Chattogram will now play Gemcon Khulna in the Bangabandhu T20 Cup final
Gazi Group Chattogram 117 for 3 (Liton 40, Mithun 34, Al-Amin 1-3) beat Beximco Dhaka 116 (Al-Amin 25, Mushfiqur 25, Mustafizur 3-32) by seven wickets
Gazi Group Chattogram didn’t make a mistake in their second chance to qualify for the Bangabandhu T20 Cup final, beating Beximco Dhaka by seven wickets in the second qualifier. They are now pitted against Gemcon Khulna in the final on Friday, with both teams being touted favourites from the start of the tournament.
After being hammered for 210 by Khulna in the first qualifier on Monday, Chattogram’s bowlers brought back their A-game in this match, bowling out Dhaka for 116 in 20 overs. Dhaka’s constant experiment with their opening pair – they tried their sixth combination today – hardly got them anywhere, while their middle order also failing to put their house in order.
Openers Sabbir Rahman and Muktar Ali were removed by the fourth over, caught at midwicket and cover, respectively. Mohammad Naim holed out at deep midwicket five overs later, but captain Mushfiqur Rahim and Yasir Ali gave them a sense of recovery. But both fell in their twenties, like Al-Amin Hossain, who also made 25.
From being 94 for 4 at one stage, Dhaka suffered a collapse of 6 for 22. Mustafizur Rahman took three wickets while Shoriful Islam picked up two, as Rakibul Islam, Nahidul Islam, Mosaddek Hossain and Soumya Sarkar chipped in with a wicket each.
In Chattogram’s reply, openers Liton Das and Sarkar had calmly added 44, until a call for a near impossible run resulted in Sarkar’s run-out for 27 in the seventh over, having struck five fours in his 23-ball stay.
But Das and captain Mohammad Mithun nearly had a cakewalk during their second-wicket stand of 57, before both fell to catches at deep midwicket with Chattogram inching closer to a place in the final.
Das made a sedate 40 off 49 balls with four boundaries, while Mithun got 34 off 35 deliveries and fell with Chattogram nine away. But Shamsur Rahman and Mosadek Hossain completed the victory with five balls to spare.
Going into Friday’s final, Chattogram have a slight advantage of a 2-1 win-loss record against Khulna in this tournament. Khulna, however, have a major disadvantage after having lost the veteran allrounder Shakib Al Hasan, who is scheduled to leave for the US due to a family reason, and the impressive seamer Shohidul Islam, who too has left the team after his father passed away on Sunday.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84