Bangladesh Twenty20 skipper Mahmudullah was over the moon after leading Gemcon Khulna to the Bangabandhu Twenty20 Cup title and thanked his players for their all-out performance in all three departments in the final on Friday.
Mahmudullah played a captain’s knock of 70 not out which set up Khulna’s five-run win over Gazi Group Chattogram in the final of the five-team tournament at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
The Khulna captain was awarded the player-of-the-final prize for his match-winning knock but after the game he said that the credit of the win went to the entire team, not just him.
‘Couldn’t have asked for anything more. The way bowlers, batsmen and especially fielders gave everything they had, I have to give them credit for it. Alhamdulillah, we were able to achieve our goal,’ Mahmudullah told the media after the match.
Mahmudullah was also very thankful to have Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Bangladesh’s most successful fifty-over captain, alongside him in the tournament and said his advice helped him win his back-to-back domestic competition as captain.
‘I would like to especially thank Mashrafe. His experience helped me a lot to while taking decisions. I am very happy to have him,’ he said.
Mashrafe joined the tournament mid-way, but played a crucial role in Khulna’s qualification to the final, claiming his first five-wicket haul in T20s to set up their win against Chattogram in the first qualifier.
Mashrafe won his fifth title in domestic T20 competitions with Khulna and he also preserved his record of being undefeated in the final of such tournaments.
Mashrafe was happy after winning his fifth final and said that the team played the match for team-mate Shohidul Islam’s father, who recently passed away.
‘I have always won in the finals’ of domestic tournaments. I thank almighty Allah for that. But we played the final for Shohidul’s father. He passed away five days ago. Our captain told us that we will play for Shohidul,’ Mashrafe said.
On the other hand, Chattogram side was disappointed after failing to bring home the title despite being the best team in the group-phase with seven wins in eight matches.
Chattogram captain Mohammad Mithun felt that his bowlers did well to keep Khulna to a gettable target, but the batsmen failed to deliver.
‘The boys played well throughout the tournament. We couldn’t play like ourselves in the final. Bowlers did their job well but the batsmen failed to execute their plans,’ Mithun said.
This was the second domestic tournament organised by Bangladesh Cricket Board in the pandemic era, the first one being the October’s BCB President’s Cup.
There were concerns over the players match readiness and fitness before the start of the T20 tournament, as the number of participants was more than the first tournament.
But the players’ looked fit enough to play competitive cricket and many impressed with their performance, something that was a proof of the hard work the players had put in during the COVID-19 break, believed Chattogram pacer Mustafizur Rahman.
‘Batsmen, bowlers, everyone worked on their fitness. Everyone was out of the game for six months due to coronavirus. Everyone has worked hard before the resumption of play,’ said Mustafiz, the highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 22 wickets. -newage