Sports, Cricket

Pakistan players sparkle as Barishal surge up

Published : 21 Jan 2023 08:30 PM
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Sylhet Strikers remain on top of the points table but the other teams have also started to revive their respective campaigns. Fortune Barishal are in red-hot form after winning five in a row and are now in second place. Comilla Victorians, after losing their first three games, have gone on to win three in a row. Khulna Tigers too have won their last two matches to open their account after also losing their first three outings.

But a spate of injuries has left Rangpur Riders in trouble. They lost their last two games, while Chattogram Challengers haven’t also taken full advantage of their home ground matches. Dhaka Dominators are reeling at the bottom of the table, having lost five of their six games.

Mohammad Rizwan arrived at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram less than 24 hours after playing an ODI in Karachi, and he has made a mark in the tournament.

Wahab Riaz has taken two four-wicket hauls in Khulna Tigers’ last two games, while all three centuries in the tournament have been scored by Pakistan players. Tigers’ Azam Khan scored a 58-ball 109 coming in at No. 4 in the match against Challengers. In the chase, Usman Khan responded with a century, taking his side to a win by nine wickets.

Iftikhar Ahmed scored a superb century against Rangpur Riders in Chattogram. He added 192 runs, the highest partnership in T20s from fifth wicket.

After spending the BPL’s first week being involved in on-field drama, Shakib Al Hasan took over the cricket in the second week. He is now the tournament’s highest run-getter, having reached 275 runs at 196.42 strike-rate. Although there’s half of this edition remaining, Shakib’s strike rate is the highest for minimum 200 runs in the competition’s history. His miserly spells has also fired Barishal into second place.

You may think Wahab Riaz is past his prime, but the 37-year-old’s last two performances say otherwise. He has gone past 400 wickets in T20s, becoming the first player from Pakistan to do so. Riaz took four-wicket hauls in Khulna Tigers’ last two games, as they staged a comeback in the BPL after their first three matches.