After losing their respective first matches, both Rangpur Riders and Chittagong Kings are eager to open their account in the Bangladesh Premier League when they take on each other at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna today. Kings were shocked in their tournament opener by Duronto Rajshahi when they were handed a two-run defeat in a low-scoring game while holders Dhaka Gladiators beat Riders handsomely by 35 runs in their debut match.
Riders’ first match hero Nasir Hossain, who made 80 off 49 balls in a losing cause, urged the upper-order batsmen to take up the responsibilities as he felt this was what let them down against Gladiators.
‘I think the upper-order batsmen need to strike as that is very important in these kinds of games,’ Nasir told reporters. ‘We would not like to repeat the same mistake that we committed in the first match and would like to have a change in fortune,’ said Nasir.
Nasir added that Kings are a better team on paper but had full confidence in his team-mates to match that from the start.
‘No doubt they are one of the favourites in the tournament but I don’t want to focus on that. We will be able to overcome them if we can play to our full potential,’ he said.
Kings pace bowler Shaun Tait after his below-par performance in the first match said he was looking forward to leaving behind the ghost of the opening game.
‘I think we had a bad match first up personally. I did not bowl very well, so hopefully we can come back in the next match,’ Tait told reporters in Khulna.
‘Personally I wanted to bowl a lot better than what I did. I think I will be here and learn to adapt. I bowled over the shop last time with a lot of wides and no-balls,’ Tait told reporters after the practice session.
‘It happens sometimes you have got bad games and sometimes good games. We have played one game and that’s out of the system and hopefully we will be better next time,’ he added.
Dhaka Gladiators batsman Mohammad Ashraful warned his team-mates not to take any team lightly ahead of their match against Duronto Rajshahi in the other game of the day.
‘We won two matches and want to continue our winning habit in the tournament,’ said Ashraful. ‘But our next two matches are against very tricky opponents, so we need to be extra careful so that we don’t lose our focus,’ said Ashraful.
Dhaka crossed the 200-run mark in both of their matches, which enhanced their reputation as tournament’s top favourites. Duronto, on the other hand, could score just 99 and 147 in their two matches, exposing their batting fragility.
Duronto’s big hitter Ziaur Rahman said he wants to make amends after being unable to make any serious contribution in the first two matches.
‘I should have stayed because I had a start and I am disappointed at not availing the opportunity,’ said Zia. ‘Next time I don’t want to repeat the mistake of wasting a good start.’
-With New Age input