Fortune Barishal beat Khulna Tigers by 6 runs in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) on Monday at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram. Shakib Al Hasan had a stellar all-round effort.
Shakib, the skipper of Barishal, smashed 27 balls 41 runs with the willow, hitting two fours and three sixes, and then followed it up with 2-10 to break Khulna's back when they came to chase down the mark.
Barishal were bowled out for a modest 145 in 18.5 overs, thanks in part to Nazmul Hossain Shanto's 40 ball-45. Despite a poor start, Khulna were eventually able to eke out a victory before being reduced to 139-6.
Shakib's decision to deploy Dwayne Bravo and Chris Gayle as openers after deciding to bat first didn't pay off when the former was out for nine. Soon after, Gayle was removed for four, and the situation was made worse when Towhid Hridoy was dismissed for five, leaving Khulna with a score of 24-3.
Shakib and Shanto then put on a 79-run partnership to get the team back on track. After trying to play a pull shot, Shakib scented a fifty for the first time in a long time, but Kamrul Islam Rabbi had him caught by Yasir Ali at midwicket. After clobbering three fours and two sixes for his 45, Shanto followed him.
No batters on the other hand, were able to come up with fierce batting at the death, leaving Barishal at least 20 runs short of their desired total.
But it didn't matter because Mujeeb Ur Rahman, an off-spinner, and Shakib, a left-arm spinner, bowled in a disciplined manner to keep the Khulna hitters in check. Both of them hardly allowed the Khulna hitters to score freely.
Shakib finished with 2-10 after removing Soumya Sarkar (12) and Rony Talukdar (6). Mujeeb, on the other hand, failed not take a wicket and only gave up 13 runs in his four overs. Dwayne Bravo took two more wickets as a result of Shakib and Mujeeb's tight bowling, reducing Khulna to 35-4 in 10 overs.
Mushfiqur Rahim and Yasir Ali Rabbi immediately launched a powerful comeback, but the asking run rate had already risen dangerously. They came close to catching Khulna, but Mushfiqur was dismissed in the last over after hitting 33 off 22 balls.
Yasir Ali, who was undefeated on 34 balls and 57 runs with four fours and three sixes, batted valiantly but was unable to lead the team home as the Barishal fielders produced some spectacular fielding. Bravo, on the other hand, finished with a score of 3-40.
With the win, Barishal moved up to third place with six points from five games. With four points from the same amount of matches, Khulna sits in fifth position.