Khulna bowl first in must-win match against Barishal

Fortune Barishal captain Shakib Al Hasan and Khulna Tigers captain Shai Hope during the toss ahead of their BPL9 match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on 3 February, 2023Khulna Tigers Facebook page

Khulna Tigers have won the toss and opted to bowl first against Fortune Barishal on Friday in a match they must win in order to keep their faint hope of making it to the qualifiers round of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2023 alive.

Khulna, who only have two wins from nine games, are currently sixth in the seven-team points-table. If Khulna win their remaining three group-phase matches, they will finish on 10 points.

However, the top three teams of the table already have 12 or more points and hence are out of Khulna’s reach.

The fourth placed team Rangpur Riders currently have 10 points, but they have four games to go in the group-stage.

So, for Khulna to qualify not only will they have to win their remaining three games, Rangpur also have to lose their next four games, which seems highly unlikely.

Barishal, on the other hand, are in a race with defending champions Comilla Victorians to determine who will attain a spot in the top two of the table alongside table-toppers Sylhet Strikers.

Barishal and Comilla have 12 points after nine games but the former edged the latter in terms of net run-rate and currently occupies the second spot.

Khulna Tigers: Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Shai Hope(w) (c), Yasir Ali, Andrew Balbirnie, Mark Deyal, Paul van Meekeren, Hasan Murad, Nahidul Islam, Nasum Ahmed, Shafiqul Islam

Fortune Barishal: Anamul Haque(w), Fazle Mahmud, Shakib Al Hasan(c), Ibrahim Zadran, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mahmudullah, Salman Hossain, Karim Janat, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Khaled Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain