Sanath Jayasuriya is feared in the cricket world for his devastating display of batting. The champion Sri Lankan left-hander, however, has done little to justify his abilities in Dhaka cricket so far. But he might get a good chance to end his Dhaka jinx when his side Mohammedan Sporting Club face off their bitter rivals Abahani in the Premier Cricket League at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.
The good news for Jayasuriya and Mohammedan is that Abahani will be without their pace battery and might opt for an all-spin attack in the Dhaka derby.
The Dhanmondi giants are perched on top of the table with 16 points from nine games while Mohammedan are currently at fourth position with 11 points after equal number of matches.
However, the points table could mean little as Abahani go into the match with as many as five injuries to their frontline bowlers. Captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza has a back complaint while Talha Jubair and all-rounder Ziaur Rahman are inflicted with jaundice, pace bowler Subhashish Roy is meting out with typhoid and Tigers pacer Nazmul Hossain has a swelling in his knee.
In the face of such myriad injuries, the Sky Blues are left with a tough task against a much-improved Mohammedan, who conquered co-sharer in the top spot Bangladesh Biman in the last round, on a batting-friendly Mirpur wicket.
But despite injury concerns Abahani captain Mashrafe has said that his team are fully focused to overcome the odds.
"We have a lot of injuries and it might lead us to turn to all-spin attack. But we are ready to take the challenge. We perceive the match as an important one because every points won would be carried forward to the next stage", said Mashrafe.
He also added: "I am most probably not bowling in the match, but we will try and capitulate them with our spinners."
When asked about how big a factor Jayasuriya might be, Mashrafe said: "We will value each of their wickets equally, but yes Sanath is the most experienced player in the world so there is every reason to fear him, but we will try our hearts out to contest above level terms with Mohammedan."
Mohammedan are also nursing three injuries in their camp ahead of today's encounter.
Opening batsman Nasiruddin Faruk is down with a groin injury while bowler Emon has hurt his shoulder when fielding against Biman in Mohammedan's last match and Shamsur Rahman Shuvo is recovering from fever.
Abahani's foreign reserve has also suffered after Indian procure Venugopal Rao flew back home. They have, however, drafted in Orissan batsman Rashmi Ranjan Parida in Rao's place.
For Mohammedan, a victory will not only confirm their place in the Super Six but also enable them to reduce the gap with the leaders.
The injuries in the camp could lead to the inclusion of batsman Farhad Hossain and opening bowler Sajidul Hasan in the side.
In other matches of the Premier Cricket League, Biman play Cricket Coaching School at the Fatullah Cricket Stadium and BKSP meet Gazi Tank at BKSP.
Source : The Daily Star