Trinidad and Tobago allrounder Kevon Cooper grabbed two wickets yesterday to help his Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) franchise, Chittagong Kings beat Sylhet Royals to secure their place in today's final against Kieron Pollard's Dhaka Gladiators, in Dhaka.
Chittagong defeated the Royals by three wickets in the postponed semifinal, in Mirpur, to reach the final for the first time while Dhaka are chasing their second BPL title.
Yesterday, the Royals were sent in to bat by the Kings and were restricted to 149 for seven off their 20 overs with Cooper taking two for 39 from his four overs.
A late flurry of boundaries from Ryan ten Doeschate (44 n.o. off 28 balls) and Ariful Haque (23 off 12) led Chittagong to 150 for seven off 19.1 overs.
Dhaka will play without Chris Gayle in their line-up, but will be boosted by the presence of T&T allrounder Pollard.
The final is shaping up to be a close contest with the Kings picking up momentum at the right time.
The Gladiators are a side heavy on Twenty20 specialists. They have had a solid campaign, boasting the best squad on paper, including Mohammad Ashraful, Shakib Al Hasan and Alfonso Thomas.
Thomas has been vital with the ball, picking up 17 wickets, while Shakib and fellow left-arm spinner Mosharraf Hossain have provided good support.
Kings' strength is in their bowling, especially left-arm spinner Enamul Haque Jnr who has taken 18 wickets.
The Kings' batting will be propped up by ten Doeschate who has played several vital knocks in getting the Kings this far in the competition. Chittagong will be hoping for one more solid innings from him today.
Sylhet Royals 149/7 in 20 overs (Elton Chigumbura 42 n.o., Enamul Haque Jr 2/24, Kevon Cooper 2/39) vs Chittagong Kings 150/7 in 19.1 overs (Ryan ten Doeschate 44 n.o., Mohammed Nabi 2/42)
–Kings won by 3 wkts