Chattogram, Rajshahi vie for final spot

Staff correspondent | Published: 00:00, Jan 15,2020


The race for the final berth of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League will end today, when Chattogram Challengers and Rajshahi Royals face off in the second qualifier to determine who will vie against Khulna Tigers for the title.

The match will start at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur at 6:30pm and GTV and Maasranga TV will live telecast the match.

On Monday, Chattogram booked their place in the qualifier by defeating Dhaka Platoon by seven-wicket in the eliminator while Rajshahi suffered a 27-run defeat against Khulna in the first qualifier to find themselves in the second qualifier.

Chattogram, who were ousted from the top-two of the points table on the last day of league phase, were shaken by the sudden demotion, claimed Chattogram all-rounder Muktar Ali, but said the team was now thinking it match by match to bring home the port city outfits first BPL trophy.

‘We were in first position from the beginning. We never thought suddenly we will go to number three,’ Muktar told reporters at Mirpur on Tuesday.

‘But now as we are in this situation, we want to win match by match. We have won the first

one and will try to win the second match. After reaching the final, we will begin thinking about it,’ he added.

Rajshahi, on the other hand, were demoralised after their defeat in the eliminator, admitted their manager Hannan Sarkar, but hoped that the team will regain their momentum in the knock-out clash.

‘The defeat in the last match has of course set the players back mentally. But Twenty20 is a short, three-hour game. Somehow we need to get back the momentum. We are mentally behind Chattogram, but we have reached this far by playing good cricket,’ Hannan said.

‘We have done some recreational activities today [Tuesday] which will keep us upbeat. I am hoping that we will win today [Tuesday] and play the final,’ he added. 

All eyes will be on Chattogram’s West Indian recruit Chris Gayle

because of his stellar record in BPL knockout fixtures, despite him looking out of sorts so far in the running season.

Gayle, who has struck three of his five BPL centuries in knock-out matches, made a dogged 38 off 49 balls in the eliminator but Muktar hoped that a Gayle storm was in the forecast for today’s match.

‘We have an added confidence because Gayle is playing with us. The day Gayle plays well, he will win us the match singlehandedly. Right now Imrul [Kayes] bhai, Riyad [Mahmudullah] bhai are playing well. If Gayle fires for us in the next match, no one can even come close to us,’ he said.

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