Sports, Cricket

Victorians, Fortune lock horn in BPL final today

Published : 29 Feb 2024 08:54 PM

Four-time champions, the Comilla Victorians, will lock horn with the Fortune Barishal in the final of the 10th edition of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) cricket today (Friday).

The Comilla Victorians are on the verge of celebrating their hattick and fifth-time championship when Fortune Barishal will combat for their maiden title of the BPL. 

The Comilla Victorians, who have won a record four times in a row and the previous three times in a row, are just about to add another feather to their wings as they will compete for the fifth title when the match takes place at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium at 6:30 p.m..

However, the Fortune Barishal stormed into the final, trouncing Rangpur Riders by six wickets in the second qualifier match, followed by the Comilla Victorians securing their place in the final, defeating Rangpur Riders in the second qualifier match. 

The Comilla Victorians, who looked a bit unimpressive and saw ups and downs at the early stage of the group phase, improved gradually, and since the fifth match, they have not looked back to winning the rest of the eight matches at a stretch. 

On the other hand, Fortune Barishal had to struggle throughout the tournament when they won seven matches and suffered defeats in five matches out of 12 encounters in the group and qualifier stages.

But it was something unexpected for Rangpur Riders to fail to move into the final when they led the points table by winning nine out of 11 group stage matches, and Fortune Barishal just upset them in the second qualifier match by inflicting a six-wicket defeat. 

The Comilla Victorians have a bunch of experienced players who are in great form, making them a tough team to beat.

The Comilla Victorians’ have a strong bowling side comprised of Mustafizur Rahman, Tanvir Islam, Moeen Ali, Andre Russell, and Sunil Narine, who are experienced and in-form bowlers. The West Indian duo has every ability to turn the scenario of a match in their favor. English all-rounder Moeen Ali, along with the Caribbean’s Sunil Narine and Russell, are capable of taking charge in any tough situation. Russell, experienced in playing 481 T20 matches, is likely to bowl first change. 

If we have a look at the Victorians’ batting line-up, Litton Das, Towhid Hridoy, Johnson Charles, and Imrul Kayes are very reliable, and on their day, they can make it easy to face any of the world-class bowling attacks. Towhid Hridoy has been great with two half-centuries and a massive unbeaten 108 against Durdanto Dhaka with a solid 149.49 strike rate. Charles, though facing only three balls in Qualifier 1, added 10 runs, but there is no question about his quality when the 35-year-old has a T20 career-best score of 118 runs.

Fortune Barishal, who also had a rough start and improved later, included some quality players in the squad ahead of the final to make it a competitive encounter.

The batting lineup of the Fortune Barishal’s contains Tamim Iqbal, David Miller, and Mushfiqur Rahim. Miller, who has a lot of experience in this formation, can guide the team in a tough situation. Captain Tamim Iqbal, a prolific run-scorer, has four centuries and 49 half-centuries in his T20 career and leads the run-scoring charts in the ongoing tournament.

Fortune Barishal’s bowling trio, which consists of Mohammad Saifuddin, Obed McCoy, and James Fuller, can appear as danger at any time to destroy any of the strong opponents’ batting lines. McCoy is a very potential match-winner with his pace and bounce, when Fuller, a recent addition, has already made an impact with four wickets in just two appearances.

In all respects, it can be expected that it will be a very competitive and entertaining final.