Fortune Barishal defeated Chattogram Challengers by four wickets to make a winning start in the eighth edition of Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League T20 that got underway at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Friday.
Barishal’s West Indies recruit Alzarri Joseph starred with the ball as he picked 3-32 while off-spinner Nayeem Hasan finished with 2-25 to restrict Chattogram to 125-8 in their stipulated overs.
“I thought we bowled brilliantly, but we could have been a little better. Very happy with the way we played this game, but there are areas we can improve on,” Barishal skipper Shakib Al Hasan said after the match.
After restricting Chattogram to a below-par total, Barishal were very much in the hunt to chase the target comfortably when they reached 92-3 in 14.1 overs with needing just 34 runs off the last 35 balls.
Chattogram skipper Mehidy Hasan, who earlier dismissed Najmul Hossain Shanto (one) and Shakib (13) in his first spell, removed set batsmen Shykat and Irfan Sukkur (16) in successive deliveries while Salman Hossain was run out by a direct throw off Afif Hossain in the same over.
Barishal suddenly found them struggling at 92-6 but Ziaur brought his power-hitting ability in the game and smashed pacer Mukidul Islam two fours and a six in the 17th over to bring the equation back in their favour.
Ziaur then hit the winning single off Benny Howell to take his side home with eight balls to spare.
“It was the first match and the most important thing was our batters couldn’t score runs. It’s difficult to win a match on such a wicket after scoring this few runs,” said Mehidy.
“I think Benny Howell batted excellently and only because of his effort, we can showcase some fight in the end,” he added.
Chattogram, earlier, were reduced to 63-6 in the 14th over after they were sent into bat first and their innings got the momentum only after their English recruit Howell came into the middle.
Howell smashed three sixes and three fours for his 20-ball 41 to help Chattogram cross the 120-run mark but the total wasn’t enough for their bowlers to defend at the end.