Rain & wet conditions forced yesterdays BPL double-header at Dhaka to be washed out as the covers didn’t threaten to come off once. It’s not looking all that promising for tomorrows double-header either with showers forecast throughout the day venturing into the evening, here’s hoping they can sneak some overs in for a result!
If rain is possibly set to influence the outcome of this match, the Khulna Titans are sitting in the box seat with some big hitters that could do some major damage in a restricted innings. South Africa’s Rilee Rossouw and West Indies Carlos Brathwaite are the names that stand out among others, Rossouw has been fairly consistent with his input despite contributing no major scores as of yet, and Brathwaite is coming off a 29-ball 64 which had the crowd ducking for cover during his sloggathon. Amazingly, Brathwaite’s huge hitting wasn’t able to get Khulna over the line in the end as the Dynamites responded in the same fashion with Pollard and Islam hitting out to drag them across the line for the win. Australia’s Michael Klinger is another who can score boundaries at will when he’s fully-firing with the blade, we’ve seen him light up the BBL for the Perth Scorchers on numerous occasions which must give the Titans some added confidence. Khulna’s skipper will also be a heavily required performer tomorrow night, it appears that Mahmudullah has developed into a more consistent player & contributor with the bat and has also chanced his luck with the ball from time to time, so he’s another key attribute that needs to bring his best on game day. The likes of Nazmul Hossain Shanto and Dhiman Ghosh haven’t been able to make their mark on the tournament, particularly Hossain Shanto who is averaging just 11.25 opening the batting for the Titans.
With some big-hitting through the order, they should find themselves in a commanding position in that area of the game, it’s just a question of whether they can back up that good work with the ball this time around. They came oh so close to defending their impressive total had they kept Kieron Pollard on a leash, instead they were on the receiving end of a six-hitting blitz. It’s been an all-round performance with the ball so far with no particular individual dominating the show, both Abu Jayed and Shafiul Islam have been consistent with their efforts so far taking 13 wickets between them. Albeit consistent, Shafiul’s wicket taking input compared to last year BPL campaign has significantly declined. It’s early days in the tournament still, and Khulna will be hoping he finds that spark he bowled with this time last year. It’s also worth mentioning that the Titans also have South African seamer Kyle Abbott in the squad who’s impact with the ball can be lethal, Sri Lanka’s Seekkuge Prasanna is another who could be swung into the squad as well with his all-round capabilities.
Whether the rained out contest was seen as a positive, negative, lucky break, frustrating or timely – whatever the case may be, Chittagong may well have benefited from the washed out game against the Dynamites given what another loss would have done to them on the points table. If anything, this has given team management more time to think things through about how their XI will shape up for the next faze of this tournament. With just the one win to Chittagong’s name plus the three losses, it’s easy to see that this team has a lot of work to do to get back on their feet if they have any chance of breaking into the playoffs race as the BPL fixture commences. Their batting is the equivalent of a facepalm at the moment, there’s no consistency whatsoever and the big individual efforts with the bat have been kept to a minimum so far. That’s not to say they need big scores from one player every match, but it certainly goes along way to putting your team in a winning position after someone has just scored sixty-plus runs with an aggressive middle & lower order raring to go in the dugout. Instead, it’s been left up to Kiwi Luke Ronchi to take charge at the top of the order which he’s done quite reasonably averaging 37.75 with a high score of 78, but he hasn’t been supported by his teammates which is probably the most disappointing part. In order for the Vikings to get back on top, I believe Soumya Sarkar and Dilshan Munaweera need to start contributing more runs if they are to bat up the order, Anamul Haque needs to be elevated back up to No. 3 for his scoring ability, dropping him down the order didn’t do any favors for Chittagong, and lastly, skipper Misbah-ul-Haq might also have to move one spot up the order if Munaweera is having a hard time scoring.
With plenty of questions being asked in the batting department, the Vikings appear to have things more under control with the ball in hand. Despite his struggling-form with the bat, Dilshan Munaweera has found other ways to contribute to the team through his right-arm off-spin, picking up a handy three wickets in the tournament so far. Both Sunzamul Islam and Taskin Ahmed have been Chittagong’s strike bowlers so far in the tournament, although expensive Taskin has managed to pick up two three-wicket hauls, while Sunzamul has been a superb support-act picking up five wickets. England’s Chris Jordan played his first game of the BPL this year just recently, it wasn’t the start he was looking for as he finished with figures of 0/21 off his two overs, but on the flip side he is a genuine wicket taker in limited overs & twenty20 cricket and should bounce back from a shaky start. Jordan’s batting is also an added bonus, that was on display against the Victorians as he struck a quick-fire 16 from 9 deliveries. England’s Luis Reece was stiff to get dropped for teammate Chris Jordan, but it’s understandable given Jordan’s highly-accomplished resume over Reece’s county record. If the Vikings can sneak a win against the Titans, the morale of this team would increase significantly & could get their campaign back on track.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Khulna Titans | BPL | 18th match | Dhaka
- Rilee Rossouw
- Carlos Brathwaite
- Shafiul Islam
- Michael Klinger
Wildcard pick – Kyle Abbott
Top 5 fantasy picks | Chittagong Vikings | BPL | 18th match | Dhaka
- Luke Ronchi
- Sunzamul Islam
- Dilshan Munaweera
- Chris Jordan
Wildcard pick – Anamul Haque
Khulna Titans (possible) – 1. Nazmul Hossain Shanto 2. Michael Klinger 3. Dhiman Ghosh (wk) 4. Rilee Rossouw 5. Mahmudullah (c) 6. Carlos Brathwaite 7. Ariful Haque 8. Jofra Archer/Kyle Abbott 9. Akila Dananjaya 10. Shafiul Islam 11. Abu Jayed.
Chittagong Vikings (possible) – 1. Luke Ronchi (wk) 2. Soumya Sarkar 3. Anamul Haque 4. Dilshan Munaweera 5. Misbah-ul-Haq (c) 6. Sikandar Raza/Najibullah Zadran 7. Chris Jordan 8. Tanbir Hayder/Suhrawadi Shuvo 9. Sunzamul Islam 10. Subashis Roy 11. Taskin Ahmed.
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