With the record of winning his two previous final appearances of the Indian Premier League with Kolkata Knight Riders, Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan will be looking to add a third IPL title to his cabinet. This time, though, the ace all-rounder will be featuring for his new side Sunrisers Hyderabad, who will be taking on MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai today.
Although Afghanistan's Rashid Khan took the limelight in their 14-run win over KKR in the second qualifier with an all-round display, Shakib did play a crucial role in the victory. He scored a vital 24-ball 28 before being run out in an unlucky way and later bowled economical spell to concede just 16 runs from his three opvers, picking up the prized scalp of KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik.
After having been largely overlooked by KKR last year, Shakib has been shown tremendous faith by his team management at his new franchise. And champion all-rounder has repaid the faith, scoring 216 runs in 16 games and bagging 14 wickets at an economy rate of below-eight.
As the lone survivor of the Bangladeshi contingent in the IPL after the departure of Mustafizur Rahman's Mumbai Indians before the playoffs stage, the onus is on Shakib to keep the Bangladeshi flag flying high in the most prestigious franchise cricket league.
However, it will be a tough ask for the 2016 champions as they will be up against a strong Chennai side, who have beaten them all three times the two sides have met this year.