Rony Talukdar's superb fifty and valuable contributions from Andre Fletcher and Thisara Perera helped Khulna Tigers chase down a massive 184 with one over to spare. The 72-run partnership between Fletcher and Rony set the tone up front and Perera's late hitting put the finishing touches. Khulna beat Minister Dhaka by five wickets.
Khulna Tigers captain Mushfiqur Rahim called it right at the toss and chose to field first. The explosive opening pair of Mohammad Shahzad and Tamim Iqbal got off to a rollicking start. The pair scored 56 runs in the powerplay. 15 and 14 runs came off the third and fourth overs bowled by Mahedi Hasan and Kamrul Islam respectively. Shahzad was the more aggressive of the two.
But Shahzad was run out due to a fabulous direct hit from Tanzid Hasan Tamim from the boundary in the ninth over. Shahzad made 42 off 27 balls and added 69 in 49 balls for the first wicket. The wicketkeeper-batter hit eight fours.
The Khulna bowlers pulled things back a bit in the next few overs. They dried up boundaries and stemmed the run flow. There was no boundary between the sixth and tenth over.
But Tamim brought the momentum back by hitting three fours off Farhad Reza in the 11th over.
The southpaw reached his fifty off 41 deliveries. But right after his fifty, he got out to Kamrul. He was the aggressor in the 40-run partnership between him and Mohammad Naim. Minister Dhaka were 109 for two then in the 14th over.
Naim was cleaned up by Thisara Perera in the next over. Tanzid contributed to yet another run-out to dismiss Andre Russell for seven. It was possibly the most bizarre run-out one would ever see.
The 25-run partnership between Mahmudullah and Jahurul Islam ended as Naveen ul Haq took a great catch off Kamrul in the 18th over.
Mahmudullah played a quick-fire knock of 39 off 20 balls in the final over but produced the much-needed impetus to the Minister Dhaka's innings. They finished with 183 for six. Kamrul Islam was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets.
Khulna Tigers got off to a terrific beginning thanks to Andre Fletcher and Rony Talukdar. Despite losing Tanzid early, Khulna scored 65 for one in the powerplay. The fourth over bowled by Russell yielded 22 runs as Fletcher went all guns blazing.
The right-hander got out in the eighth over as he was out caught behind after scoring 45 off just 22. He added 72 in 6.4 overs with Rony Talukdar. At the 10-over mark, Khulna were 101 for two.
Ebadot Hossain got Mushfiqur out in the 11th over.
Rony Talukdar got to his fifty off just 31 deliveries. He was dismissed for a well-made 61 off 42 by Ebadot. The Tigers required 50 off 32 then.
Thisara Perera came out to bat with positive intent and hit some lusty blows to make things easier for Khulna. Khulna got over the line losing five wickets with one over to spare. Perera was unbeaten on 36 off 18 with the help of six fours.