Both Comilla Victorians and Dhaka Dynamites will be eying to secure their place in the final as they face each other in the first qualifier of the fifth edition of Bangladesh Premier League at Sher-e Bangla National Stadium today.
However, the knock-out stage of the tournament will start with Rangpur Riders taking on Khulna Titans in the first match of the day which will decide the elimination of one team from the tournament.
The eliminator match between Rangpur and Khulna will start at 2:00pm and the other qualifier match between Comilla and Dhaka will kick off at 7:00pm and both the matches will be telecast live at GTV and Maasranga TV.
Comilla were the most dominating side in the group stage of the ongoing tournament as they conceded only three defeats in their twelve league matches followed by Dhaka who won seven matches to finish second with better run-rate.
The 2015 edition champions Comilla had the last laugh against Dhaka in their both face-offs in the group stage as they defeated the star-studded team by four wickets and 12 runs respectively in both the occasions.
Both the batsmen and bowlers of Comilla have delivered consistent performance throughout the tournament which can be described as the main reason behind their success and they will like to continue the momentum in the match against Dhaka to seal their place in the championship match.
Comilla coach Mohammad Salahuddin said on Thursday that they were not worried about the opponent and would take the game as a knock-out contest.
‘Every match is important for us and we are thinking that if we lose the match then we’ll be ruled-out of the tournament,’ Salahuddin told the reporters in Mirpur.
The loser of the game would get another chance to qualify for the final but Salahuddin said they were not ready wait for that. ‘It can be a boomerang if we lose the momentum at any stage of the tournament,’ he said.
Dhaka, who had roller-coaster ride in the tournament, managed to finish in the top-two after only defeating Rangpur in their last group stage match.
Skipper Sakib al Hasan brought sigh of relief in the Dhaka camp after he produced a magnificent innings against Rangpur which was missing throughout the tournament although he claimed the highest 19 wickets in the tournament.
‘Tomorrow’s [Today’s] game is very crucial and I hope that it will be a great match,’ Dhaka coach Khaled Mamhud said.
‘We’ll play as an underdog against Comilla who won both the matches against us. They are playing a great cricket.
‘We are also playing well but we had lack of consistency in the tournament. Sakib is doing great job with captaincy and he is also leading from the front for us,’ he added.
With skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza recovering from his groin injury, Rangpur will get a full fit squad against Khulna in the eliminator, the first knock out contest of the tournament.
Rangpur finished fourth in the group stage with six wins and as many losses, owing some of the most thrilling victories in the tournament with Mashrafee leading them from the front by delivering significant performances with both bat and bowl.
Rangpur’s English recruit Ravi Bopara also played an important part in their journey to the play-offs scoring highest 365 runs among all the batsmen with an average of 45.62.
Despite these performances Rangpur will be desperately eying to see both Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum to provide them a rollicking start which they could not deliver in the group stages.
Both Khulna and Rangpur won a match each in their last two meetings in the tournament as Khulna won the first leg match by nine runs in Chittagong while Rangpur clinched a 19-run victory in Dhaka.
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