Dhaka Platoon upstaged Khulna Tigers in a close Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BBPL) match at the Sylhet International Stadium yesterday even as Khulna skipper Mushfiqur Rahim played an exceptional innings under pressure to take his side close. It turned out to be Platoon’s teenage paceman Hasan Mahmud’s day as he thwarted Mushfiqur to hand Dhaka their sixth win of the tournament, which took them to the top of the BBPL standings after nine matches.
Khulna sent in the unlikely opening pair of Mehedi Hasan Miraz and Aminul Islam after Platoon had posted 172 for four, courtesy of Asif Ali’s late cameo of 39 from 13 balls. Mashrafe Bin Mortaza started the rot at the top, bowling a fine line and length and scalping Aminul before Hasan started his super spell with the ball.
He removed Mehedi in his first over but it was the first delivery of his second over that should be credited as the ball of the match. The batsman on strike was Rilee Rossouw, one of the top batsmen in the BPL over the years. The ball pitched on a good length just outside the left-hander’s leg stump, took off and jagged away towards off stump to catch the edge through to the keeper. Khulna were then staring down the barrel, four down for 44 runs.
With the match slipping away, Mushfiqur played the kind of innings that usually takes teams over the line in difficult situations. His 33-ball 64, featuring some remarkable shots, gave Khulna a chance with two overs remaining. Hasan foiled the party, showing great steel in a pressure cooker situation and bagging Mushfiqur’s scalp in the penultimate over as Khulna stopped at 160 for eight.
“It’s really tough bowling to Mushfiq bhai. He can almost play 360 degrees around the ground. The plan for him was to bowl wide yorkers and have three fielders on the off side,” Hasan said at the post-match press conference about getting the wide yorker right after Mushy had taken him for sixteen runs in three previous deliveries.
“He got out to a low full-toss, I was trying something different,” the 20-year-old added.
He agreed that the gem that dispatched Rossouw ‘needed to be’ his best delivery of the match. “I wouldn’t have got Rossouw’s wicket without it being my best delivery. The plan was to bowl stump to stump against him as he plays wider deliveries well. It bounced from a very good area after hitting a good length and that’s what I like about the delivery. It is important to have pace but also [to have] swing. I try to follow pacers who bowl at pace like Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson,” Hasan said.
Still learning his trade, Hasan has been taken for a few runs at the start of the tournament and remained wicketless in a few, but picking up the four key wickets -- Mehedi, Rossouw, the demolisher Robbie Frylinck and Mushfiqur -- he showed he has the mettle and his team has been supporting him even when he was having a hard time.
“Things are going well and I am excited to be part of this team with so many national team players. They told me to have confidence, not be nervous and to bowl in the right areas. BPL is a big stage and I am trying to do well,” said Hasan, who appears to be heeding the good advice.