Chattogram Challengers held their nerves till the end and successfully defended a formidable score of 189 for 5 to register an seven-run victory over Khulna Tigers in the first eliminator game of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League today. The win keeps their hopes alive for a place in the final.
With Khulna needing 16 runs to win in the final over of the innings, Mehedi Hasan Miraz bowled brilliantly to an inform Fletcher at the crease, who was batting alongside big hitter Thisara Perera. Miraz conceded just eight runs in that over.
Fletcher, centurion of the previous game, once again held the key with an unbeaten 80 off 58 deliveries but eventually, Khulna ended up on 182 for 5 after 20 overs. With this win, Chattogram qualifies for the eliminator where they will face the losing team of the first qualifier between Fortune Barishal and Comilla Victorians.
Apart from Fletcher, skipper Mushfiqur Rahim also played a crucial knock of 43 off just 29 balls while Yasir Ali tried till the end with his 24-ball 45.
Earlier Chattogram posted a challenging total of 189 for 5 courtesy of a blistering unbeaten 89-run knock from Chadwick Walton after being sent to bat.
Walton alongside Miraz, added a record 115-run fifth-wicket-stand for Chattogram to create the platform for a big total. Miraz was dismissed after scoring 36 off 30 deliveries, hitting two fours and a six. Walton at the other end, went on to smash seven sixes and seven fours and remained unbeaten on 89 off just 44 balls.
Courtesy of Walton’s big hitting, Chattogram scored 123 runs in the last ten overs of the innings losing only the wicket of Miraz in the end.
Earlier, Chattogram faced a big blow, missing out on their in-form opener Will Jacks after the English cricketer suffered from food poisoning just before the game with Kennar Lewis replacing him in the eleven.
Khulna kept the pressure right from the start, removing Zakir Hasan on naught and skipper Afif Hossain was also dismissed cheaply on three as Chattogram added 39 for 2 in the Powerplay. Lewis kept the scoreboard ticking and struck two sixes and four boundaries before being dismissed by Nabil Samad on 39 off 32 balls.