BPL 2017, Match 8 Preview: Khulna Titans put an end to Sylhet's dominance

BPL 2017, Match 8 Preview: Khulna Titans put an end to Sylhet’s dominance

After all the high-flying stuff, the Sixers are back on the ground thanks to a superb rendition from Mahmudullah's Titans.

Sylhet Sixers
Sylhet Sixers. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After all the high-flying stuff, Sylhet Sixers are back on the ground thanks to a superb rendition from Mahmudullah’s Khulna Titans. The skipper led from the front for the Titans as they defeated the Sixers in the final game of the first leg at Sylhet. The tournament will now head into a 3-day break and the action will resume on 11th.

Upul Tharanga and Andre Fletcher, who managed to add two hundred-run stands already this season, failed to do anything significant. Fletcher was dismissed for single digits and soon, Jofra Archer chipped in with a crucial wicket of Sabbir Rahman. Gunathilaka and Tharanga did stick around for some time, but quick wickets at the half-way stage stabbed their run rate.

With Tharanga and Gunathilaka back in the hunt, the onus was on Nasir Hossain to finish the innings off in style and he did a fantastic job. He alongside Ross Whiteley piled up few crucial runs towards the end and this helped them post a decent total on board. Nasir Hossain chipped in with a fantastic 47 off 35 balls, whilst Whiteley finished with a 23-ball 27.

With the track being used repeatedly, batting was clearly not getting easy and the slowness on the pitch allowed the spinners to take full control. They only managed to score 135 runs on the board in their 20 overs, allowing the Titans to gain a crucial momentum.

For the Titans, Mahmudullah finished with 2/12 in 3 overs and set the tone beautifully. Carlos Brathwaite and Shafiul Islam bowled exceedingly well too, giving away just 25 and 20 runs respectively in their quota of 4 overs. Jofra Archer chipped in with a 2/25 in his four overs.

Klinger shines in his first game of the campaign

Although the target was not too big, the pitch was always going to play its part and Taijul Islam provided some fun for the home crowd before signing off for some time. Chadwick Walton and Nazmul Shanto scored a couple of boundaries between them, but both fell prey to Taijul in the third over, pushing them into a predicament at 19/2.

The experienced Rilee Rossouw was joined by the Australian T20 specialist Michael Klinger. Klinger has played a ridiculous amount of T20 cricket across the globe and though the target seemed a little difficult, his diligence worked wonders for the Titans.

Rossouw was dismissed right after the Powerplay was done, but Mahmudullah and Klinger hung in to take them close to the finish line. The duo added a 50-run stand in just 39 balls and they were inching closer towards the 100-run mark. This partnership killed hopes of a comeback and kept the home crowd silent.

Though Mahmudullah got dismissed, Brathwaite finished the game off in a typical Caribbean style. He finished with a quickfire 23 whilst Klinger remained unbeaten on 47. They chased the total down inside 18 overs and Taijul’s amazing spell of 3/19 went in vain.

Brief Scores

Sylhet Sixers: 135/5 in 20 overs (Nasir Hossain 47*, Upul Tharanga 26; Mahmudullah 2/12, Jofra Archer 2/25)

Khulna Titans: 138/4 in 18 overs (Michael Klinger 47*, Mahmudullah 27; Taijul Islam 3/19)