After being relieved from the captaincy, Yasir Ali found his form that eluded him so far and struck a scintillating 38 ball-60 but his valiant effort was not enough to save Khulna Tigers from 37-run defeat at the hands of Fortune Barishal at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Friday.
With the defeat Khulna’s slim hope of making the last four spot was completely vanished.
Barishal which just in the previous match gunned down the same opponent’s 210-2 effortlessly for a highest successful chase in the BPL history, this time piled up 194-5. Khulna got a glimmer of hope through Yasir’s fighting knock but eventually were restricted to 157-8.
Pakistan recruit Iftikhar Ahmed was the top-scorer for Barishal with 31 ball-51 not out, that studded with three fours and as many sixes. Some little but significant contribution from the other batters kept Barishal going through until the arrival of Iftikhar.
After being asked to bat first, Khulna lost Anamul Haque Bijoy cheaply but kept the scoreboard rotating thanks to Fazle Rabbi who hammered 39 off 29 with four fours and two sixes. However, Barishal lost some wickets in quick succession in the middle that gave Khulna a chance to dominate.
Their hope was shattered when Shakib Al Hasan joined Iftikhar Ahmed in the crease as they combined for a 52-run to set a strong platform for a big total. Shakib made 36 off 21 with one four and four sixes.
Iftikhar stayed in the crease till the last moment to help the side close in on the 200-run mark.
Khulna lost opener Tamim Iqbal (1) in the second over but they kept them in the match, courtesy to Shai Hope who was appointed captain, replacing Yasir Ali. Hope made 37 off 24 but Barishal got back in the game with a bang, taking three wickets for just seven runs including Hope.
Yasir refused to give up and shared a 81-run partnership with Nahidul for the fifth wicket stand to keep the side in the hunt. Karim Janat who returned figures of 4-29, dealt a double blow, removing Nahidul who made 24 and Yasir in the space of four balls, to throw Khulna completely out of the game. Yasir smote five fours and three sixes for his 60 off 38.
The rest of batters, however, batted till the last over to reduce the margin just.