BPL: Barishal out to deny Comilla hat-trick title

Fortune Barishal's Mehedy Hasan Miraz and Comilla Victorians' Zaker Ali pose with BPL trophy in front of historic Ahsan Manzil in Old Dhaka on 29 February 2024
Prothom Alo

Fortune Barishal are determined to deny Comilla Victorians a hat-trick Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) title when they take on the tournament's most successful team in the grand final tomorrow (Friday) at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

The most important clash of the tournament starts at 7 pm and will be aired live on T Sports and Gazi Television.

This is the fifth time that Comilla will play in the final of the BPL. They have won all four previous finals, a record that would give them a psychological edge ahead of the final against Barishal.

But Barishal senior batter Mushfiqur Rahim, who guided the side to a six-wicket win over Rangpur Riders in the second Qualifier and in doing so propelled them to the final, hoped that they would be able to give Comilla the bitter taste of defeat in the final for the first time.

"I have never won a BPL trophy, so I have an extreme desire to touch it. Everyone has the desire to win the trophy, in fact. We have come so far, so we'll try to win it, obviously. Yes, Comilla have never tasted defeat in the final, but who knows, this might be the first final that they will loss," Mushfiqur Rahim said.

Comilla have been a regular team in the BPL since the third edition. In the first appearance, they made history by winning the trophy under the inspiring leadership of Mashrafe Bin Mortaza.

In the next two editions, they played so poorly, but revised their plan well to win the trophy again in 2018, under the captaincy of Imrul Kayes.
They didn't take part in Bangabandhu T20 but when the BPL again started, they won the trophy last two times in a row to stand for a hat-trick title. Kayes led the side to the trophy in last two seasons too but this year, Comilla replaced him with Liton Das.

The captaincy might be changed, but Comilla's performance remains the same.

Barishal franchise played final three times and lost all. Under the current franchise they made it to the final in 2022 but lost to Comilla just by one run after a thrilling contest. In the name of Barishal Burners, they moved to the final in the maiden edition of BPL In 2012, however, they lost the final to Dhaka Gladiators.

Later in the name of Barishal Bulls, they played final in 2015 but lost to Comilla Victorians.

This time they moved to the playoffs, finishing the group phase in third spot but showed a great composure in both knock out games-Eliminator game and second Qualifier. Those two victories in two knock out matches will definitely give them a psychological edge, according to Mushfiqur Rahim.

"We are the team of aged players and so many people wrote off us, saying that experience can't win the trophy in T20 cricket. But we had the belief that we can play the final," Mushfiqur added.

"With our backs on the wall, we showed an unwavering resolve and made it to the final. There is one last match and we hope we will play our best cricket."

Comilla also started with a defeat to Durdanto Dhaka which ended the tournament as bottom table team. However they came back strongly and reached playoffs, finishing at second spot.

They played the first Qualifier and with ease defeated league leaders Rangpur Riders to confirm the final at first chance.

And with the hat-trick title beckoning them, they vowed not to let it go.