Khulna Titans v Rangpur Riders
Khulna’s batting woes continue
Despite winning five out of seven games in the ongoing fourth edition of the Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20, Khulna are yet to post a big total so far. Khulna registered 133, 44, 127, 144, 157, 151 and 125 in their seven matches and the team management will no doubt be eager to improve their batting fortunes. Over-reliance on skipper Mahmudullah is also another reason why the Khulna batsmen have been unable to score significantly. Against Rangpur, Khulna once again put up a below-par total with Taibur Rahman's sedate 37-ball 32 turning out to be the highest score. Their opening batting pair, which is quite often changed and tinkered with, are yet to fire in the competition, thus putting extra pressure on the middle- and lower-order.
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Ladyluck shone on Rangpur's Shahid Afridi as he survived twice in the same over DHAKA TRIBUNE
Afridi’s luck against Howell
Perhaps the most interesting part of the Khulna-Rangpur game happened in the 15th over of the latter’s innings when Pakistan superstar Shahid Afridi was batting at the crease. In the third ball of Benny Howell’s over, Afridi totally missed a straightish delivery as it went on to hit the timber. However, Afridi survived as Howell had overstepped. To add to the agony, the hard-hitter smacked the resulting free hit for a six over mid-wicket. A ball later, Afridi turned out to be lucky once again as Howell dropped a catch of his own bowling. Running towards the short mid-wicket region, Howell went under the line of the ball but eventually dropped it. However, the bowler atoned for his mistake by finally picking up the wicket of Afridi in the 18th over. Afridi though had already made 26 by then.
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Chittagong Vikings' Shoaib Malik goes big during their match against Barisal Bulls DHAKA TRIBUNE
Tamim Iqbal’s Chittagong are slowly starting to get their rhythm back after losing a few matches up front. And one of Chittagong's biggest strength has undoubtedly been their power-hitting ability, especially towards the end of an innings. It was clearly visible against Barisal where they hammered 88 runs in the last seven overs. All-rounders Dwayne Smith and Shoaib Malik led from the front, punishing the bowlers all around the park. Smith blasted 69 off 49 balls, featuring half a dozen fours and three sixes, while Malik played 30 balls for his 63, studded with nine boundaries and two maximums. One should also mention the big-hitting of Mohammad Nabi and skipper Tamim. Without a doubt, the Chittagong batting order will be a handful for any opposition as the tournament approaches its business stages.
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Barisal's Shahriar Nafees is cleaned up DHAKA TRIBUNE
Sorry Barisal batting display
Barisal's top-order comprising Dawid Malan, captain Mushfiqur Rahim and Shahriar Nafees gave a great account of themselves more often than not, registering significant scores to guide their sides to some impressive wins. However, against Chittagong, they were helpless in the wake of some devastating bowling by Subashish Roy, Nabi and Taskin Ahmed, to name but a few. With that said, it should also be mentioned that there were some ordinary strokes which proved to be the undoing of the Barisal batsmen. Only Mushfiq (19), Enamul Haque (42*) and Taijul Islam posted double digits as Barisal were skittled out for 107 after being 39/7 at one stage.