While the opening match of the Chattogram leg of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League was a run fest at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium yesterday, the following match between Sylhet Thunder and Chattogram Challengers was a rather low-scoring one under the lights at the same venue.
It was a blistering knock from wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim that helped Khulna register a five-wicket victory over Rajshahi Royals in the day match. The right-hander walked in when Khulna were in a spot of bother, having lost openers with just 25 runs on the board in just 2.3 overs while chasing a challenging 189 for four.
Mushfiqur dazzled the Chattogram crowd while scoring a magnificent 51-ball 96. It would have however been a fitting end to a stroke-filled innings had he not been caught at long-on by Shoaib Malik off a Ravi Bopara delivery in the final over, when he tried to finish the game off with what could have been his fifth six of the game, which would also have given him his first T20 century. Khulna then reached the target with two balls to spare.
Before Mushfiqur, Pakistani batsman Shoaib’s 50-ball 87 and an unbeaten 26-ball 40 from Bopara kept the fans entertained as Rajshahi posted a challenging total.
In the following game, Chattogram Challengers won by four wickets but were made to toil by Sylhet Thunder to chase down a modest 129 for eight.
Chattogram’s left-arm pacer Mehedi Hasan Rana’s impressive four for 23, which included one maiden, kept the Sylhet batsmen at bay. For Sylhet, opener Andre Fletcher’s unconvincing 32-ball 38 was the highest score as only three other batsmen crossed the double-figure mark.
Disciplined bowling from Sylhet, led by Krishmar Santokie who returned economical figures of three for 13, made it difficult for the home side. However, a late flurry from wicketkeeper batsman Nurul Hasan, who remained unbeaten for a 24-ball 37 ensured Chattogram get over the line with 12 balls to spare.