Mushfiqur Rahim steered Khulna Tigers vanquished Chattogram Challengers by 6 wickets in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chattogram on Friday.
Skipper Mushfiqur smashed an unbeaten 44 to propel Khulna chase down the 144-run target in 18.5 overs.
Chasing the target, opener Soumya Sarkar, who missed the first phase of BPL due to Covid was dismissed on 1 run.
Andre Fletcher, then hit 6 fours and two sixes to score 58 off 47 balls before getting knocked off by Mehidy Hasan Miraz while Mushfiqur scored 44 off 30 aided by four boundaries and a six.
Seekkuge Prasanna and Rony Talukder played brief innings of 23 and 17 runs in the middle.
Mehidy grabbed a couple of wickets and Shoriful Islam, Nasum Ahmed took one wicket each for Chattogram Challengers.
Fletcher gave Khulna the perfect start despite them losing Soumya Sarkar and Rony Talukdar early. He scored most of his runs on the leg-side, but struck four sweetly-timed fours with square and late cuts. He held the Khulna innings together till the 15th over when, after hitting his second six of the day, he top-edged Miraz to long-on. Mushfiqur and Prasanna had the perfect base to wrap up the chase quickly.
Chattogram had earlier slumped to 102 for 7 in the 16th over when Thisara Perera had Shamim Hossain caught at deep midwicket to take his third wicket. This was a slip from the relative comfort of 84 for 3 in the 13th over. Perera earlier removed Will Jacks, who made 28 off 23 balls, as well as the dangerous Benny Howell, who lobbed Perera a return catch. Afif top-scored for Khulna with 44 off 37 balls, but he couldn't convert his start into something more significant. Towards the end, the veteran Naeem Islam struck a six and two fours in his unbeaten 19-ball 25. Apart from Perera's three-for, there was one wicket each for all the other five bowlers Khulna deployed.
Chattogram posted 143 for 8 in 20 overs after batting first. After the early wicket of Kennar Lewis on 1 by Nabil Samad, Afif Hossain struck a 59-run partnership with another opener Will Jacks for the second wicket stand.
After two middling innings in his three previous knocks, Chattogram's Sabbir Rahman only made four in this game. Howell too missed out with the bat and ball for the first time in the tournament, after making a big impact in Chattogram's first three matches.