Fortune Barishal were on the driving seat until the 19th over of Gemcon Khulna's innings who needed 22 from the last six balls. It was written Barishal as the winners all over the stars. But Ariful Haque had other plans in mind.
Ariful's final over heroics powered Khula to an improbable win over Fortune Barishal. He hit four 6s in the final over to seal another thrilling win in the opening day of the Bangabandhu T20 Cup. The commentator, as soon as the bowl flew over the ropes, screamed "Ariful, you beauty!"
Ariful was actually struggling, he had scored 24 off 29 balls before the last over. Miraz came on to bowl, and he ended up scoring 48 of 34. Khulna still had one ball left when the players started celebrating their impossible win.
Tamim Iqbal's captaincy was top notch throughout the match. His bowling and fielding changes paid off instantly most of the times. But his decision to bring in Miraz in the last over might be questioned, but Tamim had very little to do. This was a miracle.
Earlier, Barishal set a target of 153 runs in front of Khulna.
Taskin Ahmed gave Barishal a flying start with the ball, picking up two wickets in the very first over. He picked up both the openers. Shakib Al Hasan, who made his return after a year, scored 15 off 13 balls before getting out to Sumon Khan's brilliance. Skipper Mahmudullah too failed to make the best use of his start, got out for 17 off 16.
Jahurul Islam played a solid knock, accompanied by Ariful. Shamim Patwary also chipped in with an important knock. But it was Ariful Haque in the end.
Sumon Khan was the pick of the bowlers. He picked up Shakib Al Hasan and Shamim Patwar, both were looking dangerous as they got set at the crease.
Taskin also picked up a brace, but was a tad expensive. Miraz had a pretty amazing bowling figure until the nightmare last over.
Earlier, It was all fast bowlers' show for Gemcon Khulna in the first innings. Shafiul Islam and Hasan Mahmud picked a brace each. But the star-man was Shahidul Islam. He picked up 4 wickets from his quota of 4 overs giving away only 18 runs.
Parvez Hossain Emon was the star man for Barishal. The southpaw has been in terrific form from the intra-HP matches. He scored a brilliant 51 off 42 deliveries with 3-fours and 4-sixes. Apart from Emon, Towhid Hridoy and Mahidul Islam Ankong reached 20-run mark, but could not make the use of their start. Ankon's cameo was important to take his team's total go past 150 in the end.
Ariful Haque was adjudged as the man of the match for his heroics.
Fortune Barishal 152/9 (20 Overs) (Parvez Hossain Emon 51, Towhid Hridoy 27, Mahidul Islam Ankon 21, Shahidul Islam 17/4, Shafiul Islam 27/2)
Gemcon Khulna 155/6 (19.5 Overs) (Ariful Haque 48*, Jahurul Islam 31, Shamim Hossain 26, Sumon Khan 21/2, Taskin Ahmed 33/2)
Result: Gemcon Khulna won by 4 wickets.