Gazi Group Chattogram stays upbeat to seal the final of Bangabandhu T20 Cup in first attempt when they take on Gemcon Khulna in the first Qualifier game at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium today. The crucial game starts at 5.30 pm, reports BSS.
Chattogram topped the point table following the group phase with 14 points after winning a staggering number of seven wins in eight games and their only defeat came against Beximco Dhaka.
The second placed Khulna earned just eight points in eight matches—a testament of Chattogram’s absolute domination in the group phase. Khulna and Dhaka in fact had the same number of eight points but Khulna played the Qualifier by virtue of better run rate.
In the double-leg group phase, Chattogram beat Khulna twice—firstly beat them by nine wickets at quite convincingly after shooting out Mahmudullah Riyad-led side for 86 runs and second time, though they faced a tough battle, still came out the winner with a three-wicket victory.
That absolute domination in the group phase and against Khulna made Chattogram heavily favourite to win the first Qualifier. A win in the Qualifier will help them seal the final directly. Those who will be defeated will get another chance to give a shot at the final as they will take the winner of the Eliminator game in the second Qualifier on Tuesday.
But despite Chattogram’s rampant form, Khulna refused to give up the hopes as they also vow to come all guns blazing in the crucial game.
“We are upbeat about our chance,” Khulna top order batsman Imrul Kayes said here today. “We have come here as the No. 2 side and we will have two chances to seal the final. But we have a target to seal the deal in the first attempt.”
“Chattogram is a very strong side and they beat us twice in the tournament. They are definitely playing good cricket but we have discussed a lot amongst us about what went wrong in our two matches against Chattogram. We will again discuss how we can rectify our mistakes and give Chattogram a run for the money. Hopefully we can come back strongly if we can minimize our mistakes.”
Despite forming a formidable side in which there are players like Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and Kayes himself, Gemcon Khulna couldn’t live up to the expectation at all.
A total of four defeats in the group phase proved they couldn’t dominate the other teams as it was expected.
Kayes admitted that they are still not able to play as a team in the tournament but he hoped that the players would fire in the knockout phases of the tournament.
“Everyone has a high expectation of us and it is natural because of the formidable team we have got. But it is true we can’t play to our full potential and couldn’t play as a unit. Nevertheless it’s T20 cricket and if you can play well in one or two matches, you will get the momentum. Hopefully we will play to our full potential in tomorrow’s game,” he added.
Chattogram skipper Mohammad Mithun just wants to continue the game that they had played in the group phase.
“There is no room for being complacent. Yes we have topped the table in the group phase quite convincingly but the Qualifier game is altogether a different ball game,” Mithun said here today.
‘We have to be at our very best if we want to win this game. Even though we beat Khulna twice, they are a quality side with top class players. So we have to bring up our A game to beat them again,” he added.