Cricket frenzy hits fever pitch as Dhaka lock horn with Rangpur
|| CF Correspondent ||
Dhaka Dynamites might be at their ruthless best after crushing their opponents—Rajshahi Kings and Khulna Titans in the first two matches but their match against Rangpur Riders at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium is set to be altogether a different ball game on Friday.
Considering the fact that Riders equally boasted with heavy firepower in batting line up going with their strong bowling arsenal, the match between the two sides turns out to be a first summit clash in the season.
The psychological edge is with Rangpur Riders who lifted their first BPL title, whacking Dhaka past by 57 runs thanks to a marauding 69 ball-146 not out from Chris Gayle in the last season. Dhaka Dynamites have the ability to destroy any kind of psychological edge and they will be keen to avenge, making the clash an interesting one. The match however starts at 2 pm.
“There is nothing like revenge, it’s another game,” said Dhaka coach Khaled Mahmud Sujon. “We have played some good cricket in the last two matches and won the game. We want to keep up the momentum. It’s a big match so we are keen to win the game.”
Rangpur started the tournament with a three-wicket defeat to Chittagong Vikings but managed to win the last two matches. In the last match their bowlers were at their menacing best, shooting out a star-studded batting line up of Comilla Victorians for just 63 and thereby sealed a nine-wicket victory. After missing the first two games due to his NOC issue, Chris Gayle returned to the fold in the last match but managed to score just 1. But the form is not a problem for Gayle, adorably called as ‘Universe Boss’ in T20 cricket.
He even was not at his best in the matches of group in last season but scored two centuries in play-off matches including the final to help Rangpur lift the title.
Dhaka had almost the same line up in the last season and was heavily favourite to win the title, only to be denied by Chris Gayle record-breaking century, a 146-run knock that was the highest in any domestic T20 final’s best score. So Dhaka knew the importance to neutralize Gayle-effect.
“It is not the final yet and we are not playing to lose any match we play here. So I like I said, it will be challenging for us,” said Rangpur batsman Rilee Rossouw. “We don’t know what we will get (in the next match). Sometimes wicket good for batting here. Especcially maybe in Sylhet and Chittagong better batting wicket. We are not 100 per cent sure what we will get tomorrow. Hopefully, we will get a good wicket.”
Dhaka Dynamites are the only team which scored 180 plus score in consecutive two matches (189 and 192) while all other teams struggled to get even 160s. Partly the success should be attributed to Dhaka’s new weapon Afghanis recruit Hazratullah Zazai who made them obvious in star-studded line up with two six-filled half-centuries (78 and 57).
“I don’t see any demon in wicket,” said Dhaka coach Mahmud. “We scored heavily in two matches and therefore you people might think I am saying so. But the fact is if you can apply yourself properly, it is a wicket you will get score.”
But Rossouw differed.
“We don’t know what we will get (in the next match). Sometimes wicket good for batting here. Especcially maybe in Sylhet and Chittagong there will be better batting wicket. We are not 100 per cent sure what we will get tomorrow. Hopefully, we will get a good wicket.”
Rather than wicket, Rangpur who as a team also struggled initially in this sluggish pitch, focused on to keep the momentum going.
“It was important to bounce back after the first match. After winning two matches in a row, boys are confident before going to tomorrow's match. Hopefully, we will replicate what we have done in game two and game three,” Rossouw said, adding that they are preparing gameplan for every players of Dhaka, not only Zazai just.
Apart from the game, the match also creates an enthusiasm because of the battle behind the battle as country’s two renowned business family runs those two teams. While Beximco Limited owns Dhaka, Rangpur is owned by Bashundhara.
“It is just a game. Such sort of big game is healthy for BPL. We want big scores and want the spectators watch some quality fight between the bat and ball. That’s it,” said Mahmud, also a BCB director.
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