After a battle between seven sides spanning more than a month, the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BBPL) will come to a climax today with Khulna Tigers taking on Rajshahi Royals in the all-important final under lights at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
For Khulna skipper Mushfiqur Rahim, it will be a chance to be on the same level as three other Bangladesh stalwarts in Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal. Mashrafe has been the most successful leader in BPL, having lifted the trophy four times. Shakib has also had the feeling when he led Dhaka Dynamites to the trophy in the 2016 edition and while Tamim was not the captain of Cumilla Victorians when they lifted the trophy in the previous edition, the stalwart led the charge with a player-of-the-match performance to be part of a BPL-winning side for the first time.
Mushfiqur might find his counterpart Andre Russell as the biggest thorn on his path today, especially after the inspiring knock from the West Indian saw Rajshahi win the second qualifier against Chattogram Challengers from an almost unsalvageable situation on Wednesday.
Khulna Tigers had ended the league phase in top spot with eight wins from 12 games, leading second-placed Rajshahi on virtue of net run rate. The teams split the two league games against each other, winning one each, before Khulna entered the final by beating Rajshahi in the first qualifier, before Russell single-handedly beat Chattogram Challengers in the second qualifier on Wednesday.