MNA Sports Desk: Rangpur Riders and Dhaka Dynamites will lock horns in the Qualifier-2 of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium here on Wednesday for a final berth. The Titans’ clash will start at 6:30 pm.
The winners of the match will qualify for the BPL season-six final on Friday (February 8) at the same venue against Comilla Victorians, which smartly reached the title-deciding final beating holders Rangpur Riders by eight wickets in Qualifier-1 on Monday.
The loser of Wednesday’s match will be eliminated from the prestigious league.
At the start of the league, defending runners-up Dynamites enjoyed five wins in their six matches. On the other hand, the Riders lost four of their first six matches.
The Riders bounced back strongly in the race in their last six league stage matches winning all of them while the Dynamites lost five of their last six matches.
Despite the poor show in the last half of the league stage, the Dynamites managed to cope up in the playoffs winning the last league stage match against Khulna Titans, who finished the league at the bottom of the points table.
Dynamites’ coach Khaled Mahmud Shujon said a chance in the playoffs came as an opportunity to them, and they are keen to grab the chance with the open hand.
“We always build our team keeping the championship in mind. Now we have a chance to go for it (championship). We were in need to have a momentum and we have acquired it beating Chittagong Vikings in the Eliminator. Before that, we have won against the Titans as well. Getting momentum back was an important thing for us,” he said.
“Now, we are bowling well, we are batting well too. I think now, we are more confident than we were before. Making some big partnerships in the top-order was the main concern for us. However, we have done it in the last match. Despite all the positivity, I want to say the match against the Riders will be a tough one. They won the title last year and they are led by Mashrafe. There is no chance to see them as an underdog when they are led by Mashrafe. They are very competitive. We need to play our best cricket to overcome them. We are all set to take the challenge,” Shujon further said.
In the final of the last BPL, the Dynamites failed to defend the title losing to the Riders by 57 runs. Chris Gayle was the man to guide the Riders to their maiden title. He hit a tremendous innings of 146 runs of 69 deliveries with 18 sixes and five fours.
However, Gayle is yet to do anything threatening in the ongoing season of BPL. He has played 11 matches and amassed only 188 runs at an average of 18.8.
Shujon said under performing Gayle is a threat for his team in the Qualifier 2. “Gayle is yet to perform which is a reason of fear for us. In the last final, he single-handedly overcame us. Chris Gayle is Chris Gayle who is incomparable to anyone. We have a plan to prevent him from scoring big runs. But the main thing is to execute the plan in the middle. And another thing is that they have more match-winning cricketers. You may look at Rilee Rossouw who is the most run-scorer right now, and he can change the match anytime. Apart from them, I would say the name of Mashrafe. Actually, they have many cricketers to change the game.”
The Dynamites coach was reluctant to call Wednesday’s match an act of revenge for their loss in the last final. He rather said the match will be a neck and neck fight between the two most powerful team of the season.
While Dynamites’ coach said they are all set to take the challenge of the Riders, Tom Moody, the coach of the Riders, said they will head into the match keeping a win in mind.
“We feel we needed to play well. We lost yesterday (February 4). So, we needed to do well in that match. We are looking forward to the opportunity tomorrow against the Dynamites. They are a good side, we all know that. But we are also determined to win it,” Moody said while talking to the media at Maple Leaf International School at Dhanmondi where he attended a campaign of drug prevention as the social responsibility of the Riders.