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Ariful stars as Titans clinch 14-run victory

DHAKA, Dec 5, 2017 (BSS)- An all-round performance from Khulna Titans enabled them to register a 14-run victory over table topper Comilla Victorians in the 39th match of AKS Bangladesh Premier League T20 on Tuesday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium at Mirpur.

With this victory, Khulna Titans moved to the second position in the points table with 15 points from 12 matches while despite the defeat Comilla retained their top position in the points table with 16 points from ten outings.

Chasing a massive winning target of 175-run set by Khulna, Comilla
Victorians fell short as they were restricted at 160 for 7 in 20 overs.

Opener Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes shared 63-run second wicket stand after Comilla Victorians suffered early batting jolt as they lost their opener Solomon Mire for duck in the third ball of the first over.

The left-handed batsman Kayes scoring 19-ball off 20 with three boundaries was removed by Benny Howell while the southpaw opener Tamim fell to Brathwaite before adding 33-ball off 36 runs laced with six boundaries.

Shoaib Malik offered some resistance with a breezy 23-ball off 36 runs along with Marlon Samuels' unbeaten knock off 16-ball 25 runs but the Titans bowlers maintained good line and length giving no scope to victorians' batsmen to accelerate the run rate to chase the target.

After the departure of Malik's pressure mounted, the remaining Victorians batsmen could not fight back in the match.

Benny Howell and Abu Jayed shared two wickets each giving away 32 and 35 runs respectively.

Ariful Haque of Khulna Titans was named the player of the match for his brilliant batting performance

Earlier, Khulna Titans post a challenging total of 174 for 6 from their allotted 20 overs, after they opted to bat first.

The two Khulna openers Nazmul Hasan Shanto and Michael Klinger gave Khulna Titans a flying start contributing 55-run for the opening stand before Shanto was removed by Al Amin in the 5.6 overs.

The left hander Nazmul smacked one six off Shoaib Malik in the third over before he hit Mahedi Hasan for one four and one six off consecutive deliveries in the fifth over.

Nazmul, who was dropped on the first ball of pacer Al Amin's over, hit two boundaries in the sixth over but Al Amin came back with a sharp reply as he uprooted Shanto's off-stump with a brilliant yorker delivery.

The left hander went back to the pavilion after a quick fire 21-ball off 37 studded with four boundaries and two over boundaries.

After the departure of Nazmul, Khulna suffered little wobbles in the middle as Mahmudullah (23) and Nicholas Pooran (8) were removed in quick succession.

Big hitting batsman Carlos Brathwaite made a quick fire 12-ball off 22 runs and also picked up 19 runs of Al Amin in the 18th over as he hit three fours and one six before he fell victim of unfortunate run out by debutant Mehedi Hasan Rana.

Ariful Haque struck a 21-ball 35 to steer Khulna to set a challenging total in front of Comilla after picking up 19 runs of that last over of the innings. He hit four boundaries and one over boundary before he perished to Al Amin Hossain.

Al Amin was the most successful bowler as he grabbed three Khulna's wickets conceding 52 runs from four overs.