Khulna secure final berth

Gemcon Khulna comprehensively beat Gazi Group Chattogram by 47 runs in the qualifier match of the Bangabandhu T20 Cup at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in city’s Mirpur on Monday. 

Thanks to Khulna’s veteran Mashrafe Bin Mortaza’s five-wicket haul and batsman Jahurul Islam’s 53-ball 80 which laid the foundation of their triumph over Chattogram. Mashrafe ended the match with impressive figures of 35/5 in his 4 allocated overs. 

The most in form team of the tournament, Gazi Group Chattogram will now confront Beximco Dhaka in the second qualifier match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Tuesday.   

Chasing a mammoth total of 211, Gazi Group Chattogram started off poorly as the both in from batsmen of the tourney Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar were removed in quick succession. Both of them fell in the trap of the experienced Mashrafe, leaving Chattogram’s score reeling at 27/2 after 3.2 overs. However, after that early setback, skipper Mohammad Mithun and batsman Mahmudul Hasan Joy batted sensibly and were kept the scoreboard moving. Together the pair enjoyed a 73-run partnership for the third wicket stand, before Mashrafe struck again to remove Joy in 11.1 overs. 

Skipper Mithun meanwhile, picked up his half century and tried to take his team home. However, he could not prolong his innings as his stumps were rattled by pacer Ariful Haque. His 35-ball 53 was laced with 3 fours and 3 maximums. After that, other batsmen failed to show any resonance in their quest of chasing a daunting total. Chattogram’s batsmen did not have any proper answer to deal with veteran Mashrafe’s clever bowling and they were bundled out for 163.  

Earlier, Gemcon Khulna were off to a flying start with the bat as openers Jahurul Islam and Zakir Hasan enjoyed a 71-run partnership for the first wicket stand, before Zakir got run out in the 9.2 overs. Then Jahurul along with Imrul Kayes kept going. Jahurul, coming off from a fifty in his last game against Beximco Dhaka, upped his game a notch. He was playing some delightful strokes with his bat and played shots all around the ground.

He had a 48-run alliance with Imrul Kayes for the second wicket stand, before Imrul departed in the 13th over. Jahurul’s superb 51-ball 80 ended in the 14th over to Mosaddek. His innings was laced with 5 boundaries and 4 maximums. After Jahurul, skipper Mahmudullah came onto the pitch and played a quick-fire cameo innings of 9-ball 30. Premier all-rounder Shakib also played a decent 15-ball 28 to propel his team’s total to 210/7. 

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