Tuesday, June 18, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Khulna, Rajshahi brace for ultimate battle

The match will start at 7pm and the toss can prove to be an important factor due to the dew factor

Update : 16 Jan 2020, 11:07 PM

Two of the most consistent teams of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20, Khulna Tigers and Rajshahi Royals will battle each other Friday for the ultimate glory at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka.

These two teams played against each other in the first qualifier just a few days ago where Khulna defeated Rajshahi by 27 runs at the same venue.

But it will be a different ball game altogether now as it’s the grand finale and expectations and pressure will be much higher.

Rajshahi bowlers will face a stiff challenge as Khulna’s top-order batsmen are in great touch.

Mushfiq bats in the Mirpur nets Dhaka Tribune/Md ManikThe top two batsmen in the leading run-scorers’ list so far are form Khulna.

Mushfiqur Rahim leads the chart with 470 runs in 13 innings with an average of 78.33 and strike rate of 147.33 while Rilee Rossouw is not far behind with 458 runs in 13 innings with an average of 45.8 and strike rate of 156.31.

To add to that, Nazmul Hossain Shanto got back to run-scoring ways in the business stage of the tournament, scoring 115 and 78, both unbeaten, while Mehedi Hasan Miraz is also batting well.

Khulna batsmen therefore, will be looking to continue their form in order to emerge as the winner.

Mushfiq shares a light moment during the trophy presentation as Russell looks on Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik“We’re not going to look at any individual players. We will try to get wickets at all times. You never know whose day it will be and you can’t stop them. They have a lot of match-winners so we’re going to plan for the entire team. We’re going to make sure that we plan properly and come out and execute,” said Rajshahi skipper Andre Russell on the eve of the final.

In contrast, Rajshahi have also played entertaining cricket right throughout the tournament, led by none other than Russell, who blasted 54 off just 22 balls Wednesday to clinch victory against Chattogram Challengers in the second qualifier.

Khulna however, know all too well that Rajshahi are not just a one-man army as Pakistani all-rounder Shoaib Malik is enjoying a purple patch with the bat, totaling 446 runs, while opening pair Liton Kumar Das and Afif Hossain are also on song.  

“We had a very good match against Rajshahi the other day. It was actually a lot closer than it looked in the end. They are a serious team, they are a very good team and we have to play well. Be as prepared as we can be. We are very confident. We have won our last four games and they have all been pretty much knockout games for us. We are in a good rhythm, good space and ultimately it is all about delivery on the day,” said Khulna coach James Foster after training Thursday.

The match will start at 7pm and the toss can prove to be an important factor due to the dew factor.

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