Yet another stellar bowling performance from the Gazi Group Chattogram bowlers and superb batting display from Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar handed Gemcon Khulna their second consecutive defeat in the ongoing Bangabandhu T20 Cup. Mohammad Mithun's men comprehensively beat Gemcon Khulna by nine wickets with 38 balls to spare at the Sher-E-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Saturday.
Chasing a small target of 87, Gazi Group Chattogram were off to a brisk start courtesy Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar, who batted brilliantly in the previous match as well. Liton was the more aggressive of the two, putting pressure on the bowlers right from the start by picking up boundaries. He struck four boundaries on the trot off Hasan Mahmud in the third over. Soumya was a little circumspect early on but struck four boundaries before getting out to Mahmudullah. He scored 26 off 29 before adding 73 off 55 for the first wicket with Liton.
But it did not stop Liton from playing his natural game. The right-hander notched up his fifty off 42 deliveries and remained unbeaten on 53 as Chattogram reached the target losing the solitary wicket of Soumya with 38 balls to spare. Liton's superb knock was studded with nine fours.
Earlier, Gazi Group Chattogram skipper Mohammad Mithun won the toss and put Khulna in to bat. Khulna were off to the worst possible start as opener Anamul Haque Bijoy was run out following a misunderstanding with his opening partner Shakib Al Hasan in the very first over.
Shakib Al Hasan came out to open the innings but the unorthodox move did not pay dividends as the southpaw holed out to Mosaddek Hossain in the deep after scoring only three runs.
Skipper Mahmudullah did not last long either, as he was trapped leg before off Nahidul Islam. Imrul Kayes, the top-scorer for Khulna, hung around for some time before getting dismissed by Taijul Islam after scoring a 26-ball-21, leaving his team tottering at 57 for five.
Khulna could not manage to build a single substantial partnership, the highest being 19 between Shakib and Imrul for the second wicket. Seven of the batsmen registered single digit scores for Khulna as they were bundled out for a mere 86 with 13 balls left in the innings.
Mustafizur Rahman was the star performer for Chattogram with the ball as he returned with staggering figures which read 3.5-0-5-4 with 18 dot balls in it. He was well supported by the spin duo of Nahidul Islam and Taijul Islam. Nahidul Islam's contribution was extremely significant as he picked up two crucial wickets of Shakib Al Hasan and skipper Mahmudullah, conceding only 15 off his four overs. Taijul also picked up two for 30 and affected a run out on the field.
Mustafizur Rahman, for his astonishing bowling display, was adjudged the player of the match.
Brief scores: Gemcon Khulna 86 (Imrul 21, Ariful Haque 15, Jahurul 14, Mustafizur 4/5, Nahidul 2/15, Taijul 2/30)
Gazi Group Chattogram 87/1 (Liton 53*, Soumya 26, Mominul 5*, Mahmudullah 1/16)