Barisal Burners v Dhaka Gladiators, BPL, Final February 28, 2012

Inaugural BPL trophy up for grabs

Match facts

February 29, Mirpur
Start time 1800 local (1200 GMT)

Big Picture

With so much of the spotlight on controversies, a proper cricketing final would be a solace for the inaugural edition of the Bangladesh Premier League. Thankfully, two very entertaining Twenty20 teams, Barisal Burners and Dhaka Gladiators, will go head-on in the final in front of what is expected to be a sellout crowd.

Barisal have gone through a lot to finally arrive in the final, an ascent that some predicted with Chris Gayle in the line-up initially. But even though they have missed Gayle and his power-hitting since the end of the tournament's first week, they have progressed to the title clash. One of their main strengths is the captaincy of Brad Hodge, who has stood out as a leader who can influence the proceedings with his clever tactics.

Dhaka, on the other hand, rely on all-out aggression. Imran Nazir, Azhar Mahmood, Mohammad Ashraful, Shahid Afridi, and Saeed Ajmal are all attacking players who can single-handedly change the course of the final.

It promises to be a game that can go either way, even if a team does score really big in the first innings. If they don't, expect a scrappy chase.

In the spotlight

Barisal's Ahmed Shehzad is the highest scorer in the competition after his murderous 113 off 49 deliveries in the semifinal against Duronto Rajshahi. His previous six innings in the tournament include a hundred, two half-centuries and two forties.

Dhaka's left-arm spinner Elias Sunny currently shares top spot on the wicket-takers' list with Mohammad Sami. He played an important role in the semi-final with a double-strike in his first over - the dimissal of both Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Dwayne Smith put Khulna Royal Bengals' chase under tremendous pressure.

Form guide

(most recent first)
Barisal -- WWLWW
Dhaka -- WLWLW

Head to head

Dhaka won both games against Barisal in the league phase - the first by 21 runs, despite a blistering Gayle century, and then by five wickets, a game Kieron Pollard finished off in style with a 17-ball 35.


"Justice was finally done."
Brad Hodge after the semi-final win over Rajshahi.

Edited by Siddarth Ravindran

Mohammad Isam is senior sports reporter at the Daily Star in Dhaka