After a successful round of matches in the renovated Sylhet Divisional Stadium, the Victory Day T20 Cup will begin its second leg at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium at Mirpur from today.
The T20 tournament was the first competition at the venue after it went through a renovation in a bid to be eligible to host the ICC World Twenty20 next year and it received a good response ahead of the grand event from both players and fans. People flocked to watch their favourite cricketers play T20 cricket and at times the galleries resembled scenes generally seen during an international match.
The Dhaka leg will begin with rivals Mohammedan Sporting Club and Abahani Limited locking horns in the first match of the day.
In the absence of their captain Mushfiqur Rahim, who is suffering from a muscle strain to his back, fourth-placed Abahani will be led by Mahmudullah Riyad. Second-placed Mohammedan will be captained by Mashrafe Bin Mortaza. In the day's other game Shakib Al Hasan's Prime Bank Cricket Club, who are at the top of the table, will take on Tamim Iqbal's UCB-BCB XI.
While the absence of Mushfiqur will be a big blow for Abahani, they will be looking to their youngsters, including the likes of Soumya Sarker -- their highest run-scorer -- and the hard-hitting Nazmul Hossain Milon.
Mohammedan, on the other hand, will hope that their star batsmen -- Jahurul Islam and Mominul Haque -- who have had a quiet time in the tournament so far, to come good. The last time the two teams met in this competition, Abahani thrashed Mohammedan by 77 runs.
Prime Bank Cricket Club have been by far the best team in the tournament so far. Young Sabbir Rahman has been especially impressive, having scored 180 runs in the first four matches at an average of 80. Their opener Anamul Haque, who leads the run charts with 186 runs, hammered a century in the last game and is in fine form. Shakib with six wickets and a half-century in the last game seems to be approaching his best form and his side will be firm favourites when they take on Tamim's UCB-BCB XI today.
Tamim, with 143 runs in the competition, has been UCB-BCB's best performer so far. However, for them to progress into the finals, they will need better performances from the likes of Naeem Islam, Mithun Ali and Imrul Kayes -- all of who have been inconsistent with the bat.