IfÂ we wanted to make things more difficult for ourselves, we just did it with the loss to Chittagong Kings. In a match dominated by the bowlers on a batting track that made it hard for easy boundaries to be hit, we witnessed some truly under par batting by the Dhaka team, especially after the last match.
Earlier, the lads bowled superbly, with Elias Sunny yet again showing why he is one of the country's leading spin bowlers, with another three wickets.
The day started with illness and injury. MH Rubel was ruled out with a fever and Nazimuddin, initially selected to open the batting, was ruled out after a fitness test with the same issue. Imran Nazir was not allowed to play on medical advice and it forced a complete rejig of the team so we brought in Alexei Kervezee to open the batting and Dhiman Ghosh to keep wicket in his first match in the BPL. Merhab Hossain had also reported illness but was passed fit to play.
It was a great team effort to restrict CK to just 120.Â
What we then witnessed was a truly average batting performance from the overseas players. It put us under huge pressure when the run rate was still around a run a ball yet batsmen regular chipped the ball into the air and got out. Basic batting skills of singles and twos plus keeping the ball on the ground seemed to elude everyone. Some hope was given when the two keepers in the team Anamul and Dhiman, briefly nudged us towards the target with a 30-odd run partnership. However, Anamul's departure signaled a cluster of wickets and eventually we were bowled out on the last ball some 13 runs short.
With just two points covering the top 5 sides, it is mathematically possible for any of the teams to miss out on the semi-finals and no team is safe, nor has any team qualified. It is both bizarre and yet enthralling but not good for the heart rate if you are coaching one of the teams.
With Duronto Rajshahi losing to Sylhet Royals, it has opened the possibility of Sylhet having a genuine say in who makes the final four.Â
We play Barisal Burners next in what could be an absolute cliff-hanger. Net run rates are becoming vital. No one can now afford to slip up, with the likely winners of this match probably through. Yet, with the final round of matches throwing up some interesting permutations, the BPL refuses to lay down and be decided.Â
In the end the teams that can hold their nerve best will make it to the last four. In 24 hours we will know a lot more about who that is.