Khulna Titans returned to winning ways and are now at the top of the points table after chasing successfully for the first time in the Bangladesh Premier League's fourth edition, defeating Barisal Bulls by six wickets at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Friday.
It was skipper Mahmudullah once again who led from the front, guiding Khulna to their sixth win in eight games as he remained unbeaten on 36 while Shuvagata Hom top-scored with 40 after Barisal won the toss and posted a modest 119/5.
Barisal are struggling at the lower part of the points table with five defeats in eight attempts and will have to regroup soon in order to reach the playoffs.
Chasing the target, Khulna lost their opener Hasanuzzaman early on in what was an unplayable delivery by left-arm spinner Taijul Islam. The ball hardly bounced before dying down on its way to hitting the stumps. The batsman in question found himself in disbelief but had to depart after making four.
Riki Wessels also departed cheaply, putting Khulna under pressure, but Shuvagata, along with Taibur Rahman, who was promoted to open the innings, held the ship for the batting side.
Taibur however, was run out after scoring 21 but Shuvagata, alongside Mahmudullah, ensured there would be no more hiccups, adding 57 runs for the fourth wicket.
Shuvagata was dismissed off a brilliant yorker by left-arm seamer Rumman Raees after blasting five fours and a six while Mahmudullah's responsible knock comprised two magnificent sixes and a four.
Earlier, Barisal struggled right from the start coming in to bat as apart from captain Mushfiqur Rahim’s 31, none of the batsmen were able to put up any sort of contribution with the bat. Barisal eventually managed to post a small total.
Shahriar Nafees scored the second highest 23 while Enamul Haque remained not out on 20 but it was always going to be a tough ask to defend such a low total.
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Khulna's Junaid Khan celebrates dismissing Barisal's Dawid Malan DHAKA TRIBUNE
Left-arm pacer Junaid Khan bowled brilliantly and gave away only 12 runs from his four overs, besides picking up a wicket, while Mosharraf Hossain and Shafiul Islam took a scalp each for Khulna.
Khulna Titans 120/4 in 18.4 overs
(Shuvagata 40, Mahmudullah 36*, Taibur 21) beat Barisal Bulls 119/5
(Mushfiq 31, Shahriar 23, Junaid 1/12) by six wickets
M W L PTS
8 6 2 12
7 5 2 10
7 4 3 8
8 4 4 8
7 3 4 6
8 3 5 6
7 1 6 2