BPL 5, Match 25 Review: Khulna Titans manage to keep their nerves in a nail biting finish

The action boiled on to the last over as it ended up being ‘so near, yet so far’ for the Rangpur Riders.

Mahmudullah Riyad Khulna Titans, Rangpur Riders, Reviews, BPL, Bangladesh
Mahmudullah Riyad. (Photo Source: Instagram)

The Chittagong crowd witnessed a thrilling game of cricket today. The Khulna Titans managed to hold on to their nerves to achieve a stunning victory. The action boiled on to the last over as it ended up being ‘so near, yet so far’ for the Rangpur Riders.

It was skipper Mashrafe Mortaza who won the toss as the Rangpur Riders elected to field first. Fazle Mahmud and Nahidul Islam were included in the playing XI ahead of Shariar Nafees and Ziaur Rahman. Khulna Titans made four changes as Nicholas Pooran, Afif Hossain, Jofra Chioke Archer and Tanvir Islam were picked.

Rilee Rossouw who started with a four and a six in the very first over was bowled by Sohag Gazi. Afif Hossain was also dismissed cheaply as the Khulna Titans were reeling at 24/2 in just 3 overs. Opener Nazmul Hossain Shanto also got out after a good start.

That’s when skipper Mahmudullah stepped up with a splendid 59 runs from just 36 balls. Alongside six boundaries, he also hit a couple of sixes. The rest of the batting line-up failed to make any amends. Nicholas Pooran who was brought in place of Chadwick Walton failed to accelerate.

At one moment, it seemed Khulna were looking good enough for 170. However, Rubel Hossain struck twice in the seventeenth over, as both Mahmudullah and Ariful Haque were sent back to the pavilion. Carlos Brathwaite known for his big hitting exploits came out to bat at No.7. He made his mark with a six and a boundary before getting out.

Khulna could only manage a total of 158/8 in their quota of 20 overs. Rubel Hossain with three wickets was the pick amongst the bowlers. Lasith Malinga too made his mark with a couple of wickets. The trio of Mortaza, Sohag and Thisara Perera also managed a wicket each.

The Rangpur Riders lost both Brendon McCullum and Chris Gayle within the first three overs. Mohammed Mithun and Fazle Mohammed followed them as the Rangpur Riders were reduced to 45/4. Many would’ve thought that they were outdone. However, the duo of Ravi Bopara and Nahidul Islam felt otherwise.

Both combined for a splendid partnership of 100 runs for the fifth wicket. Ravi Bopara scored a fantastic 59 (44) with four boundaries and a maximum. As for Nahidul Islam, he scored a splendid 58 (43) with seven boundaries. They bought Rangpur Riders back into the game as the match went down to the wire.

With 35 runs required off 18 balls, Junaid Khan bowled an impressive over conceding just six runs. However, Ravi Bopara managed to garner some runs off the penultimate over as Rangpur scored 14 runs. With 15 needed in the last over, Junaid Khan made splendid use of the yorkers as the Titans won by 9 runs.

Afif Hossain picked up a couple of wickets as he conceded just four runs in his two over spell. However, it was Junaid Khan whose brilliant death bowling sealed the game for the Titans, with figures of 1/20. Abu Jayed also managed to get a wicket but was really expensive.

Mahmudullah was deservingly rewarded the man of the match. With this nail-biting victory, Khulna Titans rose to the top of the points table. They now have 11 points in 8 games as they pipped Comilla Victorians. As for Rangpur Riders, they remained at the bottom half with 6 points from the 7 games they’ve played. The competition keeps getting extremely stiff in the Bangladesh Premier League.

Brief Scores:

Khulna Titans: 158/8 (Mahmudullah 59; Rubel 3/35)

Rangpur Riders: 149/6 (Bopara 59, Nahidul 58; Afif 2/4, Junaid 1/20)