DHAKA, Dec 27, 2019 (BSS) – Captain Mushfiqur Rahim led from the front with a sublime 48 ball-59 as Khulna Tigers got back to the winning-way in the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BBPL) with a comprehensive 52-run win over Rangpur Rangers at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium here today.
Mushfiqur’s second half-century in the tournament helped Khulna recover from a shaky start to post a respectable 182-7 after which his bowlers, led by Shahidul Islam’s 4-23 complemented his knock to hold back Rangpur to 130-9.
By doing so, Khulna consigned Rangpur to their fifth defeat in the sixth match and at the same time helped themselves propel to the third position of the point table with eight points from six matches.
Khulna won the first three matches in row before conceding two straight defeats. And they were in a position to make it three defeats in a row when Rangpur sent them in batting and left them in precarious 23-2. That included the wicket of Rilee Rossouw who has been in excellent form. Rossouw was out for naught in this match.
At this point, it seemed Rangpur’s change of captaincy for the third time in six matches did a wonder as Shane Watson who joined the side yesterday night was appointed as the new captain on his first appearance in BBPL. Earlier, Mohammad Nabi led Rangpur four matches before Tom Abell was appointed captain for one match.
However Shamsur Rahman Shuvo then followed their suit of Mehidy Hasan Miraj (12) who was promoted to opener and Rossouw to make the team three down for 45. Nazmul Hossain Shanto who held the other end and at the same time paced the innings fell for 30, before the team’s run crossed 100.
Mushfiqur and Najibullah Zadran then resisted and shared 82-run for the fifth wicket stand to help the side push towards a big total.
Zadran was out on 41 off 26, hitting six fours and one six. Mushfiqur then was dismissed in the last over but not before Khulna reached a total that looked outright safe. Mushfiqur smashed four fours and two sixes in his knock.
Amid Mushfiqur and Zadran’s carnage, Rangpur pace bowler Mustafizur Rahman, yet again came up with a superb bowling show as he finished with 3-28 in his four overs. Lewis Gregory took 2-36 while Mohammad Nabi though took one wicket, conceded just 16 runs in his four overs.
But Mustafizur’s excellent bowling was undermined by the batsman and the rot began with the newly appointed captain Shane Watson, who was dismissed for 5 by Robbie Frylinck in the second over.
Mohammad Amir then got rid of in form Naim Sheikh who blasted 20 off 9 with three fours and one six. Shafiul Islam and Shahidul Islam joined the party to tear apart Rangpur middle order before Lewis Gregory resisted.
He held the one end amid the wickets tumbling at the other end. When Tanvir Islam removed Gregory for his team’s highest 34, it was all over for Rangpur. The rest of the batsmen then just reduced the margin.
Khulna’s pacer Shahidul Islam claimed 4-23 to be the eventual wrecker-in-chief for Rangpur. Tanvir Islam grabbed 2-29.