Chittagong Kings v Sylhet Royals, BPL, semi-final February 16, 2013

The battle for the final


Match facts

February 17, 2013
Start time 1800 (1200 GMT)

Big Picture

Sylhet Royals would take heart from the gumption they have shown against Dhaka Gladiators. After Chris Gayle had flattened them with a century, it would have been easier to fade into the background of such a performance. Instead, they took the fight right till the end. It gave them the momentum to take on Chittagong Kings, who beat Duronto Rajshahi to make it to the second semifinal.

The Royals would like to continue to play as the underdogs. It is a tag that has suited them so far, although a team that has Dwayne Smith and the marauding Mushfiqur Rahim alongside Elton Chigumbura has enough firepower to knock over a big total. They have some runs due from Paul Stirling, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Mominul Haque.

The composition of their bowling attack would once again hover around who they pick between Dirk Nannes and Sajidul Islam. Common sense on a wicket like Mirpur would urge the Royals to pick all their overseas batsmen but leaving aside Nannes hardly makes sense even though Sajidul, his replacement, took three wickets.

Kings' win in the elimination match over Rajshahi would give them enough reason to believe they can knock out the Royals. But they were not tested enough to feel the need of Brendan Taylor, their in-form batsman who left for Zimbabwe. They are likely to pack the team with allrounders, but ultimately a lot will depend on Ryan ten Doeschate and Mahmudullah with the bat.

Form Guide

(Most recent first, completed matches)
Sylhet Royals LWWLW
Chittagong Kings WLWLW

In the spotlight

Mushfiqur Rahim will again be in the thick of things whether with the bat or behind the stumps for the Royals. His brilliant 86 against the Gladiators showed he usually has the measure when the team is chasing. His captaincy will be tested too, particularly after some of his bowling changes completely backfired against Gayle.

The knockout match would be a huge test for Kings' pace bowler Rubel Hossain for whom bowling at the death has been quite a struggle. He has done well in one game out of three when they were defending a total, so if such a situation arises in this game, Rubel's over could be the clinching factor.

Team news

Paul Stirling and Dwayne Smith have been passed fit for the game, Smith however will not be able to bowl. The Royals could still go with Sajidul as the left-arm seaming option, despite having Nannes around.

Sylhet Royals (probable): 1 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 2 Paul Stirling, 3 Dwayne Smith, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 5 Mominul Haque, 6 Elton Chigumbura, 7 Mohammad Nabi, 8 Nazmul Hossain Milon, 9 Suhrawadi Shuvo, 10 Sohag Gazi, 11 Sajidul Islam

Shaun Tait has been ruled out of the match with a groin injury which means Kings are unlikely to break the winning combination from the previous game.

Chittagong Kings (probable): 1 Jason Roy, 2 Nurul Hasan (wk), 3 Ravi Bopara, 4 Ryan ten Doeschate, 5 Mahmudullah, 6 Ariful Haque, 7 Jacob Oram, 8 Kevon Cooper, 9 Rubel Hossain, 10 Taskin Ahmed, 11 Enamul Haque jnr

Pitch and conditions

A sudden cold spell in Dhaka could reduce the amount of dew during the second innings, though the wicket will still benefit the batsmen.

Stats and trivia

Sylhet captain Mushfiqur Rahim is the third batsman to score more than 400 runs in this edition of the BPL.


"It is certain that the match will be highly challenging for both the sides but I'm confident that our boys would give their best effort in tomorrow's match."
Sylhet Royals coach Mohammad Salahuddin believes in his team's abilities ahead of the high-pressure match

"We have to be a lot more positive against Sylhet Royals, particularly with the bat. I think that's the only change in approach we need to make."
Chittagong Kings captain Mahmudullah says his team's batting will hold the edge

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • vivekanand on February 18, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    from tournaments point of view, i feel sylhet should win as it deserve to be in the final the way they have played so far.. also, kings doesnt have much popular players and if qualified for final would not give a good fight to the strong dhaka team..

    slyhet should bring in nannes for his experience.. they can leave out either of c'paul or nabi.. when they have gazi, shuvo, stirling, they do not need the spin of nabi..

    kings have nothing to change as they have very less options.. if miller is available, he should play this important game in place of oram..

    the key players would be nazmul milon, chigumbura for slyhet and bopara, doeschate for kings..

  • Dummy4 on February 18, 2013, 1:18 GMT

    Supporting Chittagong, but Sylhet Royals are likely to win the match as Chittagong has nothing strength accept bowling

  • Dummy4 on February 17, 2013, 12:22 GMT

    Sylhet Royals playing very good under captaincy of Mushfiqur Rahim. I want to see Sylhet in final. All the best Sylhet Royals.

  • o on February 17, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    Elton Chigumbura is the main man for Sylhet and needs to bat higher they left him to late last game.

  • Dummy4 on February 17, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    its raining in dhaka...fingers crossed

  • Zahirul on February 17, 2013, 6:23 GMT

    Though I'm supporting Kings, I can see its Sylhet playing in the final. The only difference can make for Sylhet is Mushfiq and his captaincy. My respect on him rose higher after seeing how he turned a mediocre team into a competitive one. Trust me this is how we perform now-a-days as BD Tiger against star studded SA/AUS. Apart from this, not happy with the Kings management, they lack the spirit of a champion. They should have immediately replaced Taylor when they were informed of his departure. Even with a little chance, Dhaka brought Gayle/Pollard for a single match and see how the decision paid off. King's management should have think through properly on foreign player acquisition.

  • SAIFUR RAHMAN DURJOY on February 17, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    I think the quality opponents that can put up a fight or beat them is Chittagong Kings. I would like to see a great final, so I think Chittagong should win.

  • zahedulislam on February 17, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    King is king no way.We need only one win for reaching the final of bpl 2013.Go ahead ctg kings go.Insha allah amry jitbo.

  • KH. RAFIQUE on February 17, 2013, 3:54 GMT

    I shall go for Sylhet (Among all the BPL 2 teams Sylhet impressed me the most).They really deserve to be placed at Final.Mushfiq is simply awesome as a batsman and captain.Wish him and Sylhet team all the luck.By the way i would like to see Nannes in the team as still he is the finest (Very good at the end overs) bowler of this T2o format....

  • Dummy4 on February 17, 2013, 1:30 GMT

    Wanna see Sylhet Royals win here and go on to win the trophy.

  • No featured comments at the moment.