The playoff phase is set to kick off with the first qualifier and eliminator at Mirpur’s Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium Monday
Expectations for the playoff phase of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League T20 are high, as all four of the sides who qualified boast some of the tournament’s stand-out batsmen.
The playoff phase is set to kick off with the first qualifier and eliminator at Mirpur’s Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium Monday.
The first match of the day will be the eliminator between Chattogram Challengers and Dhaka Platoon. Both the teams were in the top two spots for the majority of the league phase, but late losses condemned them to the eliminator positions ahead of the playoffs.
Dhaka Platoon lost their last two games of the league phase and were dealt a major blow on Saturday, when captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza was injured while attempting a diving catch. It was later revealed that the veteran pacer needed 14 stitches in his left hand.
Dhaka is sweating on Mashrafe’s availability as his experience would undoubtedly be missed. He has been on the tournament winning side in four out of the last six editions of the BPL. According to a source, the captain wants to play.
Aside from the veteran skipper, Dhaka Platoon will be relying on top-order batsmen Tamim Iqbal, Mominul Haque and Mahedi Hasan as all three have been on song for the majority of the tournament. However, Platoon will hope their bowling clicks as well, as the Chattogram Challengers batsmen are also in good form.
Among the Challenger’s batsmen, all eyes will be on Chris Gayle. The explosive Windies hard-hitter has played two games in this season of the BBPL so far, and hit quick-fire 23s on both occasions. The veteran opener has five BPL centuries to his name, and can change the course of a match at any time.
The second game of the day is a qualifier between Khulna Tigers and Rajshahi Royals. Khulna are in a brilliant run of form and high in confidence after successfully chasing a 200 plus target in just their last league match against Dhaka.
Khulna batsmen Rilee Rossouw and Mushfiqur Rahim are both in spectacular knock, and are fighting each other for top spot in the BBPL run scorers list. Youngster Najmul Hossian Shanto struggled early in the tournament, but finished the league phase in style with a superb century. Makeshift opener Mehedi Hasan Miraz has also been in good form.
On the other hand, Rajshahi’s Liton Kumar Das, Afif Hossian and Shoaib Malik are also in very good form, promising a high-scoring affair in the first qualifier. Rajshhai will also be hoping to see captain Andre Russell at his best, as the West Indies all-rounder has not performed according to expectations, so far.
Chattogram Challengers v Dhaka Platoon
Khulna Tigers v Rajshahi Royals