Khulna Titans climbed to third position in the BPL by handing a 15-run defeat to Sylhet Sunrisers. After Soumya Sarkar and Mushfiqur Rahim struck fifties, the Khulna bowlers managed to defend 182 runs despite a soapy ball in the heavy Sylhet dew.
In their first home game, Sylhet crashed to their sixth loss in seven matches. If losing wasn’t enough, their main fast bowler Taskin Ahmed was ruled out for the rest of the tournament due to a back injury ahead of the game. Sylhet were also penalized five runs for changing the condition of the ball. New captain Ravi Bopara’s inauspicious start became further confusing when he didn’t give the team’s leading wicket-taker Nazmul Islam a single over.
Khulna didn’t mind any of it. They recovered from 46 for 3 at the end of the powerplay, when Mushfiqur and Sarkar added 136 runs for the unbroken fourth wicket, taking Khulna to a match-winning total.
Mushfiqur hit his 16th fifty in the BPL, but the first in this season. He struck some of his trademark shots, including sixes over midwicket and backward square leg, and six fours around the ground. Sarkar reached his fourth BPL half-century, which included two sixes over midwicket and long-on. As a pleasant surprise, Sarkar seemed to focus less on the nice shots, and more on accumulating the runs
When defending the total, veteran left-arm spinner Nabil Samad removed Lendl Simmons in the sixth over. Anamul Haque couldn’t make much of an impact with his 47 off 33 balls. Mohammad Mithun and Bopara fell within three balls of each other, leaving Colin Ingram and Mosaddek a mountain to climb.
Alauddin Babu provided an entertaining finish when he struck Kamrul Islam Rabbi for three consecutive sixes in the final over in which they needed 36 to win. But Rabbi managed to keep him down to two runs in the last three balls to pick up the win.