Challengers Proves A Point 

The team from Chittagong was the third best team in BPL for the first two years after becoming ‘Chittagong Challengers’. In the last BPL, Chittagong has finished the BPL at number 7. Chittagong won only 3 out of 12 matches in the league stage. In order to get out of the failure of the 2022-23 season, the Challengers have also prepared the team’s player list starting from the management in the new season. It also worked. Challengers have made it to the playoffs of this year’s BPL. Chittagong Challengers ended the BPL by losing the eliminator match of the tournament against Fortune Barisal.

Taking the budget of the team into consideration a place in the playoffs must be called a positive result for Challengers as their local cricketers were inexperienced. Even in the case of foreign cricketers, the team could not bring big names to the team. However, under the leadership of Shuvagoto Hom, Chittagong played 12 matches and won 7. Let’s find out how the team got out of the last shock and made it to the playoffs of this year’s BPL.

Aviska and Najibullah factor

The beginning of BPL is tough for any foreign player. It takes almost everyone two-three matches to adapt to the wicket and the conditions. Chittagong’s luck was good, their foreign openers Aviska Fernando and Najibullah Zadran were getting runs from the start. Local Shahadat Hossain was accompanying the two. But the main heroes were Aviska and Najibullah. Chittagong won 4 out of the first 5 matches by the performance of the duo. Najibullah initially played 7 matches for Chittagong. Batting in 6 innings, this Afghan finisher scored 150 runs that includes one fifty and a highest of unbeaten 61. Najibullah scored runs at a strike rate of 138. In the middle overs, he sometimes had to catch, sometimes hit. However, he was successful in both duties. Lankan opener Aviskar has scored 174 runs in 6 matches, that too at a strike rate of 159. There were small cameos in the power play, along with an explosive innings of 91 runs. This foreigner pulled Chittagong’s batting in the beginning. Both had to leave the BPL later as the bilateral series between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan started.

Challengers mean Tanjid

Chattogram brought in Josh Brown as a foreign opener in place of Aviska. However, this Australian opener, who won the Big Bash, could not adapt quickly to the conditions of Bangladesh. The spin really bothered him while they also could not use him properly considering hitting is his natural game but he was asked to play the role of anchor. In the end, what happened, Brown scored 133 runs without any fifty after playing 6 matches.

When work was not being done by foreign cricketers, Tanjid Hasan single-handedly pulled Challengers top order. The young opener scored 384 runs in 12 matches, which is the highest among the them and that too with a strike rate was 135 at an average of 32 runs. Although he was not in the best rhythm in the Dhaka and Sylhet phases of the BPL, this left-hander scored a flood of runs at his home ground in Chittagong. Tanjid scored 240 runs in 4 matches at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, including a century. At one stage, it seemed that Chittagong’s batting was Tanjid oriented and he also repaid that trust.

Billal Khan at the beginning and end, Shahidul in between

Chittagong was looking for a left-arm pacer before the start of BPL. They wanted Shoriful Islam of Bangladesh national team to join the team. But Shoriful signed an agreement with Durdanto Dhaka. Chittagong signed a contract with Bilal Khan, the left-arm pacer of the Oman national team, without getting anyone else within the budget. Everyone saw what happened next. This left-arm pacer of Pakistani origin single-handedly pulled Chittagong’s bowling. He took 15 wickets in 13 matches. The wickets came in the top order and death overs. He was Chittagong’s main hope at the beginning and end of the innings.

Shahidul Islam handled the middle over. Shahidul returned to the game with the last Dhaka Premier League after overcoming the ICC ban, and has always been consistent in the BPL. Even after a long break, he did not fall into that old rhythm. He took 11 wickets in 11 matches, most of which were from set batsmen. Shahidul was knocked out of the tournament with a knee injury while celebrating after taking a wicket in the last match of the team’s league stage in Chittagong. Chittagong had to play the eliminator without Shahidul who was in great form in the eliminator.

What went against them?

The team retained left-arm spinner Nihaduzzaman in this year’s BPL as he did well in the last BPL. This young spinner’s BPL ended in disappointment. He took only 7 wickets in all 13 matches. Skipper Shubhagato Hom also took 7 wickets. He bowled in 10 matches. Apart from this, there was no spinner on the bench of Chittagong. Not only spinners, Chittagong has also suffered with wicketkeepers. Imranuzzam was their choice as the local wicketkeeper. He scored only 23 runs in 5 matches. Chittagong’s choice as a foreign wicketkeeper was Kusal Mendis. Not getting him, Chittagong signed an agreement with England’s Phil Salt. But none of the two came to BPL due to non-objection letter. Tom Bruce of New Zealand was forced to join the Chittagong team. This Kiwi was quite consistent down to four. He scored 278 runs in 9 matches. But he could not keep wicket due to back pain in the important eliminator. That is why the composition of the party had to be changed. The team would not have faced this problem if they had a local wicketkeeper batsman.


Stay Ahead in the Game with KrikyaNews! Don’t miss out on any action from the world of sports. At KrikyaNews, we bring you the latest and most comprehensive coverage of cricket and other sports in Bangladesh. Click here to subscribe for real-time updates and expert analyses, ensuring you’re always in the know. Be the first to get the hottest sports news and insights – join the KrikyaNews community today!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *