In another low scoring thriller of the season, Khulna Titans have managed a narrow escape again, this time against Chittagong Vikings. However, the hero is same in both occasion, captain cool Mahmudullah Riyad, who once again lead his side to a nail-biting win of 4 runs.
Put in to bat first, Riki Wessels opened it well for the Titans with back-to-back boundaries from the first two balls he faced. His partner Hasanuzzaman struggling to find sweet spots, Riki continued with his cruising mode. 34 without loss from 3 overs on the Titans’ card forebode a big total for them. However, Mohammad Nabi got rid of Hasan and then Shuvagata from the same over. He lured both the batsmen with flighted deliveries off which each of them tried to loft but mistimed shots ended in easy catches. Shortly after, Riki was beautifully bowled by Abdur razzak who deceived him with the pace and angle of an arm ball. His 28 runs cameo was off 17 balls, hitting 4 fours.
The Titans were then reduced to 53 for 4 as their skipper Mahmudullah was dismissed by his counterpart Tamim Iqbal who ran back at mid-wicket region to take a stunning catch. Alok Kapali tried to get a grip with his 23 off 35 before getting caught by Taskin to fall as Nabi’s 3rd prey. A steady 29 runs knock from Nicholas Pooran and some late display from Ariful Haque then helped the Titans to post a modest total of 127. Arif was not out on 25 from 16 balls with 1 four and 2 sixes.
Defending such a chaseable total in T20, the Titans commenced their hunt from the very beginning. Kevin Cooper got rid of the two Vikings openers first. National team pacer Shafiul Islam then broke the middle-order to reduce Chittagong to 78 for 6. However, Mohammad Nabi and Chaturanga De Silva stitched a 45 runs stand off 25 balls to sail the Vikings almost near the target.
6 runs required from 6 balls, Mahmudullah took in on his shoulder for one more time. After conceding a single from the first ball, he made De silva caught behind. After a dot, he then sent Abdur Razzak to the stand for a duck as Shuvagata took a good catch at long-off. Simple 6 from 6 equation thereby came down to a difficult 5 from 2. Deceiving Nabi with a flatter on the off stump, Mahmudullah got rid of the Afghan all-rounder from the final ball making him Kapali’s catch at mid-wicket.
Khulna Titans 127/7, 20 overs (Pooran 29, Wessels 28, Ariful 25*; Nabi 3/22, Taskin 2/17); Chittagong Vikings 123/9, 20 overs (Nabi 39, Jahurul 25; Shafiul 4/28, Mahmudullah 3/24)
Result: Khulna Titans won by 4 runs
Man of the match: Mahmudullah (Khulna Titans)