Joy, Yasir power Khulna to victory over Chattogram

Khulna Tigers captain Yasir Ali plays a shot during their match against Chattogram Challengers in BPL9 at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram on 20 January, 2023Prothom Alo

Khulna Tigers took revenge of their nine-wicket defeat against Chattogram Challengers in Dhaka with a seven-wicket win against the same opponents in their second group-phase encounter of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2023 at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram on Friday.

Mahmudul Hasan Joy’s 59 off 44 balls and Tamim Iqbal’s 44 off 37 balls innings set up the chase for Khulna. After their dismissals, skipper Yasir Ali hit an unbeaten 36 off 17 balls to take Khulna to 159-3 in 19.2 overs.

Left-arm spinner Nihaduzzaman was Chattogram’s most successful bowler on display, finishing with 2-32.

Earlier, Farhad Reza’s late blitz after Usman Khan’s 45 off 31 balls and Afif Hossain’s 35 off 31 balls helped Chattogram post 157-9 after they were asked to bat first.

Usman and Afif shared a 70-run stand for the second wicket off 43 balls but after their dismissals, the Chattogram innings lost momentum.

Farhad, who was one of the three changes made by Chattogram, then struck a nine-ball 21 with a couple of fours and a six to push the total over 150.

Pacer Wahab Riaz was Khulna’s most successful bowler, finishing with 4-36 which included two wickets in consecutive deliveries in the final over.

Dutch pacer Paul van Meekeren remained wicketless, but conceded only 24 runs off four overs.

Chasing a modest total, Khulna lost opener Munim Shahriar for a duck in the second ball of the innings.

After the early wicket, Tamim and Joy formed a104-run partnership off 76 balls to put their chase back on track.

Nihaduzzaman then struck in consecutive overs to remove Tamim and Joy to raise hopes of a Chattogram comeback.

Chattogram Challengers spinner Nihaduzzaman
Chattogram Challengers Facebook page

But Yasir then played a captain’s knock, smashing four sixes and two fours to catapult Khulna over the finishing line with four balls to spare.

Pakistan’s Azam Khan remained unbeaten on 15 off 16 balls at the other end.

This is Khulna’s second straight win after starting their tournament with three consecutive losses.

Khulna have now jumped to fourth position with four points while losers Chattogram slipped to the sixth place.