A fine half-century of Rony Talukdar was complemented by a fluent batting of Thisara Perera as Khulna Tigers chased down Minister Group Dhaka’s 183 effortlessly for a five-wicket victory in their opening game of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) on Friday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
Rony set the platform with 61 off 42, hitting seven fours and one six and Perera gave the finishing touch with 18 ball-36 not out, studded with six fours to help Khulna reach 186-5 in 19 overs, overhauling Dhaka’s 183-6.
Mahedi Hasan who was not out on 12 alongside Perera signed off the game, hitting a six off Andre Russell delivery. West Indies recruit Andre Fletcher blasted 45 off 23 with seven fours and one six and combined for a 72 off 46 with Rony to keep the side on track after opener Tanzid Hossain was dismissed cheaply.
Russell removed Fletcher to help Dhaka hit back and then Ebadot further established the dominance, getting rid of Khulna captain Mushfiqur Rahim for 6.
Rony kept scoring but Ebadot dismissed him to give Dhaka a hope again, which was later shattered by Thisara Perera. Russell and Ebadot took two wickets each for Dhaka. Tamim Iqbal struck a 42 ball-50 to be the top-scorer for Dhaka after getting back to competitive cricket following his recovery from the injury. His fellow opener Mohammad Shahzad scored 27 ball-42.
He and Tamim gave Dhaka a superb start, sharing 69 runs for the opening stand. Shahzad was run out casually while Kamrul Islam Rabbi took the wicket of Tamim to stall Dhaka’s progress. Their situation worsened further when Andre Russell was run out bizarrely.
But skipper Mahmudullah Riyad struck 39 off 20 to help Dhaka put on a mammoth total. Kamrul Islam Rabbi claimed 3-45 to be the most successful bowler for Khulna. Rony was adjudged man of the match for his half-century.