Abahani face Rupganj in battle of giants

Sports Correspondent

7 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League (DPL)’s joint table toppers Abahani Limited and Legends of Rupganj take on each other at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the capital today.

Both the teams are placed at the top with 16 points and the winners will end the first phase of the tournament at the top of the points table, before starting their campaign for the title in the super-league- played by top six teams of the league.

Prime Bank was also a major contender to end the group phase at the top but failed to do so largely due to their loss to Legends. Rupganj on the other hand hope to extract confidence out of that win.

According to Rupganj batsman Shahriar Nafees, they are taking that performance ahead of their game against Abahani, who are virtually playing the league with all the available leading players of the country.

“We defeated Prime Bank so nothing is impossible in cricket,” Shahriar told reporters on Saturday.

“After all it is cricket and will be played with bat and ball,” he said. 

“You can make a lot of predictions and judge with pen and paper but the team which will come up with a disciplined performance will end up as winners,” he said.

“Surely Abahani is very good side and you cannot ignore that,” he said.

Shahriar believes that their strength lies in team-effort and not anything else as he credited the young coaching stuff for their contributions to make their journey a brilliant success story so far.

“I think team-effort played a big part. Everyone knows their roles and are fulfilling it beautifully,” he said.

“I think we reached so far due to team combination and discipline and we hope to carry that all the way through in the tournament,” he said.

“We have a young coaching set-up headed by Aftab and they are guiding us well and everyone is trying to follow his directions,” he said.

Abahani head coach Khaled Mahmud said that they are aware of the big match and added that they feel the pressure despite it is played in near empty stadium.

“There is always pressure playing this league since its inception and though there is lesser crowd nowadays but the pressure is still there,” said Mahmud.

“Nothing comes easy here and you cannot be guaranteed championship unless you play your last match,” he said. 

According to Mahmud, Legends are currently playing the best brand of cricket so far in the league and hinted that Abahani need to come up with their best cricket to beat them.

“They are certainly playing the best brand of cricket so we need to play to the best of our potential to beat them,” he said.

“I still feel that we are a very strong unit and if we can play to our potential we can certainly beat them,’’ he concluded.