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22 November, 2017 12:47:49 AM
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Khulna down Rajshahi in exciting tie

Smith, Mushfiq, Riyad hit half centuries
Sports Reporter
Khulna down Rajshahi in exciting tie
Teammates congratulate Khulna Titans’ match winner Ariful Haque (L-2nd) after their nerve shattering BPL-5 match with Rajshahi Kings at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the capital yesterday. BCB PHOTO

Khulna Titans No.8 batsman Ariful Haque smashed an unbeaten 19 ball-43 to help the side snatch a thrilling two-wicket victory over Rajshahi Kings who was overwhelmingly favourite till the penultimate over of the BPL match yesterday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

After amassing 166 for eight, Kings were on course of their third victory, leaving Khulna at 128 for eight in 17th over. However Ariful played the innings of his life to bring the spotlight on him as he stabbed off Rajshahi’s progress to help the side required 36 off 18 balls with a flurry of boundaries around the park. Ariful’s 43, designed by four fours and two sixes sailed the side home with four balls to spare, as he smashed consecutive six and four off Dwayne Smith in the first two balls of the last over to seal the deal.

In pursuit of 167, Khulna lost Chadwick Walton and Sekugge Prasanna inside three overs with the scoreboard reading just 13. Skipper Mahmudullah Riyad gave the chase a momentum with a 67-run stand with Rilee Rossouw, dominating the partnership most of the time.

Rossouw’s dismissal on 20 however created an opportunity for Rajshahi to hit back in the match. Riyad though was in the crease, Rajshahi slowly but gradually started staging a comeback and their chance was brightened when Hossain Ali got him with a fuller delivery. Riyad by then struck 56 off 44, hitting eight fours and one six.

Khulna then lost three more wickets including Carlos Brathwaite who was considered as their last hope. However Ariful Haque came as unlikely hero to rescue them from the dire strait as well as took them in the third spot of the BPL points table.

Mohammad Sami claimed three for 29 while James Franklin took two for 30 for Rajshahi Kings but one surprising knock of Ariful made their effort valueless.

Khulna’s Pakistan fast bowler Junaid Khan starred in with bowling on his first match in the fifth edition of BPL. Junaid snapped up four for 27 to restrict Rajshahi to a total what was eventually chase able. But Rajshahi looked set for bigger total despite being reeled at three for 21.

Opener Dwayne Smith and vice-captain Mushfiqur Rahim combined for a 97-run partnership to set the platform of big total. The partnership was largely dominated by Smith who smacked 36 ball-62, studded with seven fours and four sixes, before his dismissal. Smith’s assault kept the run rate closer to 10 and after his dismissal, Mushfiqur Rahim kept up the rhythm. Rahim also struck 55 off 33 with four fours and three sixes.

 However despite his departure in the first over of the last powerplay,  Rajshahi could get 180 plus total with ease. It was only shattered by the disciplined death bowling effort of the Khulna bowlers and that made the difference eventually.

Junaid Khan’s four-for was complemented by Abu Jayed’s two for 29.

EA

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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