Chittagong Vikings did not stand a chance against the Khulna Titans as the latter won the eleventh game of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), 2017 with considerable ease. With their second consecutive win in 3 matches, Khulna are now poised at the third position on the points table, while the Chittagong Vikings have slipped to the penultimate bottom rung of the ladder. The Khulna franchise went on to defeat the Chittagong side by 18 runs.
Having won the toss, Chittagong Vikings’ skipper Misbah-ul-Haq asked the opposition to bat first at the Sher-e-Bangla International Stadium, Dhaka. The decision seemed to work favourably for Misbah and his boys in the initial overs as opposition opener, Chadwick Walton and number 3 batsman Michael Klinger both fell cheaply for individual scores of 5 and 2 respectively.
On both occasions, it was spinner Sunzamul Islam who provided the breakthroughs. The opener, Nazmul Hossain Shanto (9) departed soon after as Dilshan Munaweera managed to uproot the off-stump with a superb delivery. It was the middle-order that came to the rescue for the Titans yet again.
The batsmen cleverly rotated strike and hit a boundary in each over to alleviate the pressure. Rilee Rossouw chipped in with almost run-a-ball innings worth 25 runs, followed by quickfire scores of 40 runs each by captain Mahmadullah and Ariful Haque.
Carlos Brathwaite joined the party in the 16th over and promptly smashed 2 boundaries and 3 sixes to bring up 30 runs off just 14 balls. As the Khulna Titans ended the 20 overs with an above-par score of 170 on the board, the pick of the bowlers amongst the Chittagong ranks was Taskin Ahmed, who picked up 3 wickets for 43 runs in his quota of 4 overs.
Chittagong Vikings fall short, Abu Jayed shines with the ball
Faced with a target of 171, the last thing Chittagong would’ve wanted was to lose early wickets. However, the top order tumbled like dominoes as they lost 4 wickets within the first 5 overs, making the target appear an insurmountable mountain. Both openers, Luke Ronchi and Soumya Sarkar failed to get double-digit scores. Although Anamul Haque and Dilshan Munaweera raised a faint glimmer of hope in the hearts of Chittagong fans, it was short-lived as the duo was dismissed for 18 and 10 runs respectively.
Captain Misbah-ul-Haq, accompanied by Sikandar Raza stitched a valiant partnership worth 59 runs in the later stage of the game, but to no avail. Raza was picked up first by Shaiful Islam, followed soon after by Misbah in the penultimate delivery of the 16th over. Luis Reece (22), Tanbir Hayder (14*) and Sunzamul Islam (5*) were unable to contribute enough runs at the required pace for their side to reach the finish line and they eventually fell short by 18 runs.
While Jofra Chike Archer, Shaiful and Brathwaite picked up a wicket apiece, Abu Jayed put up a stellar performance with the ball as he scalped 4 wickets at an economy of 8.75 and guided his team to victory.
Khulna Titans: 170/7 after 20 overs (A Haque 40, T Ahmed 3/43)
Chittagong Vikings: 152/7 after 20 overs (S Raza 37, A Jayed 4/35)
Result: Khulna Titans won the match by 18 runs
Man of the Match: Abu Jayed