Mushfiqur Rahim produced a blistering 51-ball 96 as the Tigers registered the joint fifth highest chase in BPL history alongside Rajshahi Kings, who did so at the same venue in the previous edition
Wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim fired from all cylinders to guide Khulna Tigers to their second win of the season, in as many Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 games.
Mushfiq produced a blistering 51-ball 96 as the Tigers registered the joint fifth highest chase in BPL history alongside Rajshahi Kings, who did so at the same venue in the previous edition.
The Tigers beat Rajshahi Royals by five wickets at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in the port city Tuesday.
Following early dismissal of the openers, Nazmul Hossain Shanto and Rahmanullah Gurbaz for nought and seven respectively, Mushfiq took charge to stable the chase with Rilee Rossouw at the other end.
The wicket at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in the port city lived to its reputation of aiding the batters, as Mushfiq and Rossouw wrecked havoc on the opposition bowlers, adding 72 for the third wicket.
Mushfiq was the aggressor in the partnership as he hammered 44 off 27, while Rossouw contributed 26 off as many deliveries.
In-form batsman Rossouw perished to pacer Kamrul Islam on 42 off 35 with five boundaries and an over boundary.
Mushfiq however, remained strong as he built two more stands, 61 with Shamsur Rahman for the fourth wicket and another 30 with Robbie Frylinck for the fifth.
Mushfiq needed four runs to get to his first century in the format as the Tigers needed two off the last four balls of the innings.
He had surely gone for the glory only to get caught by Shoaib Malik at long-on and bring an end to the sizzling innings that was his highest in both domestic and international T20s.
Fyrlinck put the finishing touch to their chase with a four.
Tigers head coach James Foster termed Mushfiq as a “360 degree player”, a name usually reserved for South Africa batsman AB de Villiers.
“Mushy is a highly skillful player. He assesses the condition, situation and what’s required against the bowlers that he comes up against. He has got options, he’s a 360-degree player. Last few years having played against him when I was with Khulna Titans [as assistant coach], he is very difficult to bowl at. Very powerful as well but he has got a touch game, he is a complete package,” said an elated Foster to the media at ZACS Tuesday.
“I am saying he is a 360-player because he is hitting all around the ground. He is a wonderful player, one of the cricketers very difficult to bowl at. You know there are cricketers who’s strong hitting at deep midwicket, to mid-off. But Mushy is a player who can hit behind and straight but that doesn’t come with luck, it comes with a lot of hard work and practice. This is my first involvement with Mushy and seeing him how he works, he is up there as one of the hard working cricketers I have seen,” the Tigers head coach added.
Earlier in the game, the Royals were asked to bat first and Malik’s 50-ball 87 with eight boundaries and four over boundaries helped the side post 189 for the loss of four wickets in their stipulated 20 overs.
Left-arm seamer Mohammad Amir picked up two scalps for the Tigers while pacers Frylinck and Shahidul Islam bagged a wicket each.
9TH MATCH, KTvRR
RAJSHAHI ROYALS INNINGS R B
Liton c Rossouw b Frylinck 19 16
Zazai c Mushfiq b Amir 1 5
Afif c Shafiul b Shahidul 19 17
Malik c Shanto b Amir 87 50
Bopara not out 40 26
Russell not out 13 6
Extras (lb 4, w 6) 10
Total (20 Overs) 189/4
Fall Of Wickets
1-8 (Zazai), 2-26 (Liton), 3-66 (Afif), 4-172 (Malik)
Miraz 2-0-17-0, Amir 4-0-36-2, Frylinck 4-0-29-1, Shafiul 4-0-38-0, Shahidul 4-0-35-1, Aminul 2-0-30-0
KHULNA TIGERS INNINGS R B
Shanto b Russell 0 2
Gurbaz c Farhad b Afif 7 4
Rossouw c Liton b Rabbi 42 35
Mushfiq c Malik b Bopara 96 51
Shamsur c Taijul b Russell 29 20
Frylinck not out 14 6
Shahidul not out 0 0
Extras (w 4) 4
Total (19.4 Overs) 192/5
Fall Of Wickets
1-1 (Shanto), 2-25 (Gurbaz), 3-97 (Rossouw), 4-158 (Shamsur), 5-188 (Mushfiq)
Russell 4-0-41-2, Rabbi 2-0-18-1, Afif 3-0-24-1, Jayed 1-0-7-0, Malik 2-0-14-0, Bopara 2.4-0-32-1, Kapali 3-0-31-0, Taijul 1-0-11-0, Farhad 1-0-14-0
Khulna Tigers won by five wickets
MoM: Mushfiqur Rahim (KT)