Seekkuge Prasanna’s whirlwind fifty was not enough for Dhaka Dynamites as Khulna Titans once again defended their total successfully, this time by nine runs, in the Bangladesh Premier League's fourth edition at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in the port city on Saturday.
Sri Lankan Prasanna almost took Dhaka near the finishing line as he smashed the fastest half-century of BPL 4 - in just 18 balls. But he was eventually dismissed by Kevon Cooper off the first ball of the final over as Dhaka were dismissed for 148 after Khulna posted 157/5.
Some poor catching and ground fielding by Dhaka hurt the star-studded side. And the loss of wickets at regular intervals only compounded their misery as Khulna registered their fourth win in five attempts.
On the other hand, Dhaka are still at the top of the points table with the same number of points (eight) as Khulna. However, the capital city outfit have played a game more than Khulna.
Chasing 158, Dhaka kept losing wickets right from the start with Mehedi Maruf (six), Kumar Sangakkara (two), Matt Coles (11) and Nasir Hossain (seven) all departing cheaply.
With Dhaka struggling on 30/4 inside the sixth over, youngster Mosaddek Hossain arrived to the middle. The right-hander tried to hang around at the crease, scoring 35 off 28 balls with two sixes and as many fours. But skipper Shakib al Hasan (eight) and West Indies batsman Dwayne Bravo (four) failed to score big, making things further difficult for Dhaka.
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Dhaka's Seekkuge Prasanna hoicks one over the cover region DHAKA TRIBUNE
However, Prasanna almost single-handedly took Dhaka to the winning line, smashing seven sixes in his hurricane knock. But his departure in the last over sparked wild celebrations in the Khulna dug-out.
Player of the match, left-arm spinner Mosharraf Hossain was the pick of the Khulna bowlers as he bagged 3/31 from his four overs while West Indian pacer Kevon Cooper also notched three wickets. And despite picking up only one wicket each, Pakistan paceman Junaid Khan and right-arm pacer Shafiul Islam bowled economically and did not allow Dhaka to run away with the game.
Earlier, Khulna elected to bat and were unable to get off to a good start as Andre Fletcher was dismissed after scoring 20 off 16 balls while Hasanuzzaman was caught short of the crease without troubling the scorers.
Shuvagata Hom added 24 but once again it was their skipper Mahmudullah who took the charge and went on to score the highest 62 runs off 44 balls, including four sixes and equal number of boundaries. Left-hander Taibur Parvez remained not out on 21.
Dhaka Dynamites 148 in 19.1 overs
(Prasanna 53, Mosharraf 3/31, Cooper 3/35) lost to Khulna Titans 157/5
(Mahmudullah 62, Shuvagata 24, Bravo 2/27) by nine runs
WHAT THEY SAID
Dhaka Dynamites captain Shakib al Hasan
We lost early wickets. In the first six overs, we couldn’t use the powerplay. Secondly, we lost many wickets. The momentum was never with us. Overall our batting has some lackings. We haven't been able to score, apart from Mosaddek [Hossain] and [Mehedi] Maruf bhai. We have to improve strongly in this area. We still have time. Actually, all are turning points. Losing wickets early was the key. If we were a bit more sensible, maybe it would have been possible to score the runs. We know that when two teams get on the field, both sides are the same. And the team that plays well will win. Everyone wants to win but sometimes one does, sometimes one doesn't. Our batting depth is such that everyone is a good batsman. Even if [Sohrawardi] Shuvo bhai comes in at No 5 instead of 10, he can bat. We have so many batsmen in the team that it makes it difficult for us to bring someone in early or late for that matter.
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Khulna spinner Mosharraf Hossain celebrates one of his three wickets DHAKA TRIBUNE
Khulna Titans spinner Mosharraf Hossain
We thought that the we lost the match but Junaid’s [Khan] over was crucial. We had some half chances. If we could have taken those chances, we could have won the game earlier. Yeah, things are going in our favour. We want to win by good margins, not closely. Hopefully, next match will work out well for us and we will win by a good margin. We have limited bowlers, in other teams there are many bowlers. Ariful [Haque] bowled as well. Yes, in the middle overs, if we had a good big-hitter, then we could have scored 10-15 runs more. We are starting well everyday but we are restricted to 150 at the end. Others are scoring 180. So, we have a good bowling unit. If we can add 10-15 runs more, then it will become easier for the bowlers.