Defending 155 runs to win the championship, Khulna bowlers kept their nerve and restricted Chattogram to 150 in 20 overs
Gemcon Khulna clinched the Bangabandhu T20 Cup after defeating Gazi Group Chattogram by five runs in a thrilling final in Mirpur’s Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium Friday.
Defending 155 runs to win the championship, Khulna bowlers kept their nerve and restricted Chattogram to 150 in their allotted 20 overs.
As many as 40 runs were needed in the last three overs with six wickets in hand and well-set Chattogram batsmen Saykat Ali and Mosaddek Hossain were at the crease.
Khulna pacer Shahidul Islam came to bowl the 18th over and gave away a six off the very first ball.
But the remaining five balls were spot on from the right-arm seamer as he leaked only five singles.
Then 29 was required from 12 deliveries as right-arm paceman Hasan Mahmud came on to bowl.
A boundary and a last-ball maximum in that over turned the match on its head as the port city reached 140 for the loss of four wickets after 19 overs with two set batsmen at the crease.
The equation was 16 off the final six balls and the tie was hanging like a pendulum as two recognized batsmen were at the middle who were capable of hitting it long.
But Shahidul bowled two brilliant yorker length deliveries in the beginning of the 20th over and conceded just three runs from the first two balls.
Shahidul then picked up two wickets, Mosaddek (19) in the third ball and Saykat (53) in the fourth, to ensure the title for Khulna.
Two sixes were needed for a Super Over off the last two deliveries but new batsman Nadif Chowdhury only managed to take a single in the fifth and penultimate ball of the over off a full length delivery.
A dozen were required off the final ball and lower-order batsman Nahidul Islam hoicked a consolation six in the end.
It has to be mentioned that Shahidul bowled a superb final over to defend 16 runs in a tense grand finale.
The grieving Shahidul lost his father a few days ago but produced a courageous performance after putting his focus back to cricket.
The 25-year old finished the match with bowling figure of 4-0-33-2 while Hasan, medium pacer Shuvagata Hom and another right-arm pacer Al-Amin Hossain took one wicket each for Khulna.
Khulna earlier made the worst possible start to their innings as they lost the key wicket of opener Jahurul Islam off the very first ball.
In-form Jahurul tried to clear the boundary over long off against Nahidul and the half-hearted shot resulted in a high catch which was gleefully taken by a running Mosaddek.
No 3 batsman and the experienced Imrul Kayes got out in the third over scoring just eight, which added to the pressure for Khulna.
Other opener Zakir Hasan made a decent 25 from 19 deliveries but was caught at deep mid wicket while trying to clear the fence from a short ball from Mosaddek in the seventh over.
Khulna lost regular wickets in the middle overs but skipper Mahmudullah played a fascinating anchoring role to guide Khulna towards a competitive total.
Mahmudullah scored a vital 70-run knock with eight fours and a couple of sixes which gave Khulna the momentum heading towards the 15-minute break.
Mahmudullah took 17 off the last over against medium pacer Soumya Sarkar, with two fours and one six, which proved crucial in the end as these runs in the closing stages of the innings made a big difference in the end.
Mahmudullah was adjudged the player of the final for his heroic performance with the bat.
GEMCON KHULNA INNINGS R B
Jahurul c Mosaddek b Nahidul 0 1
Zakir c sub (Joy) b Mosaddek 25 20
Imrul c Soumya b Nahidul 8 8
Ariful c Liton b Shariful 21 23
Mahmudullah not out 70 48
Shuvagata c Mustafizur b Shariful 15 12
Shamim run out (sub Joy) 0 1
Mashrafe c Soumya b Mustafizur 5 6
Shahidul not out 1 1
Extras (lb 1, w 9) 10
Total (20 Ov, RR: 7.75) 155/7
Fall Of Wickets
1-0 (Jahurul), 2-21 (Imrul), 3-43 (Zakir), 4-83 (Ariful), 5-117 (Shuvagata), 6-119 (Shamim), 7-131 (Mashrafe)
Nahidul 3-0-19-2, Shariful 4-0-33-2, Rakibul 4-0-19-0, Mosaddek 2-0-20-1, Mustafizur 4-0-24-1, Soumya 3-0-39-0
GAZI GROUP CHATTOGRAM INNINGS R B
Liton run out (Shahidul) 23 23
Soumya b Shuvagata 12 10
Mithun lbw b Al-Amin 7 5
Saykat b Shahidul 53 45
Shamsur c Shuvagata b Hasan 23 21
Mosaddek c Shuvagata b Shahidul 19 14
Nahidul not out 6 1
Nadif not out 1 1
Extras (lb 2, w 4) 6
Total (20 Ov, RR: 7.50) 150/6
Fall Of Wickets
1-26 (Soumya), 2-35 (Mithun), 3-51 (Liton), 4-96 (Shamsur), 5-143 (Mosaddek), 6-143 (Saykat)
Mashrafe 4-0-40-0, Shuvagata 2-0-8-1, Al-Amin 4-0-19-1, Hasan 4-0-30-1, Ariful 2-0-18-0, Shahidul 4-0-33-2
Gemcon Khulna won by five runs