Khulna Titans finally got a consolation victory in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League when they beat Sylhet Sixers by 21 runs in the last match of third phase in Mirpur on Wednesday.
Khulna openers Brendan Taylor and Junaed Siddique made a solid foundation with scoring 48 and 33 runs respectively before David Wiese struck a late cameo of 38 off 25 balls, helping Khulna post 170-9 in their stipulated overs.
Sylhet initially crumbled against Khulna bowlers in the chase and were reduced at 56-4 in the ninth over but their Pakistani recruit Mohammad Nawaz and West Indies’ Nicholas Pooran put up a 81-run stand in the fifth wicket to drive them back in the contest. However, when Wiese got rid of Pooran (28 off 21) and Nazmul Hossain took an excellent catch of Nawaz (54 off 34) off Junaid Khan in the penultimate over all the excitement ended as Sylhet could make only 149-7 which gave Khulna their second win in the tournament.
The defeat also all but confirmed Sylhet’s exit from the tournament as they have only two wins in eight games while Khulna have same number of victories in nine games.
Sent into bat, Taylor and Junaed provided Khulna an excellent start, putting up 73 runs in the opening stand before the latter was dismissed by Alok Kapali after the bowler took an easy catch of his own bowling to give Sylhet a much-needed breakthrough.
Nawaz (2-26) then dismissed Al-Amin (two) and Nazmul Hossain (17) in quick succession before Kapali (4-22) brought all his experiences in the middle to dismiss Taylor, Ariful Haque (0) and Mahmudullah (three) in between his seven balls to make Khulna reeling on 116-6.
Wiese put up two crucial stands of 30 and 24 along with Yasir Shah and Taijul respectively and struck two fours and as many sixes in his innings to power Khulna to a challenging total before he was dismissed by Taskin Ahmed (2-35) in the penultimate ball of their innings.
In reply, Sylhet lost Liton Das (0) in the first ball of their chase while Sabbir Rahman, who survived on one after on-field umpire misjudged a plumb leg-before, was dismissed on 13 by Taijul.
Taijul (3-32) then removed both Afif Hossain (29) and Kapali (11) in between four balls to leave Sylhet tottering and despite Nawaz and Pooran’s batting heroics, it were not enough for Sylhet at the end as they conceded their third defeat in a row.