Andre Fletcher smashed a blazing hundred while Mahedi Hasan played a brilliant knock to power Khulna Tigers to a crushing nine-wicket win over Comilla Victorians and guide them in the playoffs round of the Bangladesh Premier League in Dhaka on Saturday.
Fletcher and Mahedi added 182 for the first wicket with Mahedi getting out only after the scores were level.
Fletcher made his second T20 century, the first one also came in the BPL, to upend Faf du Plessis’ 101 which had taken Comilla to a competitive 182- 5 in 20 overs.
Khulna’s progress means Minister Group Dhaka were eliminated from the tournament, as are Sylhet Sunrisers.
Khulna will now take on Chattogram Challengers in the Eliminator, while Comilla will face Fortune Barishal in the first Qualifier.
Fletcher let out a huge roar when he reached his hundred, his third 50-plus score this season.
When Soumya Sarkar took the winning single in the penultimate over, he punched the air.
The match was put to bed when Mahedi struck Abu Hider for two fours and a six in a 19-run 16th over, which reduced the required runs from 34 to 15.
Fletcher and Mahedi matched du Plessis shot-for-shot when Khulna replied. Despite a quiet first over, the Khulna openers brought up the team fifty in the fourth over.
It was the perfect base for the big chase, as Fletcher hammered the ball gleefully in his favorite midwicket area for four of his six sixes. He also sliced Abu Hider for a six over point.
Fletcher also struck six fours in his 62-ball knock. However, he nearly walked off after being given out lbw when he was on 71. But Mahedi asked him to take the review at the last second, which saved him.
Mahedi, meanwhile, accumulated like any supporting act usually does. He struck two sixes down the ground, apart from scooping Shohidul Islam for one and top-edging Hider in the 16th over.
Earlier Electing to bat first, du Plessis struck his third T20 century. The South African didn’t spare any Khulna bowler, picking two particular zones for his 15 boundaries.
Comilla lost Parvez Hossain Emon and Mominul Haque cheaply before du Plessis came up with a counterattack. He got ably support from Mahmudul Hasan Joy and they combined for a 49-run for the third wicket to lay a solid platform.
Joy was dismissed after hitting 31 off 27 but du Plesiss remained unscathed and hit the bowlers all corner of the park.
He was dismissed at the penultimate over but Mahidul Islam Ankan gave the finishing touch with an 11 ball-20 not out that included two sixes.
But in the end it was not enough as Fletcher was in a beast mood that night.
Khulna Tigers 183 for 1 (Fletcher 101*, Mahedi 74, Moeen 1-13) beat Comilla Victorians 182 for 5 (du Plessis 101, Joy 31, Mahedi 1-29) by nine wickets