Ariful heroic gives Khulna dramatic victory

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DHAKA, Nov 24, 2020 (BSS) – Ariful Haque produced a heroic
performance in Shakib Al Hasan’s comeback match as Gemcon Khulna
snatched a four-wicket victory against Fortune Barishal from the jaws
of defeat in their opening match of the Bangabandhu T20 Cup at
Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.

Requiring a 22 runs for a victory in the last over, overhauling
Barishal’s 152-9, Ariful unbelievably struck four sixes to sail the
side home. Mehidy Hasan Miraz was at the receiving end as Ariful
produced a masterclass, driving the side to the victory with one ball
to spare.

Ariful eventually was not out on 48 off 34 with two fours and four sixes.

With Khulna reeling to a precarious 36-4, Ariful came to bat and
stayed until he confirmed the victory for the side.

Taskin Ahmed swung the ball admirably in the first over to dismiss
Khulna’s openers-Anamul Haque Biijoy and Imrul Kayes in the space of
two deliveries.

Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah Riyad were expected to take the
onus but both of them got dismissed cheaply. Shakib on his comeback
match scored just 15 while skipper Mahmudullah was removed on 17.

Ariful showed a much-needed patience in the crease as the Barishal
bowlers kept the things tight. He got Jahurul Islam in his company but
after sharing 42-run, Jahrul was dismissed on 31 runs.

Shamim Patwari then struck 18 ball-26 to give Ariful further
company. Patwari was out in the 18th over but Ariful launched a
spectacular attack when it mattered most.

Taskin and Sumon Khan scalped two wickets apiece for Barishal.

Credit should go to pace bowler Shahidul Islam also who earlier
claimed 4-17 in a gem of pace bowling to restrict Barishal for a
moderate 152-9.

Shahidul indeed took the spotlight on him on a day when Shakib Al
Hasan returned to cricket. The ace all-rounder bowled three overs for
Khulna and didn’t fare badly. He conceded 18 runs to take one wicket
after coming to bowl in a competitive match after more than one year.

Being sent to bat first, Fortune Barishal received a setback early
in the innings as their experiment with Mehidy Hasan Miraz as opener
didn’t bring any good result after he was dismissed for naught.

Skipper Tamim Iqbal also was out with run-a-ball-15 after which
young Parvez Hossain Emon took the onus. Emon was the highest scorer
for the side with 42 ball-51 that included three fours and four sixes.

Towhid Ridoy made 25 ball-27 to accompany Emon. But the dismissal
of the duo slowed down Barishal innings.

Wicket-keeper batsman Mohidul Islam Ankan however hammered 10
ball-21 to help the side propel past 150 runs mark.

Apart from Shahidul’s four-for, Shafiul Islam and Hasan Mahmud took
two wickets apiece.

Brief Score:

Fortune Barishal 152-9 in 20 overs (Parvez Emon 51, Towhid Ridoy
27, Mohidul Ankan 21; Shahidul 4-17, Shafiul 2-32, Hasan Mahmud 2-45,
Shakib 1-18)

Gemcon Khulna 155-9 in 19.5 overs (Ariful 48 not out, Jahurul 31,
Shamim Patwari 26; Sumon Khan 2-21, Taskin 2-33)

Result: Gemcon Khulna wins by 4 wickets.