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Mahmudullah blitz puts Khulna level on points with league leaders Chattogram

Mushfiqur Rahim, meanwhile, made a match-winning half-century for Dhaka

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Najmul Hossain Shanto pulls one away, Minister Rajshahi vs Gemcon Khulna, Bangabandhu T20 Cup, Dhaka, December 6, 2020

Najmul Hossain Shanto pulls one away  •  BCB

Gemcon Khulna 146 for 5 (Jahurul 43, Mahmudullah 31*, Mukidul 2-31) beat Minister Rajshahi 145 for 5 (Shanto 55, Nurul 37*, Shuvagata 2-25) by five wickets
A five-wicket win over Minister Rajshahi moved Gemcon Khulna level on eight points with Gazi Group Chattogram on top of the points table. Khulna captain Mahmudullah steered his side home with an unbeaten 19-ball 31, changing the course of the game in a 15-run penultimate over bowled by Mohammad Saifuddin, leaving only six to get off the last over.
Ariful Haque pulled Mukidul Islam for a four over mid-on and then took a quick single to complete the win with four balls to spare. Khulna were given a good start by openers Jahurul Islam and Zakir Hasan, but after they fell, followed by Imrul Kayes and Shakib Al Hasan by the 15th over, Rajshahi sensed a chance to break their three-game losing streak.
They had earlier got off to their own good start with the bat when their captain Najmul Hossain Shanto carried their innings till the 13th over. He made 55 off 38 balls with six fours and two sixes. There wasn't much support from Anisul Islam Emon, Rony Talukdar, Mahedi Hasan and Fazle Mahmud, none of whom got past 14.
From 93 for 5 in the 14th over, Nurul Hasan and Jaker Ali finished well, adding an unbroken 52 for the sixth wicket. Nurul struck two sixes and three fours in his unbeaten 21-ball 37, while Jaker contributed 15 not out.
Shuvagata Hom took two wickets while Al-Amin Hossain, Shohidul Islam and Mahmudullah took a wicket ea
Beximco Dhaka 145 for 4 (Mushfiqur 73*, Yasir 34, Nahidul 1-16) beat Gazi Group Chattogram 138 for 9 (Liton 47, Joy 26, Mukhtar 3-39) by seven runs
Beximco Dhaka handed Gazi Group Chattogram a seven-run defeat to end their four-game winning streak in the Bangabandhu T20 Cup. After Mushfiqur Rahim gave them a competitive total, Dhaka's rookie left-arm quick Shafiqul Islam and offspinner Robiul Islam Robi shifted the tide with two vital wickets and a catch.
With Chattogram having brought the chase down to 50 off 37 balls, Shafiqul dived to his right at short fine leg to remove Liton Das, the tournament's leading run-scorer, after he had made 47 off 39 balls.
Das had added 48 runs for the third wicket with Mohammad Mithun, who fell in the following over when he was caught at deep-midwicket off Shafiqul. Two new batsmen at the crease with 48 runs still needed off the last 33 balls played into the hands of Dhaka's death bowlers, who closed out the game superbly. Mukhtar Ali, who took a bit of stick early on, finished with 3 for 39, while Rubel Hossain and Robi took wickets two each.
Earlier, put into bat, Dhaka were in big trouble during the powerplay. Left-hander Mohammad Naim holed out for 13, while Tanzid Hasan and Sabbir Rahman both fell lbw to spinners for a duck and a scratchy 7 respectively. Rahim and Yasir Ali started the rebuilding job to take Dhaka to 50 for 3 at the halfway mark. They added 86 runs for the fourth wicket, a stand which ended when Yasir was caught for 34 but not before giving Dhaka some standing ground.
The final push came from Rahim, who ensured Dhaka got 50 off the last five overs. He finished unbeaten on 73 off 50 balls with three sixes and seven fours, as his side put up a respectable 145 in 20 overs without any further loss of wickets. It was Dhaka's third win in five games, putting them in the top three and on course for a playoff spot.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84