After trouncing the Titans by nine wickets last night, the Comilla Victorians are just one win away from claiming top spot on the BPL points table. Their opposition are also looking menacing, Dhaka sit just behind Comilla in the standings and could potentially steal second spot from them.
Everything is on the line in this one, it’s second versus third in a huge match up that has a number of positives for the winning team, and huge ramifications for the losing one. This is almost the perfect scenario for the Victorians who could possibly be sitting at the top of the table after tonight’s game in Chittagong. Their chances of winning this next match against the Dynamites have significantly increased with a bowing performance that equaled the standards of their oppositions, skittling a shell-shocked Khulna for a measly 111 runs. Adding fuel to the fire, Comilla skipper Tamim Iqbal scored his second consecutive fifty-plus score as the Bangladeshi opener went on the attack scoring an unbeaten-64 from 42 deliveries. The general vibe around this upcoming clash is that the Victorians are gonna have to bat extremely well in order to challenge the Dynamites who have one of the most potent bowling attacks going around. Thankfully for Comilla, Iqbal is starting to show signs of returning to his damaging best along with Imrul Kayes who has had a positive impact in the top order this year. If any team can isolate the Dynamites bowling attack, it would have to be the Victorians given their tremendous batting depth. Along with Iqbal and Kayes, they have some very handy International experience that features the likes of Shoaib Malik, Marlon Samuels, Jos Buttler and the explosive all-round ability of Dwayne Bravo rounding them off. It’s not going to be easy, but these guys have the capability to match it with the likes of Narine, Afridi, Shakib & Amir on a good day.
There’s no doubting that their bowling doesn’t come close to Dhaka’s in terms of consistency & the overall outcome, but they shown against the tournament leaders Khulna that they can find that element of surprise in their game which is clearly what outdone the top of the table Titans. More renown for his damaging ball-striking in franchise middle-orders over a number of years, that’s not to say Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik has completely lost his all-round ability. That was certainly apparent when his off-breaks put a dent in the Titans top order taking 3/14 off just three overs. Comilla-regular Al-Amin Hossain also picked up his best bowling figures for the tournament, running-riot through the middle order and finishing with a very-economical 3/20. With a substantially weaker bowling line-up, Hasan Ali will have to be the focal point for Comilla, he’s already taken a five-wicket haul & continues to impress. Just recently making his return to the side, Dwayne Bravo hasn’t had the impact he usually has in these types of tournaments, so he’s another who could pull something special out against the Dynamites. It might also be a wise decision to bring back Afghanistan-leggy Rashid Khan who has been consistent & very tight with the ball in the BPL.
A six-hitting onslaught from Evin Lewis accompanied by some handy contributions from Joe Denly and Cameron Delport saw Dhaka notch up their fifth win of the tournament, coming at a quite convenient time as well. A win against Comilla could see them steal second spot on the table, but a loss could potentially see them soon-overtaken which would result in them slipping down to fourth spot. Looking at both teams on paper, you’d say that the Dynamites have the upper-hand, but only just. Their bowling attack has proven time and time again that they can single-handedly sway a match in their favor, in fact it what only in their last encounter against Chittagong where they couldn’t seem to nullify the oppositions batting. Having said that, they made up for it in the batting department where a number of individuals turned up on the day and got Dhaka home in the end. Evin Lewis dished up one of the most breathtaking-knocks of this years BPL as the power-hitting Trinidadian blasted a colossal-nine sixes in his 31-ball innings. He was only out in the middle for just over half of the innings, scoring 75 runs with a strike-rate of 241.93. The Shahid Afridi & Sunil Narine experiment at the top of the order hasn’t been as successful as Dhaka would have hoped for, that could see Joe Denly (who is a genuine opening batsman) be given his opportunity alongside Lewis at the top of the order for the next game. Denly scored an impressive 44 at No. 3 in his debut game for the Dynamites, South Africa’s Cameron Delport was also impressive on return scoring an unbeaten 43 off just 24 balls.
A solid last outing from Joe Denly and Cameron Delport could keep big-hitting West Indian Kieron Pollard out of the side once again, Even Mohammad Amir might find it difficult to squeeze back into the starting XI. Amazingly, the Dynamites only managed to take the five wickets in their last contest against the Vikings. Why is that so amazing you ask? well, if you look back through this years BPL games featuring the “Dhaka Dynamites”, you’ll see just how dominant the likes of Shahid Afridi, Sunil Narine, Abu Hider and Shakib Al Hasan have been as a bowling combination. Shakib, Hider and Afridi were all expensive, while Sunil Narine starved the Chittagong batsman for runs in his four overs, conceding just eleven runs. Even though it was probably their worst bowling performance as a unit for the tournament, they still managed to take three wickets between them which isn’t a complete & utter failure. A performance like that is as rare as a cool day in the sub-continents summer, you’ll rarely see the likes of Narine and Afridi held to just one or no wickets at all, and Shakib is rarely-expensive which came as quite a surprise when he was smashed for 51 runs in his four overs the other day. This match could genuinely go either way, it’s going to be a battle of momentum, that’s for sure.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Comilla Victorians | BPL | 34th match | Chittagong
- Tamim Iqbal
- Shoaib Malik
- Hasan Ali
- Imrul Kayes
- Mohammad Saifuddin
Wildcard pick – Marlon Samuels
Top 5 fantasy picks | Dhaka Dynamites | BPL | 34th match | Chittagong
- Evin Lewis
- Sunil Narine
- Cameron Delport
- Shakib Al Hasan
- Abu Hider
Wildcard pick – Jahurul Islam
Comilla Victorians (possible) – 1. Tamim Iqbal (c) 2. Liton Das (wk) 3. Imrul Kayes 4. Shoaib Malik 5. Jos Buttler 6. Marlon Samuels 7. Dwayne Bravo 8. Mohammad Saifuddin 9. Mahedi Hasan 10. Hasan Ali 11. Al-Amin Hossain.
Dhaka Dynamites (possible) – 1. Evin Lewis 2. Joe Denly 3. Cameron Delport 4. Shakib Al Hasan (c) 5. Jahurul Islam (wk) 6. Mosaddek Hossain 7. Sunil Narine 8. Shahid Afridi/Mohammad Amir 9. Abu Hider 10. Mohammad Saddam 11. Mohammad Shahid.