After two exciting games on the opening day of the Bangabandhu T20 Cup, there was a sense that the tournament would produce more action-packed cricket in the coming days.
Drama, agony and competitive cricket highlighted the opening day. Minister Rajshahi defeated Beximco Dhaka by two runs in the opening game before Gemcon Khulna got home with one ball to spare against Fortune Barishal.
Rajshahi's 169 for nine in that game remains the highest total of the tournament, with teams even being bundled out below 100 twice in the six games so far. That has raised questions about the lack of competitiveness and underlined the need for batsmen to step up.
There have been only five fifties in the six games and Barishal's Tamim Iqbal holds the highest individual score with a match-winning 77 as they were chasing a modest 133-run* target in search of their first win against Rajshahi.
Barishal will be facing an unbeaten Gazi Group Chattogram in the day's first game today. Mohammad Mithun's side look a force to be reckoned with, managing comprehensive nine-wicket wins in their two games against Dhaka and Khulna after bundling out the opposition in the 80s on both occasions.
Led by Mustafizur Rahman, who picked up four wickets for five runs in his last outing against Khulna, Chattogram's bowlers seem in great rhythm.
As a consequence of their sublime bowling and the presence of two in-form openers in the form of Soumya Sarkar and Liton Das making the job even easier, the middle order is yet to be tested.
There was some bad news for Chattogram as Bangladesh Test skipper Mominul Haque injured his right thumb while fielding in the previous game. An X-ray revealed that the left-hander had a fracture which might force him to miss a major part of the tournament.
In the day's second fixture, two strong sides will battle it out when Dhaka take on Khulna.
Neither have quite gotten into the groove, but Mushfiqur Rahim's Dhaka have fared worse after going winless in the first two games. He will surely look for a different approach in leading a rather young side against Mahmudullah Riyad's star-studded Khulna, who won their first game after last-over heroics from Ariful Haque but have failed to live up to expectations since.
All eyes were on Khulna's star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan at the start of the tournament, but he failed with the bat in all three games with scores of 15, 12, and three. He has also scalped just one wicket.
It will be important for the big guns to fire in order to make the tournament livelier and, more importantly, score the big runs that T20 cricket is all about.