to Dhaka as they muscled their way to 54/1 courtesy a swashbuckling Nasir Hossain and an elegant Kumar Sangakkara. The pitch looked like an absolute belter to plunder runs. Unlike the previous game, Rangpur Riders had to grind to penetrate the opposition. At the end of 10 overs, Dhaka was cruising at 69/1.
The 11th over from Shahid Afridi reversed the odds in favour of the Riders when he got the better of both Nasir Hossain and Ravi Bopara. It was upto Shakib-Al-Hasan and Kumar Sangakkara to rebuild the momentum. To the dismay of the Dynamites, Sangakkara gifted his wicket away to Shohag Gazi, holding out at deep mid-wicket.
From 69/1, Dhaka got reduced to 82/4 in a space of 2 overs. The flurry of wickets didn’t curb the Dynamites from going for ambitious shots. Mosaddek Hossain continued on his merry way, steering the ball to all corners of the ground.
It was unlucky from Mosaddek’s viewpoint for not reaching his half century as he seldom got the strike in the last couple of overs. Nonetheless, 15 runs in the last over, effected by a couple of humongous sixes from Sekkuge Prasanna meant that Dhaka posted the highest total in this edition’s BPL.
Chasing 171, Rangpur was pegged back with a couple of strikes by Nasir Hossain and Shakib. The spinners were impeccable in their line and lengths which didn’t allow the likes of Mohammad Shahzad to free the arms. An uncharacteristic 11 off 15 deliveries finally ended when he mistimed a delivery by Sunzamul Islam straight into the hands of mid-off.
The powerplay gathered 27 runs for the loss of 3 wickets. The required rate shot up over 10 runs per over which wasn’t something to cheer about for the Rangpur fraternity. At the 10 over mark, the Ryders were tottering at 45. Naeem Islam and Liam Dawson milked singles in an attempt to stage a comeback, but the run rate crept up alarmingly.
When Liam Dawson succumbed to Prassana, the required rate already mounted to 12.74. The last 9 overs was a perfect platform for Afridi to tee off. He couldn’t storm the heat and spooned a simple catch off the bowling of Shakib.
With Afridi departed the slender hopes of a Rangpur win. It was all about going through the motions. Rangpur painfully ended their innings at 92/9 handing Dhaka a comfortable win by 78 runs. Apart from the loss, the bad news for Rangpur will be that their net run of +3.191 took a hammering.
Man of the match: Mosaddek Hossain
|Mosaddek Hossain||48*(28)||Shahid Afridi||2/22|
|Nasir Hossain||38(33)||Shohag Gazi||2/31|
|Kumar Sangakkara||29(27)||Liam Dawson||1/18|
|Total: 170/6 (20 overs|
|Liam Dawson||16(23)||Dwyane Bravo||2/21|
|Mohammad Shahzad||11(15)||Sekkuge Prasanna||1/17|
|Total: 92/9 (19.2 overs)|
Dhaka Dynamites beat Rangpur Riders by 78 runs