Rajshahi, Khulna eyeing BBPL final in first attempt

Publish: 9:04 PM, January 12, 2020 | Update: 9:04:PM, January 12, 2020

DHAKA, – Both Rajshahi Royals and Khulna Tigers is looking for a victory in the first Qualifier game of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BBPL) in a bid to confirm the final at first attempt.

The first Qualifier game between the two teams will be held tomorrow (Monday) under lights at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

They occupied the top two slots with 16 points after group phase with Khulna edging them by net-run-rate for becoming the table topper.

A defeat would not ruin anyone’s chance but they would have to play the second Qualifier in which they will take on the winner of the Eliminator game, to make them available for the final.

Considering a defeat could loss the winning momentum, Rajshahi and Khulna however wouldn’t want to jinx their chance by taking the game lightly.

“From my first-hand experience, I know it’s better to seal the final at first attempt,” Rajshahi all-rounder Alok Kapali, who won the BPL trophy with Cumilla Victorians earlier in 2017, said here today.

“Because the momentum will be with you if you win the game. Yes there will be another chance but still considering all factor, it is better to win at first attempt.”

Kapali, the former national player, basically emphasized on the momentum, which he thought is crucial in this sort of tournament.

“Team spirit is crucial but from what we have seen, the momentum is very important in BPL. If you think about Sylhet, you will see that they won just one game and later couldn’t win any game. Because they lost the momentum,” he added.

“At the halfway through the tournament we lost two matches in a row which made an adverse impact on our team. We discussed about it seriously and came back to regain the momentum and that’s why we could finish at top two positions.”

Kapali reckoned Khulna Tigers’ top order as dangerous and having said that he revealed they have some special plan for them.

In their last group match, Khulna gunned down Dhaka Platoon’s 205-4 to achieve an effortless eight-wicket victory and in doing so, they successfully chased the highest total of BPL history.

Their middle order looked pretty strong with the likes of Mushfiqur Rahim, Rilee Rossoue who both were in top form. Mehidy Hasan Miraz also thrived as opener while to their delight Nazmul Hossain Shanto got back to his groove with a stunning 57 ball-115 not out against Dhaka Platoon.

“Shanto couldn’t score that much in the whole tournament but he hit a century in the last match. They have a good player in Mushfiqur Rahim. It’s actually good that our local players this year scored runs consistently to occupy top slots in batting chart,” Kapali remarked.

“And yes we have a plan for them as to how we should stop them. In T20 cricket, there is nothing like big team or small team. On you given day, you can beat any team in T20 cricket.”

According to Kapali, Rajshahi Royals also has the firepower in batting which would make the battle against Khulna an intriguing one.

“I think the top order would make the ultimate difference. They have a good top order and we also have. Just what we need to do is to execute our plan well on the ground,” Kapali concluded.