Khulna Titans’ late charge with the bat led them to an 18-run win over Chittagong Vikings in Mirpur. Carlos Brathwaite and Ariful Haque struck six sixes in 16 deliveries to put up a commanding 170 for 7 in 20 overs.
Chittagong lost their in-form opener Luke Ronchi in the first over which significantly reduced their chances of a successful chase. Abu Jayed, the 24-year old seamer, blew away the top order and struck again later in the innings to seal his maiden four-wicket haul in T20s.
Sikandar Raza was the only batsman who tried to keep up with the required rate but once he fell in the 14th over, Chittagong’s hopes were lost.
Chittagong ahead for 15 overs
Chadwick Walton and Micheal Klinger fell early, both to left-arm spinner Sunzamul Islam. Walton was dismissed in the first over, delivering a long hop down deep midwicket’s throat for 5. Klinger was given lbw to a better ball, although the decision was debatable. Originally, it looked like umpire Mahfuzur Rahman was not ready to give it out, with the ball shaping to go down leg. But eventually he raised the finger, perhaps buckling under the pressure of a long and insistent appeal.
Offspinner Dilshan Munaweera bowled Nazmul Islam Shanto in the fifth over before Mahmudullah and Rilee Rossouw added 39 runs for the fourth wicket to lead a bit of recovery. But Taskin got rid of Rossouw in the 10th over. Mahmudullah added a further 35 runs for the fifth wicket with Ariful Haque, but the run-rate wasn’t going anywhere. Khulna were 103 for 5 with only 27 balls left.
Brathwaite checks in
Khulna’s chances of a competitive total rested almost entirely on Brathwaite, and he delivered. He struck his second ball for six, a monstrous blow over long-on off Taskin Ahmed’s bowling. Before Chittagong could regroup, the ball went soaring again, this time over deep square leg. He finished with 30 off 14 balls, although he did survive a very close lbw shout from Sunzamul in the 17th over, with the ball seemingly striking him in line with the stumps.
Chittagong’s misery would only increase when Ariful hit Tanbir Hayder’s legspin for 24 runs, which included three sixes over midwicket and long-on, to propel the total towards 150. In all, Khulna made 60 runs in the last four overs.
Raza’s lone hand
Chittagong had slipped to 38 for 4 in the fifth over of their 171-run chase, with Jayed knocking over Luke Ronchi and Soumya Sarkar in the first over and Munaweera in the third. Rossouw played a major hand in the third wicket by taking a superb running catch at deep square leg. Anamul Haque holed out to mid-off, having made just 18.
Raza and captain Misbah-ul-Haq then added 59 runs for the fifth wicket. Raza struck two sixes of Mosharraf Hossain, both over midwicket, before falling to Shafiul Islam in the 14th over.
Misbah fell in the 16th, having made 30 off 37 balls with just two fours, caught by Shanto at long-on to give Jayed his first four-wicket haul. He may not have finished very well, conceding 17 runs in his last over, but Jayed remains one of the more impressive Bangladeshi pace bowlers in the tournament so far.
Scorecard: Khulna Titans 170 for 7 (Ariful 40, Taskin 3-43) beat Chittagong Vikings 152 for 7 (Raza 37, Jayed 4-35) by 18 runs