Khulna Titans beat Rajshahi Kings by three runs. Here is the scorecard and full commentary.
The Titans left it until the last 3 overs for a stunning comeback to get to score that might not looked as if it was enough but the bowling made it just enough by getting to 134. Junaid Khan took 4 wickets while ripping through the batting order of the Kings but it was the captain Mahmudullah who took 3 in the last over to take the Titans over the line.
In the chase of 134, the Kings needed 23 runs from the last 3 overs with six wickets in hand and it looked like an easy victory but a storm was yet to hit in the look of Mahmudullah and Shaiful Islam. Shaiful broke the threatening 52 run partnership by Mominul Haque and Darren Sammy who pitched in with a 64 and a 31. He had Sammy bowled and Mominul caught behind in the 18th over to turn the game on its head. It really turned pear shape for the Kings when Farhad Reza hacked on into the air and was caught by Mahmudullah by Junaid Khan.
Mahmudullah brought himself on in the last over to defend 7 runs and gave 3 of the first 2 balls. Then, he removed Abul Hasan and Mohammed Sami in consecutive bowls leaving th Kings 4 to win off 2 balls. The number 11 Nazmul Islam attempted two very exaggerated shots but connected with none and was stumped on the last bowl.
Earlier in the innings, Junaid had torn through the King’s top order in his first 3 overs. In his first over Junaid sent Nurul Hasan back to the pavilion and in his second got a caught behind of Umar Akmal for a duck and a caught of a wild slog from Sabbir Rehman. The fourth partnership added some resistance with a 35 between Samit Patel and Mominul Haque but when the English all-rounder perished, the Kings still needed 75 to win.
Mominul added a brilliant 64 with 6 boundaries and occupied on end of the wicket. He was dropped on 7 in the slips and on 24 at long-off as he made full use of his chances and scored his third T20 fifty.
In the first innings, the Titans were restricted to 133 which was definitely below par on this pitch. Abul Hasan’s 5 for 24 helped the Kings to put pressure on the Titans. He was brought on in the 10th over and immediately struck to end a 47 run partnership between Rikki Wessels (32) and Abdul Mazid (15). After that he was brought back in the death overs and took the wickets of Mahmudullah and sent back Alok Kapali for his 2nd and 3rd wicket. In the last over, Hasan duped Ariful Haque and Shafiul Islam to complete his five-for. He became the only second Bangladeshi bowler to take a 5 wicket haul in the BPL.
Mehedi Hasan set the tone for the innings by dismissing Nicolas Pooran on his 3rd ball. He finished with 1 for 15 and Samit Patel also got a scalp and finished with 1 for 18 in his economical spell. Though, it went to waste.
The Cornered Tiger