Saturday, March 2, 2024

Duronto, Kings face off in knockout tie

Captaincy remained the focal point for Duronto Rajshahi and Chittagong Kings as they clash with each other in the first eliminator today where the losers will be eliminated from the Bangladesh Premier League.
The winner of the tie, meanwhile, will take on Sylhet Royals to determine which team goes through to the all-important final on February 19 where Dhaka Gladiators are lying in wait.
The two teams, who were unable to string together a consistent run in the tournament, will be eager to book a berth in the second eliminator where the winning side will fight against the Royals.
By virtue of sheer luck, Duronto reached the final stages of the competition as Barisal Burners offered a helping hand. Duronto made things difficult for themselves after suffering a defeat against the Kings in their last game of the campaign. However, the Burners came to Duronto’s rescue by beating the Riders in both the sides’ last game of the league stage.
The three teams – Duronto, Burners and Riders – were all locked on ten points each but Duronto had a superior head-to-head record between the three teams. Duronto had three wins to the Riders’ two while the Burners only won once.
As the tournament progressed, Duronto used several captains that started with Tamim Iqbal, Jahirul Islam, Chamara Kupugedera and Mukhtar Ali with the Sri Lankan Kapugedera expected to lead against the Kings.
Coach of Duronto Rajshahi, Khaled Mashud stressed that pressure played a big part in the continuous change of the captaincy baton while he was talking to reporters on Friday.
‘I think we lacked in the captaincy department because usually it takes time for someone to lead from the front,’ said Mashud.
‘Nobody was prepared to take the responsibility that made us change our captain for several times. A player must enjoy the role of the skipper but in our case the local cricketers seemed to be feeling the pressure,’ added Mashud.
His counterpart at Kings, Khaled Mahmud said that the absence of his lucky skipper Brendan Taylor will be hard to fulfill.
Taylor took over the reign of the Kings from Mahmudullah Riyad and suddenly changed the complexion of the team by leading from the front after they were stuck with only two wins in six matches. In the last match, however, Enamul Haque Jr was the skipper of Kings.
Taylor, the leading scorer of the Kings, left the franchise after he was called up by the Zimbabwe Cricket Board for national duty.
‘Apart from being one of our top scorers, he (Taylor) handled the team very well and that will certainly be missing now.’ said Mahmud.
‘But that is cricket and you have to move forward with that,’ added Mahmud.
Mahmud was of the opinion that Nurul Hasan was a major find after he scored 42 against the Gladiators.
Mahmudullah is expected to lead the side while Jacob Oram, who previously left the country to be with his sick child back home is expected to be present before the start of the crucial clash.
Naeem Islam, who injured himself in the match against Duronto, is fit and raring to go.

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