Khulna Titans on Tuesday defeated the table toppers, Comilla Victorians by 34 runs in the 39th match of the 5th Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
With this result, Khulna has moved up to the 2nd slot from 3rd defending the champions, Dhaka Dynamites. Khulna collected 15 points, playing out all 12 matches of the league phase, and can loss their position, if Dhaka – gain 13 points from 11 matches-- can manage a big margin win in their next match against Rangpur Riders on December 6.
Despite the day’s loss, Comilla Victorians maintained the top slot in the table with 16 points from 11 matches and have no fear to loss their mighty top position, even if, they loss the next game against Sylhet Sixers to wrap up the already decided top-four qualifications league.
Chasing a target of 175 runs, Comilla Victorians were finished on 160 for 7 in 20 overs where skipper Tamim Iqbal and Shoaib Malik stayed for 36 runs each. Tamim played an innings of 33 balls to fire six boundaries while 23 balls for one boundary and three sixes.
Marlon Samuels (25* off 16 b; 2x4; 2x6), Imrul Kayes (20 off 19b; 3x4), Raqibul Hasan (17 off 9b; 3x4) and Jos Buttler (11 off 16b) were the other double digit scorer for the side.
Benny Howell and Abu Jayed got two wickets each for 32 and 35 runs respectively. Carlos Brathwaite, Mahmudullah Riyad and Mohammad Irfan took one wicket apiece for 15, 22 and 26 runs respectively.
Batting first after winning the toss, Khulna Titans scored174 for 6 in 20 overs spurred with the opening partnership of 55 off 5.6 overs between Michael Klinger and Nazmul Hossain Shanto.
Shanto was departed from the opening stand with top-scoring 37 off 21 balls, including four boundaries and two sixes, as he was bowled out by pacer Al-Amin Hossain.
Ariful Haque scored 35 off 21 balls, including four boundaries and one six, while Klinger (29 off 28b; 1x4; 1x6), skipper Mahmudullah Riyad (23 off 23b; 1x4; 1x6) and Carlos Brathwaite (22 off 12b; 3x4; 1x6) were the other double digit scorers for Khulna.
Al-Amin captured three wickets for 52 runs in four overs while Solomon Mire and Shoaib Malik took one wicket each for four and 25 runs respectively.
Both Comilla and Khulna are through to the knockouts. A win for Khulna will take them up to second place pushing down Dhaka Dynamites.