A number of teams in this years BPL have managed to find themselves at the top of the table at some stage, at this point in time it belongs to the Comilla Victorians who have lost just one match in the tournament. They’re up against the Rajshahi Kings who are struggling to rise in the standings.
A win against the red-hot Dhaka Dynamites has put the Victorians into pole position in the tournament, winning their past five BPL matches in a row. With the addition of Pakistani-duo Hasan Ali and Shoaib Malik, and more importantly their spiritual leader in Tamim Iqbal returning, Comilla are packing a punch heading into the remainder of the tournament. Much of the credit has to go too Victorians top order batsman Imrul Kayes who has been outstanding at No. 3, scoring 201 runs at an average of 50.25. Along with Kayes, the Victorians have had many solid contributions in their order from the likes of Jos Buttler, Marlon Samuels and Liton Das (albeit not as frequent as Kayes) which has served them well so far. Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik just recently scored a brilliantly-unbeaten 54 against the Dynamites, and skipper Tamim Iqbal hasn’t lit up the tournament as of yet which just goes to show that the Victorians have plenty of upside. In Comilla’s most recent game, Marlon Samuels was swapped out for West Indian teammate Darren Bravo who managed just the 12 runs but looked in good form early. With plenty of variety & class in the batting order, Comilla remain strong contenders to maintain their position at the top of the points table.
The addition of Pakistani seamer Hasan Ali has really bolstered their attack, the 23-year-old appears to be in the form of his life at the moment in both International cricket and at domestic level. Ali dominated proceedings against Dhaka, walking away with match figures of 5/20 in a stunning bowling display. Youth seems to be the trademark in this bowling attack, 19-year-old Afghani leg-spinner Rashid Khan has been at his economical-best so far giving nothing away easily to opposition batsmen. With six wickets in the BPL so far, an even more impressive stat is that Khan has only conceded twenty or more runs once in his six appearances for Comilla. Mohammad Saifuddin has been quite productive for the Victorians in this tournament with some impressive performances with the ball, while Bangladeshi seamer Al-Amin Hossain has struggled on his home turf having very-little impact in the wickets department and conceding plenty of runs in the process. Spinner Arafat Sunny hadn’t had the tournament he was hoping before he was dropped either, going wicketless in his four matches.
The results just haven’t fallen their way, and as a consequence they sit agonizingly-close to the bottom of the points table just above the Vikings having won just the two games. With the powering-hitting duo of England’s Luke Wright and West Indies Lendl Simmons, the Kings had high expectations coming into the tournament. The outcome has been anything but acceptable, they lost both Wright and Simmons to injuries earlier in the tournament and have fallen away significantly ever since. Apart from a couple decent digs from Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim and just recently the incoming Dwayne Smith who dominated from the outset against the Titans with his 62, Rajshahi have failed to make it count when it was most needed. 19-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Zakir Hasan has also been quite the breath of fresh air since joining the side in the starting XI, he scored an unbeaten fifty in his first match of the tournament against Sylhet, following it up with 36 against Dhaka. With the lack of runs being contributed throughout the order, the Kings will be hoping that James Franklin and Darren Sammy can get their eye in down the order and chip in with some quick-fire knocks & damaging blows over the rope to assist the likes of Smith, Rahim & Mominul on the scoreboard.
The Kings are set to receive a huge boost with star-quick Mustafizur Rahman a huge possibility to return against the Victorians tomorrow. His absence in the team has been costly to say the least, Rajshahi forced to battle out the match with a bowling attack that doesn’t come across as an overly strong one. Credit to Kesrick Williams, Mehidy Hasan Miraz and James Franklin who have all toiled away for most of the tournament with the ball, they’ve done their absolute best and can’t be faulted. Thankfully they were aided by Pakistani quick Mohammad Sami who has led the attack for the past four games and finally started to make an impact picking up 3/29 in his last outing against the Titans. While they are positioned lowly on the table, there’s still plenty left to play for in this years BPL, the return of Mustafizur Rahman could ignite a side down on form & confidence in a last hurrah to turn their tournament around for the better.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Comilla Victorians | BPL | 27th match | Chittagong
- Imrul Kayes
- Rashid Khan
- Tamim Iqbal
- Hasan Ali
- Shoaib Malik
Wildcard pick – Liton Das
Top 5 fantasy picks | Rajshahi Kings | BPL | 27th match | Chittagong
- Dwayne Smith
- Mushfiqur Rahim
- Zakir Hasan
- Mustafizur Rahman
- Mehidy Hasan Miraz
Wildcard pick – Darren Sammy
Comilla Victorians (possible) – 1. Tamim Iqbal (c) 2. Liton Das (wk) 3. Imrul Kayes 4. Darren Bravo 5. Jos Buttler/Marlon Samuels 6. Shoaib Malik 7. Mohammad Saifuddin 8. Rashid Khan 9. Mahedi Hasan 10. Hasan Ali 11. Al-Amin Hossain/Arafat Sunny.
Rajshahi Kings (possible) – 1. Dwayne Smith 2. Mominul Haque 3. Daniel Bell-Drummond/Luke Wright/Malcolm Waller 4. Zakir Hasan 5. Mushfiqur Rahim (wk) 6. James Franklin 7. Darren Sammy (c) 8. Mehidy Hasan Miraz 9. Mohammad Sami/Mustafizur Rahman 10. Naeem Islam jnr 11. Hossain Ali.
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