Contenders look to seize the moment
The tussle for the Dhaka Premier League championship will continue today as the top six teams take on each other in the third round of the Super League.
With the teams stacked up so closely to each other, the result of every game is bound to have a big influence on the rankings table. However, today's highlight will be the match between Tamim Iqbal's Abahani and Mominul Haque's Victoria Sporting Club at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium at Mirpur.
Victoria entered the Super League on top, but now find themselves in second place after having lost a close game to current league leaders Legends of Rupganj earlier this week.
It was a game they should have won after reducing Rupganj to just 83 for six during a chase of 251. However, Pawan Negi's brilliant hundred changed the game.
Victoria boast the highest wicket-taker, Chaturanga De Silva, and some of the best performers of the league so far. However, they may be a little low in confidence after the last game. Their main target will be to regain their confidence. Their key player will be Mominul Haque, who has scored consecutive half-centuries and has looked in form since the start of the Super League.
Abahani, on the other hand, will be brimming with confidence. They hammered the highest score in the history of the Dhaka Premier League in the last game and will hope they can continue their run. They stand in third place with 16 points and have a game in hand.
Shakib Al Hasan will be Abahani's key player. He scored a half-century and took a five-wicket haul in the last game. While he does not really have a history of performing his best in Bangladesh's domestic circuit, this season seems to be different.
Leaders Rupganj will take on Prime Bank Cricket Club at the BKSP in Savar. The unique aspect about Rupganj has been the way they performed as a team. It has not just been the case of individuals performing for them. They do not boast the highest run-scorers or the highest wicket-takers in the competition, but they do have players who raise their hands in the most crucial situations.
Judging by the manner in which Negi changed the game against Victoria, he will definitely be the player to look out for.
Prime Bank on the other hand have made vast improvements since the first phase of the league. In their last game, it was their bowlers who won the match for them. They beat a powerful Prime Doleshwar side. Rubel Hossain, who took two wickets, in particular seemed in really good form and was steaming in. He won the player of the match award in the last game and could once again prove to be the decisive factor in this game. With 14 points in 13 matches and placed fifth, Prime Bank will need to win this game in order to stay in contention for the championship.
And finally, Mushfiqur Rahim's Mohammedan will take on Nasir Hossain's Prime Doleshwar at Fatullah. Both the teams have 14 points each and will need wins in order to stay alive in the tournament.
At the moment, Prime Doleshwar seem favourites to win this game. Mohammedan were thrashed by Abahani by 260 runs, the largest ever List A win in Bangladesh in terms of runs. What is more, they had put up a dismal batting performance in the first game of the Super League as well.
They will hope Mushfiqur Rahim and Naeem Islam Junior can find form and do well at this crucial juncture.
Prime Doleshwar's form in the Super League has been slightly better. They should have won their first game against Abahani at BKSP when they had bundled out the giants for just 192. However, that game surprisingly had to be postponed due to the umpires coming off the field.
The result of that match seemed to have affected them in the next game as they crumbled against Prime Bank Cricket Club. But there too they were a bit unlucky, with the rains deciding their fate.
They will hope they can shrug off the jitters and do it right this time.