Sports, Cricket

BPL nears climax as group stage ends today

Published : 22 Feb 2024 09:28 PM

With 40 matches being played in the 10th edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), the final day of the group stage is scheduled for Friday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. The intensity of the tournament in terms of the number of competitive matches that materialized is an aspect worth analyzing.

As the tournament nears its climax point, perhaps the fans would expect every game to be no less than a nail-biter, as throughout the tourney there was a thirst for thrillers. This is because the BPL started with a low-scoring match in the first match in Dhaka, and as the tournament moved to Sylhet, the team started posting challenging totals. Fans finally watched teams cross the 200-plus mark.

They had to wait for it until the 27th game, where Rangpur scored 211 for 3 against Chattogram and won by 53 runs. There have been three 200-plus scores so far, with Rangpur posting twice and Comilla scaling the joint-highest total in BPL history in Chattogram: 239/3, thanks to an unbeaten century from Will Jacks. However, this time in BPL, none of the matches ended up being the last ball drama; most of the matches’ teams won comfortably, showing a lack of competitiveness throughout the group stage.

There were some positives in terms of the individual performances of the local players, as two of the 300 hits this time came from the willows of Tanzid Hasan Tamim and Towhid Hridoy.

This duo is also the two top scorers so far in the BPL. In the bowling department, Shoriful is the top wicket-taker; in his 12 matches, he scalped 22 times. However, Shakib Al Hasan is likely to overtake Shoriful with 17 wickets. The all-rounder, who tops the ICC T20I rankings, has also justified his reputation in the tournament as he has scored 249 runs so far and has a strike rate of 168.

The lineup for the playoff phase is almost certain at this point. Rangpur Riders lead the points table with 18 points from 12 games, while defending champions Comilla Victorians are second with 16 points from 11 games. On the other hand, if Comilla beat Fortune Barishal in today’s (Friday) match, they have a chance to advance as the top team in the group stage. Chattogram Challengers also secured their place in the playoffs with 14 points from 12 games, with Barishal leading Khulna Tigers by 2 points, but Khulna had a big win against Sylhet Strikers, and a comprehensive rout for Barishal over Comilla could make things exciting as the net run-rate will come into the equation.