Marlon Samuel’s second successive half-century kept Comilla Victorians’ slim chance of progressing into the qualifiers of the Bangladesh Premier League alive as they defeated Khulna Titans by five wickets in Dhaka on Friday.
Skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza bowled with half run up to grab 3-16 and help his side restrict Khulna to 141-6 before they cantered past the total in 18.4 overs owing to Samuels’s 69 off 57 balls.
Victorians are currently placed sixth in the table with eight points and if they can win their last match against Rangpur Riders and other results come to their way they can still progress, a scenario that could not be imagined even a week ago.
Samuels, who struck eight fours in his calculative innings, added valuable 42 runs with Liton Kumar (24 not out) during their undefeated sixth-wicket stand after they picked up the momentum with Mashrafee’s 11-ball 20 including three sixes.
‘I think it is always nice to win,’ said Mashrafee. ‘Players are coming out of their shackles and expressing themselves freely which is always good to see.
‘It shows we are professional unit as we did not have a good tournament initially but we came back strongly in the last three games.’
Mashrafee said that he is not concerned about getting a place in the qualifier as it is still a long way to go and depends on lot of permutation and combination.
‘We are not looking toward to the qualifiers as there are still many things to come,’ said Masharfee.
‘If a chance really comes up we will see it but don’t want to put any pressure thinking about it now.’
Earlier Mashrafee gave Titans a torrid time after veteran paceman Mohammad Sharif removed Riki Wessels (4) early by bowling him out with a good length delivery that the batsman wanted to whack over the mid-wicket.
Titans never looked to form any kind of serious partnership despite some of their batsmen got the start as Abdul Mazid (18), Nicholas Pooran (14) and Ariful Haque (13) failed to translate them into anything big.
Mahmudullah remained as the only exception with his unbeaten 40 runs that helped them put up a reasonable total on the board.
Mahmudullah made 40 runs from 38 balls with four boundaries that could have been cut short had Rashid Khan not missed an easy catch at mid-wicket when he tried to flick it over that zone batting on 26 runs.
‘I think we are not clicking at the top which is very crucial for us,’ said Mahmuduallah.
‘It was a very good wicket to bat on but our batmen just could not apply them.’
Khulna Titans 141-6 in 20 overs (Mahmudullah 40 not out, Hasanuzzaman 29; Mashrafee 3-16) v Comilla Victorians 142-5 in 18.4 overs (Samuels 69 not out, Liton 24 not out; Howell 2-25)
Result: Comilla Victorians won by 5 wickets.
Man of the match: Marlon Samuels (Comilla Victorians)
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