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|M Junaid Siddique||70||41||4||4||170.73|
Khulna Titans finally got off the mark with a much-needed win over Rajshahi Kings in their previous match. They are still stranded at the bottom of the points with a solitary win in five matches. They need to win almost all matches hereon including the one they are set to play next against Comilla Victorians on 18th January at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium, Sylhet. Comilla Victorians are sitting pretty at the second spot in the points table with three wins in four matches. The Victorians will have an opportunity to get to the top of the table, along with Dhaka Dynamites, which they'll be looking to take and strengthen their position at the top of the table.
The change in venue from Dhaka to Sylhet has certainly brought about change in Titans' fortunes. The Titans will be looking to keep the momentum going, but considering the form the Victorians are in, Khulna Titans will have to play out of their skins.
They are coming off a massive win both in absolute terms and in context of the tournament. Batting first on a tricky surface, their batsmen once again failed to impress as no one could convert his start to a big knock. As many as six players scored in double figures and yet the top-score was only 26 which was scored by Ariful Haque. Khulna Titans scored only 128 in the end, but their bowlers ensured that the total was more than enough.
Junaid Khan was terrific upfront and removed Laurie Evans in the first over of the day. However, it was their first change bowler, Taijul Islam, who shifted the game by an extraordinary spell of bowling as he returned with the figures of 4-0-10-3. He picked up key wickets of Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Soumya Sarkar, and Ryan ten Doeschate as Kings slipped from 30 for 1 to 74 for 8. The rest of their bowlers did well to clean up the tail and bowled Kings out for 103, as the Titans ended up winning the match by 25 runs.
Jahurul Islam, M Junaid Siddique, Dawid Malan, Mahmudullah, Al Amin, Nazmul Hossain, Carlos Brathwaite, Ariful Haque, Taijul Islam, Lasith Malinga, Junaid Khan.
In the first few matches, Comilla Victorians struggled to get going and posted paltry totals in decent batting wickets including their 63 all-out which was chased easily by Rangpur Riders. However, in the recent matches, their batsmen have looked fluent and it wasn't too long ago where they score 184 which was later chased down by Chittagong Vikings
They couldn't have anticipated for a worse start after losing the toss in their last to the last encounter, against Chittagong Vikings, as Frylinck dismissed Tamim Iqbal on only the second delivery of the match. Nayeem Hasan kept it tight from the other end as they failed to gather momentum up until 14th over. They were reduced to 86 for 5, Thisara Perera's stupendous counter-attacking innings coupled with some poor death bowling from Vikings allowed them to score 184 runs in the allotted 20 overs.
Mohammad Shahzad and Cameron Delport got Vikings off to a terrific start as the pair added 58 runs in 5.2 overs for the opening wicket. Although Delport scored only 13 in the partnership, he played a good useful hand. In this match, Mushfiqur Rahim found his Midas touch and smashed 75 runs off 41 deliveries which was the main reason for the success of their chase. Frylinck finished the game with a six as they got home with a couple of balls to spare. Victorians bowlers had no clue about bowling at death and that is something they'll need to work on in the games as they move ahead in the competition.
Learning from their outing against Vikings, bowlers were terrific against Sylhet Sixers as they completely dismantled them for just 68 runs. Skipper Mahedi Hasan was the wrecker-in-chief for them as he picked up 4 for 22 in the match, three of which came in the opening over. Wahab Riaz and Liam Dawson chipped in with useful spells and picked up three and two wickets respectively. Chasing such a low total was never going to be troublesome for their batsmen and it wasn't either as they sealed the match with more than eight overs to spare despite losing both Anamul Haque and Tamim Iqbal for ducks.
They couldn't have wished for a better start after winning the toss in their previous encounter, against Comilla Victorians, as Frylinck dismissed Tamim Iqbal on only the second delivery of the match. Nayeem Hasan kept it tight from the other end as Victorians failed to gather momentum up until 14th over. They reduced Comilla Victorians to 86 for 5, but failed to contain Thisara Perera in the death overs and eventually had a massive total of 185 to chase.
Anamul Haque, Tamim Iqbal, Shamsur Rahman, Imrul Kayes, SMSK Afridi, Thisara Perera, LA Dawson, Mohammad Saifuddin, Wahab Riaz, Mahedi Hasan, Ziaur Rahman.
A win for Khulna Titans in their last game has clearly opened up the table. With not many matches to go and all teams having a realistic chance to qualify, each game is of significant importance. Lying at the bottom of the table, the Titans will be taking their every game as a do-or-die encounter. The Victorians, on the other hand, are sitting comfortably among the top three teams, but will still want to win the encounter and get to the top of the table. Their bowlers learnt from their outing against Vikings and did exceedingly well against Sylhet Sixers. They will take the confidence into this encounter and with experienced batting lineup, the Victorians are better placed to emerge on top in the upcoming fixture at Sylhet.