Mehidy Hasan Miraz's brilliant knock of unbeaten 87 runs helped Khulna Tigers to dominate Sylhet Thunder and win by eight wickets in their match of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 2019.
Mehidy was adjudged man of the match for his brilliant knock of 87, consisting of nine fours and three sixes.
This was Khulna's fifth victory of the tournament whereas this marked Sylhet's sixth defeat of the campaign, and almost out of contention for the playoffs.
Winning the toss, Khulna skipper Mushfiqur Rahim invited Sylhet Thunder to bat first. Batting first, Sylhet stumbled from the moment go and manage to only accumulate 157.
Chasing a relatively easy target of 158, Khulna were off to a brilliant start as Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Nazmul Hossain Shanto unleashed themselves on the Sylhet bowlers. These two accumulated 66 runs in the powerplay and did not stop there.
The two youngsters went on to score the highest opening stand in this year's BPL and Mehidy picked up his fifty off 31 deliveries. This was his second fifty in T20s, with the previous one coming in the last BPL for Rajshahi Royals, when he was the skipper of the side. These two completed their 100-run stand in the 11th over as a victory looked only a matter of time for the Tigers.
There was a concern in the 12th over as it looked like Shanto had twitched his hamstring trying to still a quick single. Even though he continued after receiving some treatment, it looked like he still had some problems.
But his stay was not prolonged as he returned in the very next over as Nayeem Hasan grasped a good catch off Ebadot to send Shanto back on 41 and finally, Sylhet broke their partnership of 115 runs.
Miraz gave an opportunity in the 16th over on 76, but an easy catch off Nayeem's bowling was dropped by Krishmar Santokie, who just keeps on producing controversies.
Rilee Rossouw came in at no.3 but did not last long as he was gone for 15 in the 17th over off Sherfane Rutherford.
Mushfiqur Rahim and Mehidy ensured that no more wickets fell and they reached the target with eight wickets and 13 balls in hand.
Mehidy was unbeaten on 87 off 62 deliveries, which is his career-best T20 score.
Earlier, Sylhet managed to take 21 runs off Robbie Frylinck's first and the innings' second over but still, their run rate was nothing up to anything which was expected. That was mainly because of Sylhet's surprise opening batsman, Rubel Mia, who struggled to score runs as at one point he was on 16 off 31 deliveries.
But somehow, they managed to stretch the opening stand to the eighth over and put together 62 runs. The partnership was broken when Andre Fletcher was caught off Frylinck by Mushfiqur Rahim on 37. Initially, the umpire adjudged Fletcher to be not out. But Khulna skipper Mushfiqur Rahim opted for a review and it was seen that the ball had touched the bat before it reached Mushfiq and Fletcher had to go back.
Johnson Charles at no.3 did not last long either as he was sent back by Frylinck for 17. Rubel Mia's tough time at the pitch was also soon over as Mushfiq took a brilliant catch running a long way back off Shahidul Islam to send the batsman back for 37 off 42 deliveries.
Mohammad Mithun was the next to go for a duck as Mehidy Hasan took a good catch at short mid-wicket and Shahidul picked up his second scalp of the match.
Sherfane Rutherford and skipper Mosaddek Hossain tried to accelerate in the latter overs, but some quality death bowling along with the lack of power hitting resulted in Sylhet finishing on 157-4. Sylhet only scored 53 in the last 37 deliveries which resulted in posting a below-average total.
Rutherford was unbeaten on 26 with Mosaddek being unbeaten on 22. Shahidul and Frylinck picked up a couple of wickets each.