The match between Legends of Rupganj and Abahani Limited in the Super League round of the Dhaka Premier League at BKSP-4 today has become all the important fixture of the season.
If table-toppers Rupganj, who have 12 wins in 14 matches, manage to beat Abahani, they will instantly become this season's champion with a match remaining.
On the other hand, a win for Abahani will keep them alive in the race for the title, which would then be decided by the last game of the season on April 23. The Dhanmondi-based club have a total of 22 points following 11 wins in 14 matches.
If Abahani beat Rupganj and then the two sides win their last respective fixtures of the league, they will finish on equal points. The two teams are also equal on the head-to-head, beating each other once apiece in the two earlier meetings of the season. Hence, in that case the net run rate will come into play when deciding the champions.
In their previous meeting in the group stage, Rupganj totally outplayed Abahani to clinch a comprehensive six-wicket win after bundling out the Sky Blues on just 122.
Rupganj has remained consistent throughout the season, winning nine consecutive matches in the group stage to move into the Super League phase as table toppers. One of the architects behind Rupganj's prolific form is their top run getter Mohammad Naim, who stuck a total of 548 runs in 14 matches, while skipper Naeem Islam has also been in good form with the bat.
Former Bangladesh batsman Aftab Ahmed made his coaching debut with Rupganj this season and so far his charges have displayed brilliant performances as a unit.
“I have been given more than I expected. The confidence the team showed in every game, there should not be a problem taking on any team in the remainder of the tournament I believe. We can honestly expect a big result from this team,” said Aftab.
Abahani are boosted by national cricketers with even the presence of the Tigers' inspirational ODI skipper Mashrafe bin Mortaza in the side.
Despite a confident start to the league, Abahani lost their way in the latter stages of the league, losing twice consecutively to come under pressure.
Skipper Jahurul Islam and all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin have been in prolific form, however, the likes of Soumya Sarkar and Sabbir Rahman have struggled to score big runs so far.
In the days' other two games, Prime Bank will take on Mohammedan in Dhaka while Prime Doleshwar face Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club in Savar.