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After a long tussle that lasted for over 42 matches and spanned for over a month, we finally have our finalists in Bangladesh Premier League. Rajshahi Royals won a thrilling encounter to knock Chattogram Challengers out in the 2nd Qualifier and progressed to the finale. Khulna Titans had already made it to the finale after defeating Rajshahi Royals in the first eliminator. The first eliminator turned out to be rather anti-climatic as Khulna Tigers defended their total with considerable ease. However, considering the way Rajshahi Royals fought their way out in the second qualfier, they are going to come out all guns blazing in the finale. The biggest match of the tournament is scheduled to be played at Shere Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka, on Friday, 17th January.
Khulna Tigers were the best team in the tournament and their win over Rajshahi Royals in the first qualifier was an evidence of the fact that their top of the table finish wasn't a fluke. They finished with 14 points and the best net run-rate amongst all teams in the league stage of the tournament.
While it had been their batting throughout the tournament up until the qualifier that paved the path of success for them, it was Mohammad Amir's lethal spell of fast bowling that won them the first qualifier. On a tricky surface to bat on, both their stalwarts, Rilee Rossouw and Mushfiqur Rahim, failed to fire as the Tigers ended up with just 158 runs on the board. Nazmul Hossain Shanto scored a brilliant fifty to set up this total for the Tigers.
Rajshahi Royals were certainly the happier of the two sides at the half-way mark, but it didn't end that way. Mohammad Amir ripped out Rajshahi's top-order as he dismissed Liton Das, Afif Hossain, and Alok Kapali in the first two overs of his spell. He dismissed Andre Russell and Ravi Bopara in his third over to seal the game then and there. There wasn't much the Royals could do thereafter as they eventually lost the match by 27 runs. Mohammad Amir returned with 6 for 17 in his four overs.
Mushfiqur Rahim, Rilee Rossouw, Shamsur Rahman, N Zadran, Nazmul Hossain, Mehidy Hasan, Robbie Frylinck, Tanvir Islam, Shafiul Islam, Mohammad Amir, Shahidul Islam.
With four down for 80 runs and just six overs to go in a chase of 165, Rajshahi Royals looked in all sorts of troubles when their skipper, Andre Russell, walked in to bat in the second qualifier of the tournament. And his innings made all the difference. He played a blazing knock, scoring 54 runs off just 22 deliveries.
His match-winning knock included seven sixes and four fours and all of those went like a tracer bullet to the boundary. In the tournament on the whole till the league stage, Rajshahi Royals had played impressive cricket, but poor batting performance in the first qualifier sold them out. It was turning out to be on the similar lines in the second qualifier as well, but Andre Russell had other plans and pulled off a scintillating win.
Earlier with the ball, the likes of Mohammad Nawaz and Mohammad Irfan did beautifully to keep Chattogram Challengers to a manageable total. Andre Russell employed the same strategy of using all the players who can bowl and it certainly resulted in success. Mohammad Nawaz and Mohammad Irfan both picked up a couple of wickets and conceded just 13 and 16 runs respectively in their four overs each.
Liton Das, Afif Hossain, I Sukkur, Andre Russell, Alok Kapali, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Nawaz, Farhad Reza, Kamrul Islam, Abu Jayed, Mohammad Irfan.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy team prediction for the Bangladesh Premier League 2019 final, which is to be played between Khulna Tigers and Rajshahi Royals
The two sides that were placed at the top of the ladder are rightfully taking on each other in the grand finale of the tournament. They both have been fantastic leading up this game and the contest between them is expected to be nothing short of a humdinger. The encounter between the two sides that happened a few days ago turned out to be rather a mismatch, but with Royals looking in superb form, it is unlikely to be the case against. Both the sides have played excellent cricket over the past few weeks and the team that holds its nerves in the upcoming match will end up as the winners. Considering that, the Tigers have been doing pretty well and will be more confident of the two sides. Placing your money on a Tigers win would be a way to go in the grand finale of Bangladesh Premier League 2019.
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