Shakib Al Hasan (Fortune Barishal Captain): "If I look at their fielding at our fielding, there was clearly a difference. They were very good in the ground feeling and we were not. Yes, I was looking to bowl Wasim another over but the English batters usually struggle here with the off-spin here at Bangladesh. So, I thought of bringing myself and Miraz into the attack. But again there are no right or wrong decisions in cricket."
So that’s that from Match Number 23 of the BPL and it’s the Sylhet Strikers that have come out on top to secure a nail biting win by just two runs!
It was Fortune Barishal that won the toss and opted to bowl first and they did start off in terrific manner as Mohammad Wasim Jr. picked up three quick wickets with the score being at 15 for the Strikers.
However, it was then a 61-run stand by Tom Moores and Najmul Hossain Shanto that revived the innings by a significant manner. Moores played a valuable knock of 40 (30) before getting stumped to Shakib al Hasan. Nevertheless, it was Najmul Hossain Shanto who went on his merry way and powered through his innings with a scintillating knock of an unbeaten 89 (66)*. Thisara Perera also complimented Shanto from the other end as he added 21 (16) and contributed to a 68-run partnership that eventually got the Strikers to 173-5 in 20 overs.
Mohammad Wasim was the pick of the bowlers for Barishal as he scalped three wickets for 34 runs from his four over spell.
The run chase began with Fortune Barishal getting off to a decent start. Both sets of openers, Saif Hasan and Ibrahim Zadran were dropped early into the second innings as they went on to score 42 runs without losing a wicket.
However, two wickets in quick succession by Tanzim Hasan shifted the momentum back in favor of the Strikes.
Hasan scored 31 (19), while Anamul Haque walked back for 3 (8). Ibrahim Zadran and Shakib al Hasan got back into the thick of things to compile a 61 run partnership. Until, It was Rejaur Rahman Raja who broke the partnership by getting the better of both Zadran 42 (37) and Shakib 29 (18).
Karim Janat did display his muscle power and struck 21 (12) with three sixes to his name. Mohammad Amir bowled a terrific second spell as he bagged two wickets of Janat and the dangerous Mahmadullah 7 (4). 15 runs were needed of the final over and the pressure got to Iftikhar as he walked back for 17 (13) after getting caught.
Mohammad Wasim Jr. did cause some excitement out there in the middle as he struck the penultimate delivery for a six as seven runs were then needed of one ball. Wasim struck the final delivery for a boundary that eventually got the Strikers a narrow win by just two runs.
Although, Raja picked three wickets for 41 runs, it was Amir's quote of two for 24 from four overs that got the Strikers back into the game.
To sum it up, the game turned out to be an absolute slobber knocker and a true example of how a top of a table clash is supposed to be!
Run Out (M Rahim)
c C Ackermann b Raja