The bottom-placed Chittagong Vikings are in desperate need of a win, they’ll be hosting the third-placed Dynamites. Both these sides are coming off losses against the Rangpur Riders, a team that has received a tremendous boost with the likes of Gayle & McCullum joining the comp.
It hasn’t been Chittagong’s most productive campaign to date, but this new-look outfit has improved out of sight compared to the one that was being fielded a couple weeks back. At one point, the Vikings were extremely-reliant on Luke Ronchi’s individual class at the top of the order to get them out of trouble, he played the role of the lone ranger & to his credit manufactured some decent scores for his side. The addition of Proteas all-rounder Stiaan van Zyl has certainly strengthened the teams overall contribution in the middle order, progressively easing himself into the BPL with scores of 23*, 40 & 68. Van Zyl’s impressive knock against Rangpur wasn’t enough to get his side home in the end, but his quick-scoring & ability to find the boundary frequently helped Chittagong post a competitive total nonetheless. In the absence of Pakistani veteran Misbah-ul-Haq, Zimbabwe’s Sikandar Raza unleashed one of the all-time greatest knocks in the BPL’s short history with a mesmerizing 95 runs off just 45 deliveries in what could only be described as a hitting-onslaught. With Raza and van Zyl showing their capabilities with the bat in recent times, the likes of Luke Ronchi, Anamul Haque and Soumya Sarkar have been chipping in with some handy contributions as well. Afghanistan’s Najibullah Zadran has also been a welcomed-addition to the Vikings squad, playing his role as the specialist batsman in the middle-lower order and striking some lusty blows as the innings concludes.
Apart from the Vikings two genuine wicket-takers in the playing XI, they’ve managed to fill the wickets void with part-time bowlers and all-rounders which isn’t a recommended tactic, although it has delivered to a certain extent. Bangladeshi-duo Taskin Ahmed and Sunzamul Islam have led from the front in this years BPL with the ball so far, they may not be dominating, but they’re definitely giving the rest of the attack a foundation to work with. Taskin has picked up 11 wickets in the tournament while Sunzamul has 8 to his name, Taskin the more threatening with a trio of three-wicket hauls so far against the Riders, Titans and Sixers. Filling in the gaps & all pitching in when they’ve been required are Dilshan Munaweera, Sikandar Raza, Soumya Sarkar and Stiaan van Zyl who have all had some success as part-timers. Just recently Sarkar and van Zyl in particular were the two part-timers who snuck under the radar of opposition teams and bagged a couple wickets in the process. The only downside to part-time bowers is the economy rate, it’s a high probability that if they get it wrong, they’re going to be conceding plenty of runs which typically sums up the “risk for reward” logic.
It’s always a treat watching the Dynamites run out onto the field and put on an absolute show for the Bangladesh spectators. Whether it’s Evin Lewis, Kieron Pollard or Kumar Sangakkara dominating with the bat, or Sunil Narine, Shahid Afridi and Shakib Al Hasan teaming up and running a muck as Dhaka’s lethal spin combination, this team entertainment plus! The balance between bat & ball has been phenomenal, with one of the best bowling attacks in the competition they’ve still managed to equal their output with the bat as well. The big-hitting Evin Lewis has been one of the star batsman in the tournament, scoring 239 runs which have included two sixty-plus innings. With Lewis’s powerful stroke-play at the top of the order, Dhaka have opted to pair him up with the pinch-hitters such as Sunil Narine and Shahid Afridi who have both excelled when given the opportunity with some six-hitting frenzies. It’s been a fairly quite campaign in terms of batting for skipper Shakib Al Hasan who hasn’t been anywhere near as effective with the bat compared to the ball, averaging just 14.50 which doesn’t do justice to the amount of quality he possesses. In all fairness to the Bangladeshi all-rounder, Shakib’s lack of scoreboard presence hasn’t effected the Dynamites one bit with Kieron Pollard smashing some decent scores in the lower order and Jahurul Islam also contributing some runs when he’s been required.
Dhaka still have plenty of other options in the squad that could possibly be tinkered with, but it appears they have found some team harmony in the current line-up which surprisingly doesn’t feature Kumar Sangakkara. With Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine and Shahid Afridi all squeezed into the same line-up, you would have thought this line-up couldn’t have gotten any better, well think again. Along with that lethal-spinning trio of Narine, Afridi and Shakib, the Dynamites added gun seam bowler Mohammad Amir into an already star-studded bowling attack. Since joining the Dhaka squad, Amir has taken 5 wickets in his three games while the spinners (Narine, Afridi & Shakib) have combined for a total of 29 wickets for the tournament! If that wasn’t enough to get your blood pumping, youngster Abu Hider has picked up 11 wickets with his seam bowling which adds another element of surprise when they come up against opposition teams. They have a brilliant batting setup, but their bowling attack will undoubtedly take them all the way to the final given the impact it’s had so far.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Chittagong Vikings | BPL | 29th match | Chittagong
- Luke Ronchi
- Stiaan van Zyl
- Anamul Haque
- Taskin Ahmed
- Sikandar Raza
Wildcard pick – Najibullah Zadran
Top 5 fantasy picks | Dhaka Dynamites | BPL | 29th match | Chittagong
- Evin Lewis
- Shahid Afridi
- Sunil Narine
- Mohammad Amir
- Abu Hider
Wildcard pick – Kieron Pollard
Chittagong Vikings (possible) – 1. Luke Ronchi (c) 2. Soumya Sarkar 3. Anamul Haque (wk) 4. Stiaan van Zyl 5. Sikandar Raza 6. Najibullah Zadran 7. Luis Reece/Liam Dawson 8. Tanbir Hayder 9. Al-Amin 10. Sunzamul Islam 11. Taskin Ahmed.
Dhaka Dynamites (possible) – 1. Evin Lewis 2. Sunil Narine 3. Jahurul Islam (wk) 4. Shakib Al Hasan (c) 5. Mosaddek Hossain 6. Mehedi Maruf 7. Kieron Pollard 8. Shahid Afridi 9. Nadif Chowdhury/Saddam Hossain/Khaled Ahmed 10. Mohammad Amir 11. Abu Hider.