Khulna Titans skipper Mahmudullah took three wickets in the last over and defended six runs to help his side clinch another thrilling win, this time by four runs against Chittagong Vikings in their Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 2016-17 season tie in Mirpur’s Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
Chittagong made a horrible start chasing 128 as the Khulna bowlers, especially Kevon Cooper, who took two key wickets of captain Tamim Iqbal and Dwayne Smith within the first six overs. Chittagong continued to struugle as they only managed to score 30 in the first eight overs.
Later, Mohammad Nabi played a quickfire 39-run innings from just 23 balls. Chittaging were favourites to win going into the final over as they needed only six runs with four wickets remaining.
The Khulna skipper once again did the job for his team as he picked up three wickets - Chaturanga de Silva, Abdur Razzak and Nabi - to restrict Chittagong to 123/9. In the last two balls of the game, five runs were required and Nabi was on strike. But Mahmudullah bowled brilliantly and did not concede any run, besides accounting for the wicket of Nabi in the final delivery to seal yet another exciting victory for Khulna.
[caption id="attachment_31921" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]
Khulna paceman Shafiul Islam celebrates one of his four Chittagong wickets in Mirpur on Saturday DHAKA TRIBUNE
Paceman Shafiul Islam was the star performer with the ball as he took four wickets conceding 28 runs.
Earlier, Chittagong captain Tamim won the toss and elected to field first. Khulna made two changes from their previous match against Rangpur Riders. Opening batsman Abdul Mazid was replaced by Hasanuzzaman while West Indies all-rounder Kevon Cooper came in for Pakistan spinner Mohammad Asghar.
Khulna’s new opening pair, Riki Wessels and Hasanuzzaman made a brisk start. Khulna posted 34 runs in the first three overs. Then debutant Hasanuzzaman got out for eight trying to slog sweep Nabi.
Khulna lost wickets at regular intervals and eventually registered a moderate total of 127.
Nicholas Pooran scored 29 off 30 balls while opener Wessels scored 28 off just 17 balls with four boundaries.
Afghan spinner Nabi took three wickets for 22 runs while fast bowler Taskin Ahmed also bagged two wickets conceding 17 runs in three overs.
Mahmudullah was adjudged player of the match for his last over heroics.
Chittagong Vikings 123/9
(Nabi 39, Jahurul 25, Shafiul 4/28, Mahmudullah 3/24, Cooper 2/17) lost to Khulna Titans 127/7
(Pooran 29, Wessels 28, Ariful 25*, Kapali 23, Nabi 3/22) by four runs
WHAT THEY SAID
Khulna Titans captain Mahmudullah
I was a bit nervous at the beginning. Fortunately we won the game because they had two set batsmen out there. But Chaturanga's [de Silva] wicket was key. We tried not to give strike to [Mohammad] Nabi. I just tried to bowl in good channel. I believe we should work on our fielding as well. We are still working with our batting combination. [Kevon] Cooper bowled really well. He was injured in the first two matches. Now he is back. He is a key player in the team. Shafiul’s [Islam] spell was fantastic as well.
Chittagong Vikings skipper Tamim Iqbal
We will keep losing if we play this sort of cricket. Maybe the batsmen don't have problem with skill but there's definitely something wrong in the head if one doesn't understand something after receiving 20 messages. We don't deserve to play here if we have to do spoon feeding at this level. I don't want to say the names, but I am talking about the batsmen. I think [Mahmudullah] Riyad bhai played exceptionally well to defend the target. But we had two set batsmen. So it was our fault that we lost the game. We have no complaints about the wicket. Yes, 160/170 is a good score for T20. But I think this year’s wicket is Ok. Last year’s wickets were more tricky.