POST TIME: 20 April, 2019 10:20:12 PM
Abahani, Rupganj face off in crucial super league tie today
Sports Reporter, Dhaka

Abahani, Rupganj face off in crucial super league tie today

Bangladesh pacer Rubel Hossain (L), Tamim Iqbal (C ) and Mohammed Saifuddin gesture during a fitness training at BCB Academy gymnasium in the capital yesterday. BCB Photo

Holders Abahani Limited will face off table-toppers Legends of Rupganj in the vital fourth-round fixture of the Super League of the ongoing Dhaka Premier League (DPL) at the Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishtan (BKSP) Ground-3 in Savar today.

Highest-time DPL champions Abahani lost their pole position to Legends of Rupganj after conceding losses in two consecutive matches towards the end of the league round. They finished ‘third’ just after Prime Bank Cricket Club (16) and Legends of Rupganj (20). They chalked up the identical 16 points unlike Prime Bank Cricket Club but the Bankers were ahead of them for better net run rate. Actually they were four points adrift of the leaders.

Dhanmondi-based outfit therefore closed the gap of the points with Legends after three successive victories in the Super League, where Legends still remain top on points-chart with 24 points as they lost only a match in Super League. Abahani closely followed them with 22 points.

Both the teams have remained two round games, where the fourth-round encounter between the two teams became so crucial to decide the 2019 title winners. If the Legends could beat the holders, in that case, the former will be the new DPL champions with one round game to spare.

But if they lose the match to Abahani, in that case, the total points of both the teams would be the identical though Abahani will be stayed on pole position with the better net run-rate than Legends. Since then the DPL title will then be decided in the fifth-round tie.

Abahani were beaten by Legends of Rupganj with seven wickets in the league round. And so, they want to take its revenge and triumph the make-or-break match by playing better brand of cricket what they are yet to play despite being formed a star-studded team as Mohammad Mithun said.      

“We’re stronger side on papers. But at the end of the day, the performance is the main thing. Everybody will count it. But we’re yet to play our best cricket,” said Mohammad Mithun, who appeared in Mirpur along with Soumya Sarkar, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehidy Hasan Miraj to hold their optional practice session.

“We have to play better cricket. We have to play our usual cricket. We’ve beliefs that if we could play our usual game, we could beat them,” Mithun told media at the national academy of the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium (SBNCS) in Mirpur yesterday.

“Their players are all in-form. They played good cricket throughout the tournament. It’s important to perform in the field. Despite having good cricketers in the team if they don’t perform it’ll not be brought any benefit for the team. It’s better for the team if player though is ordinary could be performed having in-form. We’re yet to play our best cricket. Hopefully we could play our best cricket tomorrow,” he added.

Rubel Hossain will also be missed to play this match as he didn’t practice with ball without his gym session. So, Abahani might be fielded the same XI what they did in the last match, an Abahani official hints such.   

“Feeling is different playing against a good side. Intensity remains good playing against an improved side. But players feel an urgency of playing better cricket inside them. All the players remain alert. And when a player remains sincere, he can give his best,” the right-handed batsman said.

Legends of Rupganj head coach Aftab Ahmed said that they are focusing on themselves how they can executive their own game not thinking much about the opponent.

“Abahani, no doubt, is a better side. Overall if you notice, you will see that our team has been playing better cricket. So, we’re not thinking who are playing or who are not. Our main focus is how we could play better cricket tomorrow,” Aftab Ahmed said.

“The way we’re playing if we could replicate it, the better thing will then be done tomorrow, Inshaallah,” Ahmed told reporters.

“It’s a big matter. To be honest, I had no such big expectation while we form our team. The faith I picked the players, they’ve given me better gift than it. The confidence they played each matches, they can befall any team in danger. If we can play our cricket in this way, the better thing will be done, Inshaallah,” he added.