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BPL 4 team review: Captain Khulna guides new franchise to position of pride

  • Published at 10:58 pm December 8th, 2016
  • Last updated at 12:49 am December 9th, 2016
BPL 4 team review: Captain Khulna guides new franchise to position of pride
Khulna Titans finished third in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 2016-17 season after producing some surprising results throughout the tournament. As a new franchise, many thought Khulna would struggle in the tournament but they proved the critics wrong, winning the hearts of millions of cricket fans in the process. Apart from national star Mahmudullah, there were apparently no big names in the squad. But team spirit and positive mindset proved to be the key reasons behind Khulna’s success. Khulna brought in the experienced Australian Stuart Law as their coach. Law previously coached Bangladesh in 2012 and also worked with the Bangladesh under-19 team. The combination of Law and Mahmudullah worked pretty well as Khulna concluded their campaign at a creditable third, bearing in mind that a few star-studded teams have failed to reach the playoffs. [caption id="attachment_39108" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Khulna coach Stuart Law guided his side to an impressive third in their maiden BPL season DHAKA TRIBUNE[/caption] Khulna started their campaign with a nail-biting win against Rajshahi Kings. Rajshahi were favourites to win the match, needing only six runs in the final over with plenty of wickets in hand. But Mahmudullah bowled an exceptional over, snatching a tense three-run win. In their next match, Khulna's batting collapsed like a pack of cards as they were all out for 44 runs. Khulna will surely like to forget this match. However, they came back strongly from that low point. They won their third match in a pretty similar passion like the first game. This time around, they got the better of Chittagong Vikings. And yet again, their superhero was charismatic skipper Mahmudullah. This time, the off-spinner defended seven runs in the last over, winning by four runs. Khulna won their next three matches from there to go top of the points table. They eventually went on to win seven out of 12 round robin matches, reaching the first qualifier as the No 2 side. Their ending though was not upto the mark as they lost against Dhaka Dynamites in the first qualifier before suffering a defeat again in the second qualifier against Rajshahi to get knocked out of the competition. But finishing third in their first BPL tournament can certainly be labelled a good result. Mahmudullah was the key force behind Khulna’s success this year as the captain single-handedly turned the tables around in quite a few matches. Mahmudullah played brilliantly in all the three departments – batting, bowling and fielding. And more importantly, he inspired the whole team to achieve great results. Batting was the main concern for Khulna right throughout the tournament. Apart from Mahmudullah, no other batsmen rose to the occasion and provided support to the team. With the exception of Mahmudullah, who made two fifties, none of the other batsmen scored any fifty-plus innings for their side in the whole tournament. It clearly shows how much dependant Khulna were on Mahmudullah’s batting. In several matches, Khulna probably fell 20-30 runs short but still managed to win because of their bowling unit. Bowlers performed tremendously and defended some modest totals on good batting wickets on numerous occasions. Khulna's ground-fielding was also upto the mark but it is their batting that let them down. Their top order did not click in the whole tournament. The Khulna think-tank shuffled the top-order and tried various combinations but unfortunately, none of them clicked. [caption id="attachment_39095" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Khulna paceman Shafiul Islam was brilliant for his side, before a cruel injury cut short his campaign DHAKA TRIBUNE[/caption] Local players Mahmudullah was the standout Khulna performer. The captain cool scored 396 runs in the tournament in 14 innings at an average of 33.00. Middle-order batsman Ariful Haque made some useful contributions, making 203 in 11 innings. But the other local batsmen failed big time to create an impression. Opening batsman Hasanuzzaman was regarded as an exciting player but he could only manage to score 144 runs in 10 innings at an average of 14.40. National all-rounder Shuvagata Hom was also a disappointment as he managed to make only 115 runs in 12 innings. The experienced Alok Kapali was also unimpressive as he played six matches and scored only 43 runs. Fellow opener Abdul Mazid was below-par as well as he played seven matches for his 88 runs which came at an average of 12.57. The local bowlers, in contrast, enjoyed a terrific tournament. Paceman Shafiul Islam was the pick of the local bowlers taking 18 wickets in 12 innings. The right-arm pacer was injured in the first qualifier against Dhaka and was later ruled out for a few weeks. Left-arm spinner Mosharraf Hossain Rubel bowled economically throughout the series, notching 11 wickets in 13 innings at an impressive economy rate of 5.96. Mahmudullah also took 10 wickets from 12 innings. [caption id="attachment_39096" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] In tandem with Shafiul, left-arm paceman Junaid Khan often provided Khulna important breakthroughs DHAKA TRIBUNE[/caption] Foreign players Pakistan left-arm pacer Junaid Khan was the star overseas player for the side. He bowled magnificently taking 20 wickets in the tournament with an economy rate of 6.09. West Indies all-rounder and T20 specialist Kevon Cooper took 11 wickets in eight matches. Cooper missed the first few matches due to injury. Otherwise, his wicket-haul could have been more healthy. Overseas batsmen like Nicholas Pooran and Riki Wessels made good starts in a few matches but were unable to convert them into big ones. Pooran was regarded as one of the main big-hitters in the team but he managed to score 171 runs in 12 innings at an average of 17.10. Wessels scored 197 runs in nine innings at an average of 21.88. Another West Inidian opener Andre Fletcher played six matches for his 92 runs which came at an average of 15.33. Squad Local players Abdul Halim (bowler), Abdul Mazid (batsman), Abu Sayem (batsman), Alok Kapali (all-rounder), Ariful Haque (all-rounder), Mahmudullah (all-rounder), Mosharraf Hossain (all-rounder), Naeem Islam Jr (bowler), Shuvagata Hom (all-rounder), Taibur Rahman (all-rounder), Hasanuzzaman (batsman), Shafiul Islam (bowler), Noor Hossain (bowler). Foreign players Kevon Cooper (West Indies/all-rounder), Andre Fletcher (West Indies/batsman), Benny Howell (England/all-rounder), Junaid Khan (Pakistan/bowler), Ben Laughlin (England/bowler), Nicholas Pooran (West Indies/wicketkeeper-batsman), Lendl Simmons (West Indies/batsman), Mohammad Asghar (Pakistan/bowler), Riki Wessels (England/batsman). Last 14 match: WLWWWWLWLLLWLL BPL 4 Statistics:
Most runs
Player Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 0 4s 6s
Mahmudullah 14 14 2 396 62 33.00 335 118.20 0 2 0 31 14
Ariful Haque 14 11 4 203 32* 29.00 179 113.40 0 0 0 13 6
MH Wessels 9 9 0 197 40 21.88 177 111.29 0 0 0 22 3
N Pooran 12 12 2 171 29 17.10 145 117.93 0 0 1 12 9
Hasanuzzaman 10 10 0 144 40 14.40 123 117.07 0 0 1 16 4
Shuvagata Hom 13 12 0 115 40 9.58 114 100.87 0 0 1 13 1
ADS Fletcher 6 6 0 92 28 15.33 81 113.58 0 0 0 11 3
Abdul Mazid 7 7 0 88 21 12.57 117 75.21 0 0 0 7 1
Taibur Rahman 6 6 2 87 32 21.75 98 88.77 0 0 0 7 1
BAC Howell 5 5 2 57 26* 19.00 47 121.27 0 0 0 4 1
 
Most wickets
Player Mat Inns Overs Mdns Runs Wkts BBI Ave Econ SR 4 5
Junaid Khan 14 14 52.4 0 321 20 4/23 16.05 6.09 15.8 2 0
Shafiul Islam 13 12 42.3 0 331 18 4/17 18.38 7.78 14.1 2 0
KK Cooper 8 8 31.1 1 209 11 3/35 19.00 6.70 17.0 0 0
Mosharraf Hossain 13 13 51.4 0 308 11 3/31 28.00 5.96 28.1 0 0
Mahmudullah 14 12 33.2 0 247 10 3/6 24.70 7.41 20.0 0 0
BAC Howell 5 5 20.0 0 121 5 2/25 24.20 6.05 24.0 0 0
ADS Fletcher 6 1 3.0 0 22 2 2/22 11.00 7.33 9.0 0 0
Shuvagata Hom 13 9 12.0 0 98 2 1/7 49.00 8.16 36.0 0 0
Taibur Rahman 6 2 2.0 0 12 1 1/5 12.00 6.00 12.0 0 0
Mohammad Asghar 2 2 6.0 0 27 1 1/21 27.00 4.50 36.0 0 0

Statistics source: ESPNcricinfo

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