Fortune Barishal went atop of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) point table after their three-wicket victory over Chattogram Challengers at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on January 27.
Shakib Al Hasan led side now has 12 points from eight matches following the victory, which came thanks to a 50 ball-78 runs knock of Anamul Haque Bijoy and a 12 ball-31 of Karim Janat, reports BSS.
Mashrafe Bin Mortaza led Sylhet Strikers also have same points but they moved down to second spot for the first time based on the net run rate after their six wickets defeat to Rangpur earlier in the day.
Chattogram recovered from a shaky start to post a challenging 168-6 and looked set to win the game but two defining performances from Bijoy and Afghan recruit Janat denied them as Barishal raced to the victory with 171-7 with four balls to spare.
Even though Sylhet top order faltered, Bijoy's attacking knock kept the side going and set the platform up front. He and Saif Hasan added 48-run for the opening stand in which Saif's contribution was just 10.
As Mehedi Hasan Rana broke through with the wicket of Saif, Chattogram made them heavily favourite to win the game, thanks to left-arm spinner Nihaduzzaman, who claimed his career-best 4-17 in four overs to scythe down Barishal's batting line up.
Nihaduzzaman took the key scalp of Shakib Al Hasan (2) and Mahmudullah (0) in consecutive two deliveries before getting rid of Chaturanga de Silva (3). But Bijoy kept hitting all the things coming to his way and struck six fours and as many sixes in his 78 off 50.
Pacer Mrittunjoy Chowdhury rattled his stump to deny him the century which looked imminent as Barishal were reduced to 113-5. Soon after Nihaduzzaman again struck to take the big wicket of inform Iftikhar Ahmed for 13, tilting the game toward Chattogram.
However Janat refused to give up as he unleashed some powerful shots around the wicket and shared a 50 runs of just 21 balls with Salman Hossain to help the side hit back. With the score level, Mehedi Rana removed Janat, who struck three fours and two towering sixes but that just reduced the margin of the defeat.
New batter Mohammad Wasim hit a boundary in the first ball he faced to sail the side home. Salman was unbeaten on 18 off 14 after smashing two fours and one six.
Pacers Syed Khaled Ahmed and Kamrul Islam took two wickets each for Barishal but another pacer Mohammad Wasim played a vital role in strangling Chattogram innings, with his 1-22 in four overs. Captain Shakib had also a bad day with the cherry as he went wicket-less, giving away 35 runs in three overs.
Afif Hossain and Curtis Campher were instrumental in helping Chattogram post a challenging total. Afif struck 37 off 23 with three fours and two sixes while Campher hammered 25 ball-45 not out with four fours and two sixes. Opener Max O'Dowd was the other notable scorer with 33.