The final stages of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League get underway as Dhaka Platoon take on Chattogram Challengers in the first eliminator during the day while Khulna Tigers face Rajshahi Royals in the first qualifier at night in Mirpur's Sher-e-Bangla National cricket stadium.
All four teams have so far impressed this season and have a good balance of local and international talent to go on and win the tournament.
Chattogram had always looked like a team that would finish high up in the table with a string of consistent performances from the beginning of the tournament, especially Imrul Kayes.
But a defeat in their last game to Rajshahi Royals kept them on 16 points, level with the Royals.
On the other hand, Khulna's big win over Dhaka meant that Khulna topped the group with 16 points and the best net run rate while Chattogram finished third.
Kapali expects local talent to make the difference
Alok Kapali, the veteran Bangladeshi player of the Rajshahi Royals believes that the local players that play better will be the ones that make the difference as to which team wins and which team loses.
The right-handed all-rounder also had special praise for Nazmul Hossain Shanto, who was the first Bangladeshi player to hit a century in this season's BPL.
"It's easier to plan when players are playing well. Like shanto scored a century yesterday. I liked that and he's a Bangladeshi player. Look at the last game where the Bangladeshi players scored runs and helped their team win the match. The local players doing well will make the difference in which team wins and which team loses. We already know what the foreign players can do and are doing," Kapali explained to the media in the pre-match press-conference in Dhaka.
Kapali didn't want to predict what would be a good total in Mirpur as there had been plenty of low scores before the last game, which saw over 400 runs scored between Dhaka and Khulna.
"It's difficult to gauge what will be a good total in Dhaka but we're seeing more runs being scored here. We saw yesterday, a total over 200 was chased down with ease so maybe it will be a more batting friendly surface," Kapali said.
Sohan believes powerplays will hold the key
Nurul Hasan Sohan, the wicketkeeper-batsman of Chattogram Challengers believed that the team that does better in the powerplay overs would have the advantage.
He however admitted that the toss could play a big role here as the teams winning the toss could take advantage of the conditions in Mirpur and win the match, as the results have mostly gone so far in the tournament's group stage.
"In the day game, the toss plays a vital role. It's not in our control to win the toss so it's better not to think too much about it and affect our performance. The powerplays will be key and our aim will be to do well and capitalize on that to keep momentum."
The right-handed batsman was expecting this to be a close contest and an exciting match against Dhaka, and expected the team that played to their strengths and executed their skills better to clinch the contest.
"Dhaka is a very strong and a very good team. I think the team that will play better to their strengths will come out on top. Both are good teams and I'm expecting it to be a competitive match."
Both games should be closely contested affairs and provide the crowd in Mirpur with plenty to cheer for.