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BPL 4, Match 42, Review: Khulna Titans outclass table toppers to storm into playoffs

Mahmudullah
Mahmudullah. (Photo Source: BPL)

The stage was set for the last league match of the BPL 4. Dhaka Dynamites locked horns with the Khulna Titans in the important clash. Dhaka have been in a great form. They would have any way finished on top of the points table even if they had lost this match. For the Khulna Titans, it was one last shot at getting into the top four. A comprehensive win would have been even better as it could have seen them end in the top two.

A defeat would have seen the Khulna Titans bow out due to a poor net run rate compared to Rangpur Riders. Coming into the match, Khulna Titans won the toss and elected to bowl first. They brought in Andre Fletcher in their starting eleven at the expense of Riki Wessels. The Dhaka Dynamites made a couple of changes too. They roped in Ravi Bopara and Seekkuge Prasanna in place of Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell.

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Mehedi Maruf walked in to open the innings with Kumar Sangakkara for the Dhaka Dynamites. Both looked good during their stay at the crease. For the first time in the series, it was Sangakkara who outscored Mehedi Maruf in the powerplay. The Dynamites raced to 55 in the field restrictions owing to some stellar placements by the veteran Sri Lankan.

The partnership was broken in the most unfortunate way. Maruf was run out in the 7th over on 16 to bring Nasir Hossain at the crease. The opening stand was worth 58 in 41 balls. Sangakkara reached his fifty too and looked in sublime form. He could not add much to his score thereafter, though. He was cleaned up by Benny Howell in the 12th over as the dreaded total of 87 got the breakthrough for Khulna Titans.

Sangakkara scored 59 off 41 balls with 8 fours before departing. Skipper Shakib Al Hasan (11) and Nasir Hossain (19) fell in quick succesion too. The innings had got a firm base and a launchpad. However, it could not take off. With wickets falling like ten pins, the innings looked to set for an average total.

An 18-ball 20 by Mosaddek Hossain Saikat took Dhaka Dynamites to 158/7 in their stipulated 20 overs. Junaid Khan was the pick of the bowlers with 3 wickets to his name in the middle overs.

Andre Fletcher and Hasanuzzaman opened the innings for Khulna Titans in the run chase. Dynamites skipper Shakib Al Hasan struck early to send Fletcher packing on 9 in the 2nd over. Abdul Mazid was the new man in. Hasanuzzaman looked in supreme form as he launched 3 towering sixes and hit 3 fours in his 19-ball 40.

Ravi Bopara dismissed him in the 9th over to bring Khulna Titans skipper Mahmudullah at the crease. Meanwhile, Mazid struggled to find his feet at the crease. On the other hand, Mahmudullah belted the opposition bowlers from the onset. Mazid faced 36 balls for his 21 before becoming Bopara’s second scalp in the 14th over.

Benny Howell walked in to join Mahmudullah at the crease. Big shots followed from both ends to take the game very away from Dhaka Dynamites. Mahmudullah brought up his fifty in just 27 balls. With a strike away from the playoffs, he gave his wicket away in an attempt to finish off in style. He was dismissed by Tanveer Haider on 50 off 28 balls with 5 fours and 2 sixes.

Howell and Nicholas Pooran completed the formalities to see Khulna Titans win by 6 wickets and 2 overs to spare and thereby make it to the playoffs. These two teams will face off yet again in the Qualifier 1 of the BPL 4.

Brief Scores:

Dhaka Dynamites: 158/7 in 20 overs (Sangakkara 59, Saikat 20, Junaid 3/22, Howell 1/14)

Khulna Titans: 159/4 in 18 overs (Mahmudullah 50, Hasanuzzaman 40, Bopara 2/17, Haider 1/14)

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