Mustafizur, Mehidy put Rajshahi Kings on the BPL board

Bangladesh

Rajshahi Kings 118 for 3 (Mehidy 51, Mominul 44) beat Khulna Titans 117 for 9 (Udana 3-15, Mustafizur 2-18) by seven wickets

How the game played out

The early season batting woes for Khulna Titans showed no signs of abating in another lopsided loss. After two losses to open the season, the Titans attempted to bulk up their batting by bringing in Dawid Malan as a replacement for injured fast bowler Ali Khan and had a promising first five overs in which they reached 40 for 1 behind the opening pair of Junaid Siddiqui and Paul Stirling.

But the Titans wheezed through the rest of their innings, finishing with 117 for 9 in 20 overs. Rajshahi Kings’ left-arm pace tandem of Isuru Udana and Mustafizur Rahman (8-0-33-5) along with legspinner Qais Ahmad kept the Titans off-balance, refused to let them find any rhythm and triggered a series of forced slogs for catches on the boundary.

Mohammad Hafeez fell slogging to mid-on in the second over of the chase, but it was the last glimmer Titans had of defending a small target. Kings coasted to victory thanks to an 89-run stand between Mominul Haque and Mehidy Hasan.

Turning points

  • Titans’ hot start was neutralised by a wicket-maiden from Udana in the sixth over, when Siddiqui spliced a pull to deep square leg

  • Mahmudullah appeared to be struck well above the knee roll by Mustafizur in the 11th over, but his attempt to overturn the lbw decision against him was denied by his review returning an umpire’s call verdict with the ball shown to be clipping the bails

  • The well-set Malan targeted Soumya Sarkar’s part-time medium pace to start the 17th over, but the decision backfired when he skied a catch to long-on. Titans, who were 101 for 5 at the time, barely lasted the 20 overs

Star of the day

Mehidy had the Midas touch with his bowling changes, in particular his use of Qais as well as the decision to bring on Sarkar to strike a decisive blow removing Malan. He followed his shrewd captaincy by making a half-century to pilot the chase.

More to follow

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