Sports, Cricket

Khulna Tigers suffer first defeat

Published : 03 Feb 2024 09:36 PM

Fortune Barishal handed five wickets defeat to Khulna Tigers in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) cricket at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.  

The high flying Tigers, who were unbeaten in their last four matches in a row since the winning start against the Chattogram Challengers, tasted the first defeat to Fortune Barishal.

It was also a payback to Khulna Tigers, to whom Barishal suffered an eight wickets defeat in their first meeting in Dhaka on January 22 and returned to winning ways to earn their third win out of their six outings.  

Barishal, chasing to the moderate target saw an early setback losing the opener Ahmed Shehzad on seven runs on the board with Nahidul Islam making the first breakthrough.

It looked Barishal also going to fell into trouble when the captain Tamim Iqbal backed to the pavilion for 20 with the team’s 34 runs.

But Shoaib Malik and Mehidy Hassan Miraz, at the six wicket stand played a devastating 55 runs inning from 22 balls followed by one down Soumya Sarker and the middle order batters Mushfiqur Rahim getting out with leaving the team on 101 runs for five wickets by 15.5 overs. 

The veteran Pakistani all-rounder Shoaib Malik in his quick fire 41 off 25 balls hit one four and three sixes. 

Mehidy Miraz cracked 31 off 15 balls with clubbing one four and three sixes to bring the team to the winning target without further damage. 

Earlier, riding on two rapid innings from the late order batters Mohammad Nawaz and Faheem Ashraf, Khulna Tigers set a moderate target of 156 runs for the Fortune Barishal to win.    

Khulna Tigers after having been put in to bat first were going through a deep trouble losing seven wickets for 88 runs by 16 overs but number seven and ninth batters, Nawaz and Faheem played a very significant role to rescue from the disasters.

Nawaz and Faheem in eighth wicket stand played a fierce inning of 67 runs just from 24 deliveries, as Khulna reached to a respectable position.           

However, Tamim Iqbal captain of the Fortune Barisal opted to field first after winning the toss and initially it looked that the captain’s decision was right with Akif Javed making an early breakthrough with departing the opening partnership on 16 runs and at a stage reduced to 7/88.  

Pakistani left-arm medium pacer Akif Javed bowled Anamul for 12 and the one down batter Habubur Rahman was run out for only two runs and Khulna reduced to 33 for two wickets. 

But at the other end, Parvej Hossain Emon was a bit confident to keep going the innings with scoring 33 off 24 balls against the combined pace and spin attacks from the Pakistani duo Javed and Shoaib Malik along with Mehidy Hassan Miraz and Taijul Islam.  

But Shoaib Malik trapped Emon Lbw to put Khulna Tigers into further difficulties, as at that stage Tigers lost five wickets in a span of 27 runs including Emon and reduced to 88 for seven.

Then Mohammad Nawaz and Faheem and Faheem Ashraf just salvaged the Tigers when the former score 38 off 23 balls with striking four sixes and Faheem hit hammered 32 from only 13 deliveries with five fours.

Chasing to the moderate target, Fortunes Barisal after a bit ups and downs in their innings reached scoring 156 runs for five wickets with two balls to spare.