In a low-scoring match where batsmen from both sides found it hard to get the ball off the square, the Chittagong Kings secured their first win of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 by defeating the Barisal Burners by 21 runs at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna yesterday.
The Burners, who initially looked like overhauling Chittagong's modest 129 with ease, were strangled by Chittagong's bowlers in the middle overs and at the end were restricted to 108 for 9.
With 70 runs required off the last 10 overs and seven wickets in hand Brad Hodge, who till then had been shepherding the chase expertly, was stumped off Enamul Haque Jr and from there it was a downhill slide for the Burners. They lost their next five wickets for just 30 runs and at one point of time were in danger of getting bowled out under the a 100-run mark.
Barisal began their chase in emphatic fashion as Hodge smacked Mahmoodullah Riyad for two fours and a six in the second over of the innings. The overtly aggressive approach followed by the batsmen however, backfired to a certain extent as they kept losing wickets regularly.
Phil Mustard, who drove Jacob Oram for a four in the first ball of the third over, was caught off the next ball while attempting a similar shot. Joe Denly was caught behind in the next over and suddenly the below-par target of 130 seemed like a mountainous task.
In the next three overs Barisal scored only 7 runs. The pressure was building and Azhar Mahmood's attempt to counter it resulted in his wicket in the 8th over as he was caught by Brendan Taylor off Kevon Cooper. The pressure was kept on by some good bowling from the spinners, especially Enamul Haque Jr who gave away only 12 runs and picked up 2 wickets in his 4 overs.
Earlier, the Chittagong Kings continued their poor run with the bat and failed to hit any sixes, a rarity in the BPL. Except for the 52-run stand between openers Naeem Islam and Ravi Bopara, who got the man-of-the-match award for his 29-ball 38, the rest of the top order failed to click.
Skipper Mahmood-ullah, who came to bat at four was dismissed cheaply by Shafiul Islam while Brendan Taylor, who had scored a fine half-century in Chittagong's previous match, fell in his attempt to clear the ropes against Elias Sunny. Newly arrived Ryan Ten Doeschate and all-rounder Jacob Oram steadily re-built the innings with a 37-run stand off 29 balls and helped the Kings cross the 120-mark.
SCORES IN BRIEF
CHITTAGONG KINGS: 129 for 7 (Bopara 38, ten Doeschate 23, Naeem 19, Oram 18; Mahmood 2-22, Shafiul 2-24, Kabir 2-27).
BARISAL BURNERS: 108 for 9 (Hodge 34, Kapali 12; Enamul 2-12, Cooper 2-18, Sunny 2-23).
Result: Chittagong Kings won by 21 runs.
Player-of-the-match: Ravi Bopara