BPL 4, Match 26, Review: Barisal Bulls no match for clinical Khulna Titans at Dhaka

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Barisal Bulls had a promising start to the season. A midway season form drop saw them falling in the points table. The Khulna Titans have been riding high on their luck. They depended on their fortunes to take them over initially. But now, they seem to be getting into the top groove.

Coming to the match between the two, it turned out to be a low scoring affair. Although 119 on the board never looked enough, it was good enough to be competitive on a surface like that. Earlier in the day, it was Mushfiqur Rahim who won the toss for the Barisal Bulls. They went in with an unchanged overseas quartet.

The Khulna Titans got back the Caribbean duo of Nicholas Pooran and Kevon Cooper. Junaid Khan and Riki Wessels were the other two overseas players to feature in the playing eleven.

Jeevan Mendis and Dawid Malan opened the innings for the Barisal Bulls. After having seen the new ball for a couple of overs, Malan (7) perished to Junaid Khan in the 4th over. Mendis could not do much either. He was dismissed on 14 by Shafiul Islam. The veteran duo of Shahriar Nafees and Mushfiqur Rahim were at the crease.

They batted sensibly to bail out the Barisal Bulls after initial jolts. They added 42 runs for the 3rd wicket in 37 balls. The partnership was broken when Monir Hossain trapped Nafees lbw on 23 (27) in the 11th over. Nadif Chowdhury’s 5-ball stay was cut short by a run out by Pooran to get Thisara Perera at the crease. The innings seemed to crash down all of a sudden.

Rahim, who got a good start, departed kudos a run out by Monir. He scored 31 off 26 balls before heading back to the pavilion. With the innings in dire straits, Perera and Enamul Haque had very little time to rebuild and launch from 79/5 in 15 overs.

An unbeaten stand of 40 runs between the two saw Barisal Bulls end up with 119/5 in 20 overs. Perera (17* off 19 balls) and Enamul Haque (20* off 20 balls) gave the Bulls something to bowl at. With a run-a-ball required for the Khulna Titans, the chase was expected to be an easy one.

The Khulna Titans had a horrid start to their innings. Opener Hasanuzzaman was cleaned up on 4 by Taijul Islam. The number three batsman Riki Wessels followed him soon when he was castled by Rumman Raees. The Titans were at 16/2 when Shuvagata Hom joined opener Taibur Rahman at the crease.

Taibur made his presence felt at the crease but the runs were hard to come by. Khulna Titans could manage to post just 28 runs in the powerplay. Taibur’s resistance of 25-balls saw him fetch 21 runs with 2 fours before being run out by Mushfiqur Rahim. Skipper Mahmudullah arrived at the crease with Hom looking set.

Both batsmen continued to keep the scorecard moving. Nothing seemed to be disrupting them from picking easy runs. With a modest total to chase, the Khulna Titans looked set for an easy win. Just when they were at a couple of strikes away from the win, Rumman Raees got through the defenses of Hom in the 17th over. Shuvagata Hom departed after scoring 40 off 34 balls with 5 fours and a six.

Nicholas Pooran was the new man in with 14 runs to get. It was only formality from there on. Khulna Titans eased past the target in 18.4 overs with 6 wickets in hand. Skipper Mahmudullah guided them home with an unbeaten 36 off 35 balls studded with a four and 2 sixes. Another thumping win for the Titans and they moved to the top of the points table with the win.

Brief Scores:

Barisal Bulls 119/5 in 20 overs (Mushfiqur 31, Nafees 23, Junaid 1/12, Musharraf 1/16)

Khulna Titans 120/4 in 18.4 overs (Hom 40, Mahmudullah 36*, Raees 2/13, Taijul 1/14)

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