How the game played out
The wretched run for Khulna Titans ended for at least one night in Dhaka as they upended Sylhet Sixers for their second win of BPL 2019. The Titans ability to dominate both Powerplays was pivotal in the final result as Alok Kapali‘s wonderful spell of legspin bowling wasn’t enough to inspire a Sixers win.
After being sent in, Titans raced out to 67 for no loss in the first six overs, thanks to a rousing stand between Brendan Taylor and Junaid Siddique before Kapali struck with four wickets to pull them back in a total of 170. Conversely, Sixers lost Liton Das on the first ball of their chase and crawled to 39 for 2 after six overs. Nicholas Pooran and Mohammad Nawaz tried to revive the Sixers chase with an 81-run fifth-wicket stand to bring the required target down to 35 off the last 18 balls. But they were left with too much work to do in the end as both Pooran and Nawaz were dismissed in the final three overs.
- Siddique had driven the Titans through most of the Powerplay before Taylor attacked Nasir Hossain for two sixes and a four off the final three balls of the sixth over to ramp up Titans’ early charge
- David Wiese survived a run-out chance on 6 after a dicey single called by Yasir Shah in the 16th over. Mohammad Irfan’s attempt to kick the ball into the striker’s end stumps in his follow-through from point-blank range missed badly
- Sabbir Rahman came into the match in good form with an 85 in his last knock but managed to pick out one of the only two men on the boundary, at long-on, attempting an overeager smash in the fifth over of the chase against Taijul Islam’s spin
Star of the day
David Wiese was a jack of all trades. It began with his 38 off 25 at No. 7, making the most of the missed run-out chance by Irfan to ransack Sixers’ death bowlers until he fell with one ball left in the innings. He took two sharp catches on the boundary early in Sixers’ chase, including Sabbir off Taijul. With the ball, he came to the rescue to break the Pooran-Nawaz stand as he flummoxed Pooran with a slower one that was miscued to square leg to eliminate the last major threat from Sixers.
The big miss
Taylor top-scored in the Titans innings but his poor advice to Najmul Hossain Shanto nearly cost Titans after Shanto was given lbw for 17 in the 11th over. Nawaz pinned Shanto in front with a half-tracker that kept very low and was clearly going to hit the stumps, but coming around the wicket the ball pitched outside leg stump. After having a chat with Taylor, Shanto opted to walk off without reviewing the call.
Where the teams stand
Titans’ second win moved them to four points to keep them mathematically alive for the playoffs, four points behind Rajshahi Kings and Rangpur Riders with three matches to go. Sixers came into the match with a much more realistic chance of making the playoffs but the loss keeps them on four points, putting a major dent in their hopes of catching the same two teams, though they have four matches left.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo’s USA correspondent @PeterDellaPenna
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