Gemcon Khulna will take on Gazi Group Chattogram in the day game while Fortune Barishal will lock horns with Minister Group Rajshahi in the evening game in the ongoing Bangabandhu T20 Cup on Saturday.
Khulna lost their previous game against Minister Group Rajshahi the other day and they will be keen to topple Gazi Group Chattogram who started their campaign in an emphatic fashion, thrashing Beximco Dhaka in their first game.
Ahead of the clash, Khulna coach Mizanur Rahman Babul stated that he wants all the players to carry out their respective responsibilities. "The main players have to perform. It is a key part. But the others shouldn't think that only the main players will perform. Everyone has to carry out their respective responsibilities. Otherwise, it will be tough to bring results," he said.
Shakib Al Hasan, who is playing for Gemcon Khulna in the tournament, hasn't been at his best. He has done okay with the ball but looked out of sorts with the bat. But Babul hopes that Shakib Al Hasan will get back to his old self in the next match. "Shakib Al Hasan is one of the greatest Bangladeshi cricketers. He was away from cricket for such a long time. But I don't think he will take much time to bounce back. I reckon we will see the old version of Shakib in the next game."
The Khulna coach feels that they have not batted well in the powerplay and at the back end and need to work on it. He hailed Ariful Haque who batted superbly in the two games and said that there is experience in abundance. "Apart from Shakib (Al Hasan) and (Mahmudullah) Riyad, Imrul (Kayes) has a lot of ODIs and T20Is under his belt. (Anamul Haque) Bijoy is also experienced. Arif (Ariful Haque) hasn't played much for Bangladesh but was there with the team for some time. Shamim Patwary showed his skills in the previous games."
"We are an experienced bowling side. But they are yet to show their skills and I hope they will do so in the coming games," he added.
Fortune Barishal were very close to winning their first game but lost to Ariful Haque's individual brilliance with the bat. They will look to open their account as they are going to face Minister Group Rajshahi who won back to back games. Shohel Islam, the coach of Fortune Barishal, said that they are not thinking much about the previous game and focusing on the next. "We are not worried about the previous game. The boys are confident that they can play according to the plan. They are very keen to perform," he said.
Shohel believes that his team can beat anyone if they play as a team. "T20 is a game of narrow margins. So, it is important to play as a team. If we can do so, winning against any team is possible."
It looks like that Mehidy Hasan Miraz, who opened with Tamim Iqbal will continue to open. "Look, it was not the first time that he opened. He did that before and did well. I hope he will come good," Shohel opined.
Shohel believes that Miraz not being able to defend 22 in the last over was an one-off event and he will bounce back stronger.
The Barishal coach feels that Tamim's captaincy was not the reason why they lost the previous game. "There shouldn't be any question about Tamim's handling the situation on the field. He has a lot of experience and we have full faith in him. He tried to do what he felt was good for the team. There is absolutely no scope of thinking that Tamim did not lead well," he remarked.
Minister Group Rajshahi's Arafat Sunny commented that they were mentally in a great shape after winning the first match. "The first game of any tournament is really significant. We all tried to give our hundred percent. We were committed to our job," said Sunny.
"As the next match is an evening game, dew will definitely be a factor. As we won the previous matches, we will try to win the next match too," he added.