Barishal beat Chattogram in BPL opener

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Sports desk, Jan 21: Shykat Ali set up the chase and Ziaur Rahman completed it for Fortune Barishal as they defeated Chattogram Challengers by four wickets in the opening match of the eighth Bangladesh Premier League at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka on Friday.

Shykat made 39 off 35 balls while Ziaur struck two fours and a six to make 19 not out off 12 balls to take Barishal to 126-6 in 18.4 overs.

Skipper Mehidy Hasan led the charge with the ball for his team with figures of 4-16 and almost turned the match on its head on the 15th over which yielded three wickets but at the end the team from the port city didn’t have enough runs to defend.

Earlier, Benny Howell’s quickfire 41 off 20 balls late down the order pushed Chattogram to 125-8 after they were asked to bat first.

Pacer Alzarri Joseph claimed 3-32 while off-spinner Nayeem Hasan took 2-25 for Barishal but it was skipper Shakib Al Hasan and left-arm wrist spinner Jake Lintott’s economical bowling that clipped the wings of the Chattogram innings.

Shakib finished with 1-9 and Lintott ended up with 1-18 in their quota of overs.

Chasing 126, Barishal hobbled to 28-2 at the end of the first six overs, having lost the wickets of Nazmul Hossain Shanto (one off six balls) and skipper Shakib (13 off 16 balls), both falling to Mehidy.

Shykat then formed a 34 and 30-run partnerships with Towhid Hridoy (16 off 17 balls) and Irfan Sukkur (16 off 13 balls) respectively.

Barishal were cruising to a victory before Mehidy dismissed Shykat and Irfan in consecutive deliveries and then Afif Hossain ran out Salman Hossain for a duck in the last ball of the same over to reduce Barishal to 92-6 after 15 overs.

But Ziaur didn’t allow a twist at the tail, as he smashed Mukidul Islam for a couple of boundaries and a six in the 17th over, leaving only 12 runs to be chased off the remaining 18 balls.

Ziaur, with Dwayne Bravo unbeaten on 12 off 10 balls at the other end, rightfully took the last run to complete the chase with eight balls in hand.

In the first innings, opener Will Jacks was the lone batter in Barishal’s first five batters to get into double figures, before departing for 16 off 20 balls off Lintott in the ninth over with score on 42-4.

Naeem Islam (15 off 18 balls) and Shamim Hossain (14 off 23 balls) tried to build a launching pad for the final overs but couldn’t kick on with their innings.

But Howell stepped up to the plate and his lusty blows gave Chattogram bowlers something to defend, which proved insufficient in the end.