Junaid Khan took 4 wickets for 23 runs    AFP (File Photo)
Junaid Khan took 4 wickets for 23 runs AFP (File Photo)

Khulna Titans won their first match against Rajshahi Titans in what was a thriller of a match which went on till the very last ball of the last over. Junaid Khan from the Titans was the star of the team along with his skipper Mahmudullah. Junaid Khan took 4 wickets in the match which included Sabbir Rahman and Umar Akmal on consecutive deliveries. His captain was also the star of his team as he himself bowled the last over and gave away just 3 runs when the Rajshahi Kings needed 7 of the last 6 balls. Mahmudullah also took 3 wickets in that over to seal the victory in the opening match of their Bangladesh Premier League 2016-17 campaign. Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2016: Points Table and Team Standings

The Rajshahi Kings started on a disastrous note as they lost opener Nurul Hasan, Sabbir Rahman and Umar Akmal in quick succession. They lost their opener, Hasan when the team had managed to put just 18 runs on the board but before the Kings could recuperate from this first shock, they lost Rahman and Akmal on consecutive deliveries. Junaid Khan was the lucky bowler there. He completely deserved the wicket of Rahman as he had pushed the batsman back for a long time and the batsman tried to be audacious by dancing down the pitch without judging the line and length of delivery eventually dismissing his timbers.

Akmal had a very unlucky dismissal. Junaid had bowled a wide delivery which Akmal tried to heave over the covers and chased the ball as it went past him. But the ball missed the bat by a very fair margin, but the oomph the wicket- keeper Nicholas Pooran went up everyone on the field thought they had their man and so did the umpire as he raised his finger to ask Akmal to walk back. This had put the kings in a jeopardy and a partnership was much needed to save the collapse. Mominual Haque and Samit Patel tried to save the match as they resumed scoring and dealing in singles. They both made a 35 runs partnership off 39 deliveries but Patel was later removed by Mohammad Asghar when the team had just posted 59 runs on the board. READ: Khulna Titans vs Rajshahi Kings, BPL 2016, Match 3, innings report: Abdul Hasan’s 5-for restricts Titans to 133

Darren Sammy had come to the crease after Patel s wicket and his stay was very important for the Kings as he is known as the clean hitter of the ball. He remarkably got off to a good start with his innings with a huge six over long off to justify his batting credentials. The game was getting nicely poised because both the teams were trying their best to get the upper hand in the game. On one side where wickets had fallen, Sammy was hitting some big sixes to cover up and compensate for their loss. These two were watchful for a certain amount of time and then once they settled in, runs came in easy for them. Mominual Haque got to his half-century while he was getting a very important hand from skipper Sammy who was seen rotating the strike and also bashing the bad balls over the boundary rope for maximum. As the Kings had lost wickets in quick succession, it was very much expected that this match would go down to the vile and it did, to be frank.

It seemed like Sammy and Haque would see the win but Shafiul Islam struck at the beginning of the 16th of the match and removed Sammy who was looking too dangerous. Haque did hit two boundaries off Shafiul in the very same over, but the batsman tried being too cheeky and in a bid to do something extraordinary scooped the ball into the keeper s hand. This tensed up the game for the Rajshahi Kings as they had lost all their batsmen and the tail was exposed. Mahmudullah himself bowled the last over and took 3 wickets while giving away just 3 runs which ensured a thrilling nail-biting finish.

Brief Scores:

Khulna Titans (Riki Wessels 32, Mahmudullah 32; Abdul Hasan Raju 5 for 28) defeated Rajshahi Hasan (Mominul Haque 64, Darren Sammy 31; Junaid Khan 4 for 23) by 3 runs