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The Preview by Mohammad Isam
February 18, 2013
Match FactsFebruary 19, 2013
Big PictureDhaka Gladiators will play with a Chris Gayle-sized hole in their line-up for the final. But credit to the make-up of their team. They take on Chittagong Kings, against whom they first lost a match before winning one. It is shaping up to be a close contest as the Kings have picked up momentum at the right time, but the Gladiators are a side heavy on Twenty20 specialists.
The Gladiators have had a solid campaign so far, much of it due to their squad that was the best on paper before the tournament started and remains so, through the 13 matches. Mohammad Ashraful, Shakib Al Hasan, Anamul Haque and Darren Stevens have led with the bat while Alfonso Thomas' Twenty20 experience has been vital with the ball, picking up 17 wickets. Shakib and fellow left-arm spinner Mosharraf Hossain have taken the bulk of the wickets together and their combined eight overs will again be important.
Kings' strength is in their bowling, especially left-arm spin. Enamul Haque jnr has taken 18 wickets and his four overs will most likely be played out quietly by the rampant Gladiators. The batting will be propped up by Ryan ten Doeschate who has played several vital knocks, but the lack of runs from Ravi Bopara is a problem that needs to be solved on the big day.
In the spotlightAfter Gayle's departure, Shakib Al Hasan will again be the most important player in the Gladiators' line-up. Shakib has had a quiet tournament so far, though there have been the odd contributions. He will bat at No. 3 and the four overs of left-arm spin will hold the key for the defending champions in the final.
Enamul Haque jnr has been the vital performer for Chittagong Kings even on bad days. Apart from the wickets, he offers control in a bowling attack that is slowly shaping up at the right time of the tournament.
Team newsSince Luke Wright is in New Zealand and Chris Gayle returned after one match, Ashraful is likely to open and Josh Cobb could make it to the playing eleven of the Gladiators.
Dhaka Gladiators (probable): 1 Tillekaratne Dilshan, 2 Mohammad Ashraful, 3 Shakib Al Hasan, 4 Anamul Haque (wk), 5 Darren Stevens, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Josh Cobb, 8 Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (capt), 9 Alfonso Thomas, 10 Mosharraf Hossain, 11 Saqlain Sajib
The same line-up is likely for the Kings as they have won two games on the trot with this eleven.
Chittagong Kings (probable): 1 Naeem Islam, 2 Jason Roy, 3 Ravi Bopara, 4 Nurul Hasan (wk), 5 Ryan ten Doeschate, 6 Mahmudullah, 7 Kevon Cooper, 8 Jacob Oram, 9 Ariful Haque, 10 Taskin Ahmed, 11 Enamul Haque jnr
Stats and triviaThe war of the wicket-takers will be a sideshow in the final. Thomas has 19 wickets while Enamul is on 18 wickets.
Quotes"We have to play our best cricket because there's no second chance. I am confident of the team, because we have done very well throughout the competition."
"There are no favourites in a Twenty20 match, but Dhaka Gladiators are a good side."
Chittagong Kings captain Mahmudullah is not underestimating the opposition.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondentFeeds: Mohammad Isam
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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