Shakib Al Hasan's side will face an upbeat Darren Sammy's Rajshahi Kings    Getty Images
Shakib Al Hasan’s side face an upbeat Darren Sammy’s Rajshahi Kings for the summit clash Getty Images

After 45 matches, including group stages and knockouts, we have entered the summit clash of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2016. Starting with 7 teams, we are left with 2 sides who will lock horns against each other for the title. Shakib Al Hasan’s Dhaka Dynamites (DD) will battle it out against Darren Sammy’s Rajshahi Kings (RK) which promises to be a cracker of a contest at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka. With not much to separate between the finalists, one awaits an enthralling finale to the fourth edition of Bangladesh’s franchise cricket.

If we look at both teams’ run to final game, it has been absorbing to say the least. Dynamites were the better side compared to Kings as they topped the group stage with 8 wins and 4 defeats. On the other hand, Kings ended on the fourth spot with 6 wins and same number of losses. Dynamites reached the final beating Khulna Titans in Qualifier 1 whereas Kings progressed to the title clash upsetting Chittagong Vikings and Titans in Eliminator and Qualifier 2.

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In the head-to-head encounter, Kings have the upper hand but will not like to take their opponents lightly. In their first match, Kings prevailed over Dynamites by 6 wickets. Batting first, Dynamites made a modest 138 for 5 in 20 overs riding on top of Mosaddek Hossain’s fifty followed by starts from Dwayne Bravo and Ravi Bopara. In reply, Kings chased down the target with 11 balls to spare courtesy a well compiled some steady knocks from Samit Patel and Umar Akmal.

In the last battle between these sides, the script remained the same in a high-scoring tie. Batting first, Dynamites made a strong 182 for 4 in their quota of overs. Mehedi Maruf and Seekkuge Prasanna made useful contributions but it was Kumar Sangakkara’s 65 off 46 balls which pushed their score above 150. Nonetheless, Kings were up for the challenge and chased the target in the penultimate ball of the match. Monimul Haque’s 56 and Samit’s 75 (off 39 balls) took their side home with 3 wickets intact.

Kings have an edge, based on past matches, over an experienced bunch of Dynamites but will be wary of this being the big night and not get complacent. Sammy is, after all, one of the most successful captains in shorter format and will keep his side in the present rather than dwelling on past successes. The key players to watch out from Kings’ will be Sammy, Sabbir Rahman, James Franklin, Samit and Mehedi Hasan. On the other hand, Shakib, Bravo, Sangakkara and Russell will hold fort for their side in the all-important tie.

Squads:

Dhaka Dynamites: Shakib Al Hasan (c), Alauddin Babu, Ravi Bopara, Dwayne Bravo, Irfan Sukkur, Mahela Jayawardene, Evin Lewis, Mehedi Maruf, Mohammad Shahid, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Nasir Hossain, Wayne Parnell, Seekkuge Prasanna, Andre Russell, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Suhrawadi Shuvo, Sunzamul Islam, Tanveer Haider, Usama Mir

Rajshahi Kings: Abul Hasan, Ebadat Hossain, Farhad Reza, Mehedi Hasan, Mohammad Sami, Mominul Haque, Nazmul Islam, Nurul Hasan, Samit Patel, Raqibul Hasan, Rony Talukdar, Sabbir Rahman, Salman Hossain , Darren Sammy (c), Milinda Siriwardana, Upul Tharanga, Nicholas Pooran (wk)

Time: 18:15 Local | 17:45 IST