The loss put Cumilla in uncertainty for the top four as they have only 10 points with a match to go, while Khulna have 12 points with two games in hand
Sabbir Rahman’s 15th T20 half-century went in vain as his side Cumilla Warriors conceded a 34-run defeat against Khulna Tigers in a crucial encounter in the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Wednesday.
The loss put Cumilla in uncertainty for the top four as they have only 10 points with a match to go, while Khulna have 12 points with two games in hand.
Chattogram Challengers and Dhaka Platoon have already qualified for the playoffs with 16 and 14 points respectively.
Khulna were taken to the shore with Robbie Frylinck’s second T20 five-for as Cumilla fell short while chasing 180.
South African all-rounder Frylinck finished with figure of five for 16 from his quota of four overs, the second best performance in the ongoing season, to restrict Cumilla for 145 in 18.2 overs.
Sabbir returned to the Cumilla XI after being benched in the previous game, but with a tactical change.
The right-handed batsman was sent to open and the move paid rich dividends as Sabbir added 62 off 39 deliveries with seven boundaries and two over boundaries.
The effort from Sabbir was however, not enough as Cumilla suffered early setbacks – Stiaan van Zyl (12) and in-form skipper Dawid Malan departing in quick succession.
Two early dismissals saw Soumya Sarkar join Sabbir in the middle and the duo stitched together 51 runs for the third wicket before Soumya perished on 22, while Yasir Ali added 27 to the tally.
Cumilla lost their last six wickets for just 15 runs.
Earlier, Khulna were asked to bat first and the Tigers were off to a strong start as openers Nazmul Hossain Shanto and Mehedi Hasan Miraz put on 71.
Shanto made 38 before his departure in the 10th over and Miraz (39) soon followed him, leaving Khulna on 94/2 in 12.2 overs.
The situation was perfect for prolific scorer Rilee Rossouw to take advantage and he added a blistering unbeaten 71 off 36 balls, involving four over boundaries and half a dozen boundaries.
Rossouw partnered with wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim for an unbroken 85-run stand for the third wicket.
Mushfiq remained not out on 24 off 17 balls as he walked off with Rossouw back to the dressing room with a handsome total for the Khulna bowlers to defend.
37TH MATCH, CWvKT
KHULNA TIGERS INNINGS R B
Shanto c Sanjamul b Soumya 38 29
Miraz b Wiese 39 39
Rossouw not out 71 36
Mushfiq not out 24 17
Extras (nb 1, w 6) 7
Total (20 Overs) 179/2
Fall Of Wickets
1-71 (Shanto), 2-94 (Miraz)
Sanjamul 3-0-23-0, Haider 2-0-17-0, Mujeeb 4-0-25-0, Al-Amin 4-0-45-0, Soumya 4-0-39-1, Wiese 3-0-30-1
CUMILLA WARRIORS INNINGS R B
Van Zyl c Shafiul b Frylinck 12 13
Sabbir c Rossouw b Amir 62 39
Malan c Mushfiq b Shafiul 1 4
Soumya c Miraz b Frylinck 22 17
Ankon b Frylinck 0 5
Yasir c Aliss b Shahidul 27 15
Wiese c Najibullah b Frylinck 10 8
Haider b Shahidul 0 1
Sanjamul c Rossouw b Frylinck 1 5
Mujeeb not out 0 1
Al-Amin b Amir 0 2
Extras (lb 2, w 8) 10
Total (18.2 Overs) 145 all out
Fall Of Wickets
1-22 (Van Zyl), 2-31 (Malan), 3-82 (Soumya), 4-82 (Ankon), 5-130 (Sabbir), 6-137 (Yasir), 7-143 (Haider), 8-145 (Wiese), 9-145 (Sanjamul), 10-145 (Al-Amin)
Amir 3.2-0-18-2, Frylinck 4-1-16-5, Shafiul 3-0-26-1, Aliss 4-0-49-0, Shahidul 4-0-34-2
Khulna Tigers won by 34 runs
MoM: Robbie Frylinck (KT)