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Khulna go on top with Shafiul four-for

Khulna Titans 151 for 7 (Mahmudullah 44, Taijul 3-18) beat Barisal Bulls 129 (Mushfiqur 35, Shafiul 4-17) by 22 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Khulna Titans climbed to the top of the BPL points table after a 22-run win over Barisal Bulls. As was the case in their four previous wins, it was their bowlers who made their moderate total look very competitive.

Shafiul Islam led the five-man bowling attack to defend their 151 runs comfortably. The paceman took four wickets while Junaid Khan and Mosharraf Hossain took two each as Barisal capitulated for 129 in 19.3 overs.

Barisal's chase was always going to be interesting as they had a batting line-up to compete with Khulna's discipline. Jeevan Mendis, promoted to open the innings, struck four fours on his way to 21 before falling to Shafiul in the fourth over. His opening partner Fazle Mahmud was earlier trapped lbw for a duck in the second over.

After Shamsur Rahman was caught at long-on cheaply, Barisal's main batsmen Shahriar Nafees and Mushfiqur Rahim added 43 runs for the fourth wicket. Nafees batted at a slower pace, hitting two fours in his 28 off 35 balls. Mushfiqur held the chase together till the 16th over before he top-edged a pull after making 35 off 23 balls with four fours. Thisara Perera's failure with the bat made it harder for Barisal who folded in the last four overs of their chase.

After they had decided to bowl, Barisal were given early breakthroughs by Taijul Islam who struck twice in the fifth over to remove the Khulna openers Hasanuzzaman and Andre Fletcher. Both batsmen holed out to Abu Hider at long-on.

Mahmudullah ensured that they recovered from an ordinary Powerplay, adding 53 for the third wicket with Riki Wessels. He slammed three sixes through long-on and two fours in his 26-ball 44, before becoming Taijul's third victim, caught at point. Next ball, Shuvagata Hom was run-out after a mix-up with Wessels with both batsmen ending at the non-striker's end.

Wessels, who had contributed just five runs to the third-wicket stand, found a higher gear as he struck four fours and a six over long-on in his 29-ball 40. Like Mahmudullah, Wessels' wicket also hurt Khulna, who added 39 runs in the last five overs.