Sunday, February 25, 2024

Relieved Jahirul leads Duronto

Jahirul Islam, relieved from captaincy, scored a half-century to guide Duronto Rajshahi to their third win in the Bangladesh Premier League as they defeated Barisal Burners by four wickets in Chittagong on Saturday.
Jahirul was removed from the position in order to give him the scope to focus on his game and the decision paid dividends as he made 57 from 38 balls to help Duronto stem a top-order collapse.
Duronto were struggling at 13-2 when Jahirul joined Dilshan Munaweera and they added 44 runs for the third wicket to steady the innings. The right-hander had to shoulder maximum responsibility after the Sri Lankan departed for 29, charging at left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam down the track for a stumping.
‘I gave up captaincy and wicket-keeping as I could not focus on my batting,’ Jahirul later told reporters. ‘It’s true that when I go out to bat I don’t need to think that I am the captain. Still I took some pressure on me.
‘I am happy that it’s now over. I can bat and talk to you now more confidently,’ said Jahirul, who took over the charge from Tamim Iqbal in their third game. Tamim had also left the job for the same season and reaped some benefit, though his contribution was limited just to hitting two fours in the first over in this game.
Jahirul was given an able support by Sean Ervine as the duo added 53 runs for the fourth wicket in just 33 balls to transfer the pressure back on Burners’ shoulders.
The turning point of the game came in the 14th over of the innings when Burners captain Brad Hodge gave away 19 runs as Jahirul hit a four while Ervine complemented with two sixes.
Burners were never in the match until they dismissed Jahirul in the last ball of penultimate over as Azhar Mahmood deceived him with a slower ball to make a catch of Hodge at cover.
Duronto still required 10 runs in the last over, but new man Muktar Ali did not allow the pressure to creep in, hitting Shafiul Islam for two fours as they reached 153-6 with two balls to spare.
‘I did not realise that it would be Shafiul’s turn. I thought it would be Kabir Ali, who was bowling well, so I took the risk and was out. If I knew Shafiul would be bowling probably I would have waited,’ said Jahirul.
Earlier, Azhar Mahmud made 57 from 34 balls to provide the backbone to the Burners innings on a slow track where hitting a boundary was not an easy task. Sabbir Rahman and Joe Denly chipped in with 29 and 23 respectively.
Barisal Burners 152-6 in 20 overs (A Mahmood 57, S Rahman 29, J Denly 23; E Munaweera 2-18) v Duronto Rajshahi 153-6 in 19.4 overs (J Islam 57, E Munaweera 29, S Ervine 28; A Mahmood 2-28, K Ali 2-31).
Result: Duronto Rajshahi won by 4 wickets.
Man of the match: Jahirul Islam (DR).

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