The second qualifier which will be played between the Rajshahi Royals and Chattogram Challengers turned out to be virtual semifinal as the winner would seal the final of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BBPL).The crucial game will be held today at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium under lights at 6.30 PM. Khulna Tigers had already made it to the final, which is on January 17, beating Rajshahi Royals by 27 runs in the first Qualifier. On the other hand, Chattogram Challengers crushed Dhaka Platoon by seven wickets in the Eliminator game to give them a chance to give a shot at the final.
For Rajshahi, however the outcome particularly is disappointing as they lost the momentum by being defeated to Khulna. But they want to bounce back in style to make their second chance count and give it a shot at the final. “The way we lost the yesterday’s match was particularly disappointing for us and we have no reservation to admit that mentally we are not ahead of Chattogram,” Rajshahi manager Hannan Sarkar said here yesterday.
“But T20 cricket is a game of uncertainty. It’s a game of three hours and if you can keep up the momentum in this three hours, you can win it. We have come here by playing good cricket, so it’s another chance for us to demonstrate our skill once again.” Hannan said that the batsmen sank them in the game against Khulna Tigers and urged them to rectify their mistakes.
“There is no doubt that Mohammad Amir bowled really well. But at the same time our batsmen couldn’t put up good cricket. Shoaib Malik only played well and tried his best to sail the side home. If anyone can come up with his support, we could have done well.” Both Chattogram Challengers and Rajshahi Royals didn’t have any official practice session today. But some of the players from both teams did take part in optional practice.
When momentum is with Chattogram Challengers at the moment following the victory in the Eliminator game, they remained careful of not squandering their chance to make it to the final. “Rajshahi is a balanced team and their top order has been playing good. From what we have seen that when their top order clicks, they look unbeatable. They have the inform batsmen like Liton Das, Afif Hossain, Shoaib Malik and others. Definitely we have the plan to neutralize their effect,” Chattogram manager Fahim Muntasir Sumit said.
Despite topping the point table for most of the part of the tournament, Chattogram had to play the Eliminator game after finishing third, largely due to their some of the defeats at the end of the group phase. This also proved that they were not as consistent as they were in the first part of the tournament. Sumit doesn’t think the inconsistency will be a problem for them as he said the players are determined to make it to the final.
“Actually some of our players fell to injury at the middle part of the tournament. Kayes missed two games, Mahmudullah missed some games. So there were some injury problems. But at this moment, we have no such problem and hopefully we can make it to the final,” Sumit concluded.