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Yasir lifts Dhaka from bottom, Zakir Hasan leads Khulna to victory

Fortune Barishal slumped to last place on the five-team table after a 48-run defeat

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Zakir Hasan led the batting charge for Gemcon Khulna, Fortune Barishal vs Gemcon Khulna, Bangabandhu T20 Cup, Dhaka, December 4, 2020

Zakir Hasan led the batting charge for Gemcon Khulna  •  Raton Gomes/BCB

Gemcon Khulna 173 for 6 (Zakir 63, Imrul 37, Rabbi 3-33) beat Fortune Barishal 125 (Hridoy 33, Tamim 32, Shahidul 2-16) by 48 runs
Gemcon Khulna rose to the second spot on the points table after a 48-run win over Fortune Barishal in Friday's first game, left-handed opening batsman Zakir Hasan leading the way for them by storming the Barishal attack with ten fours in his 42-ball 63.
Barishal sent Khulna in to bat, and even got an early breakthrough when Jahurul Islam fell for two in the third over. But Zakir, playing his first game since Covid-19 stopped cricket in the country in March, added 90 runs for the second wicket with Imrul Kayes, who made 37 off 34 balls with two fours and a six.
Mahmudullah later struck four boundaries in his 14-ball 24 while Shakib Al Hasan added 14 runs in ten balls, which took Khulna to a competitive 176 for 5. Paceman Kamrul Islam Rabbi took three wickets while Taskin Ahmed took two wickets for Barishal.
Barishal started well with a 57-run opening stand between captain Tamim Iqbal and Parvez Hossain Emon. Tamim hit four fours and a six in his 32 off 21 balls, while Emon took a bit of time, scoring 19 off 26 balls with just one six.
Still, all wickets in hand must have given them confidence, but in the eighth over, Shuvagata Hom removed both openers. Only Towhid Hridoy made 33 among the rest of the batsmen as Barishal crumbled against Khulna's big total. Hasan Mahmud also took two wickets later in the innings.
Gazi Group Chattogram currently lead the table with eight points, while Khulna have six points.
Beximco Dhaka 175 for 5 (Yasir 67, Akbar 45*, Mukidul 2-38) beat Minister Rajshahi 150 (Mahmud 58, Talukdar 40, Muktar 4-37, Shafiqul 3-31) by 25 runs
Beximco Dhaka climbed out of the bottom with a 25-run win over Minister Rajshahi, who suffered their third defeat in five matches. After Yasir Ali and Akbar Ali put together the first century partnership of the tournament, Muktar Ali's change of pace got him four wickets that helped bowl Minister Rajshahi out for 150 in 19.1 overs.
Muktar's first wicket was the breakthrough that Dhaka needed, after Rony Talukdar and Fazle Mahmud had added 67 runs for the fourth wicket. Muktar bowled Talukdar with a great slower ball, after he had made 40 off 24 balls, with three sixes and a four. He had the dangerous Mahedi Hasan caught at midwicket, with a slower ball, in his following over before Mahmud, who made 58 off 40 balls with three sixes and five fours, was caught at long-off, again with a slower ball, in the 16th over.
Muktar added the wicket of Farhad Reza in the 18th over, to complete his four-wicket haul in T20s. It left Rajshahi needing 36 runs from the remaining 2.2 overs, which Dhaka defended quite easily.
Earlier, Dhaka had their Alis to thank as Yasir and Akbar, the Under-19 World Cup-winning captain, rescued them from 64 for 4 in the 11th over.
Captain Mushfiqur Rahim, who was caught behind at this stage off Mukidul Islam, scored 37 off 29 balls with three fours and a six. During their century stand, Yasir top scored with 67 off 39 balls with nine fours and a six while Akbar's unbeaten 23-ball 45 contained three fours and two sixes. Yasir was lucky to survive a dropped catch in the 17th over when Anisul Islam Emon dropped him on 31. In the following overs, Yasir cracked six fours and a six, to change the complexion of the game.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84