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Amazing Ariful takes Khulna home

  • Published at 01:26 pm November 21st, 2017
  • Last updated at 07:28 pm November 21st, 2017
Amazing Ariful takes Khulna home
Khulna Titans snatched a thrilling win against Rajshahi Kings as they won by two wickets in their BPL 2017 match at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Tuesday. Chasing 167 runs, Khulna reached their target with four balls to spare. Despite losing two early wickets, Khulna were on track to chasing down their target as skipper Mahmudullah and opener Rilee Rossouw formed a 67-run partnership for the third wicket partnership. But after Mahmudullah’s dismissal, Khulna lost a few wickets in the middle overs and were under pressure. Mahmudullah’s innings was composed with eight fours and a six. At one stage, they lost their eighth wicket in the third ball of the 17th over when the score was 128. Khulna still needed 39 to win and the in-form Ariful Haque played a brilliant innings (43 off 19 balls), adding 40 unbroken runs for the ninth wicket with No 10 batsman Junaid Khan to guide his team to victory. Ariful struck four boundaries and a couple of over-boundaries in his innings. In the last over, nine runs were needed. And Ariful struck a brilliant sixer over deep mid-wicket against seamer Dwayne Smith and in the following ball, played a scoop shot to clear the field at short fine leg, thus sparking wild celebration in the Khulna dug-out. Ariful was adjudged player of the match for his quickfire knock. Earlier, Mahmudullah won the toss and elected to field. Both teams made changes in their playing XI. Rajshahi picked Smith and Kent's Daniel Bell-Drummond while Khulna included left Junaid and all-rounder Afif Hossain. Junaid made a blistering start to his BPL 5 campaign as the Pakistan paceman took two wickets in his first over. Rajshahi were under further trouble after losing opener Mominul Haque (five) and Bell-Drummond (nought). Soon, Rajshahi lost their third wicket as the in-form Zakir Hasna (nought) was caught at short mid wicket by a stunning, diving one-handed catch by Seekkuge Prasanna, who was running backwards. But Smith continued to strike the ball well at the other end and stitched together a 76-run partnership with wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim for the fourth wicket. The right-hander finally got out while trying to clear the boundary at deep square leg after scoring 62 off 36 balls with seven fours and four sixes. Mushfiq also batted well and scored a well deserved half-century. He made 55 facing 33 balls with four boundaries and three sixers. Khulna bowlers bowled well at the death overs and eventually Rajshahi managed to post 166 losing eight wickets in their stipulated 20 overs. Junaid took four wickets for Khulna while the in-form Abu Jayed bagged two wickets. With this win, Khulna moved to third position in the pints table with nine points from seven matches while Rajshahi have four points from seven games. BRIEF SCORE Khulna Titans 168/8 in 19.2 overs (Mahmudullah 56, Ariful 43*) beat Rajshahi Kings 166/8 (Smith 62, Junaid 4/27) by two wickets   WHAT THEY SAID Ariful Haque, Khulna Titans batsman I targeted the over of Hossain Ali. He tried to bowl in the block hole and I tried to score at least two boundaries. In the end, I got success. I had the belief that I can win the match for my team, even when 36 runs were required form three overs. I had Junaid [Khan] bhai at the other end, who gave me good advice. This type of match-winning innings is giving me a lot of confidence. It will help me in future. I like T20 format because the intensity is very high. My coach Mahela [Jayawardene] adjusted my balance as a batsman. It helped me to score runs. Hopefully I can keep up my good form. James Franklin, Rajshahi Kings all-rounder Obviously it was disappointing to lose. Just four overs to go, and we saw some brilliant batting from Ariful for the Titans. He had nothing to lose and played a match-winning innings. Probably as a bowling side, our execution was not good in the end. Also some of our fieldings were sloppy in the last few overs. Again we are our worst enemies. Most of our losses this season came due to our fault. Probably we were 10-15 runs short after a good partnership. But we can identify our mistakes for the upcoming matches and play better cricket.
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