After yet another win against the Rajshahi Kings last night, the Sylhet Sixers have strung together three-consecutive wins and remain undefeated at the top of the table. The Khulna Titans, however, were comprehensively beaten in their only game of the BPL so far against the Dynamites.
There’s no doubt about it, the key to Sylhet’s success so far in the tournament has been their opening batting combination of Andre Fletcher and Upul Tharanga who have performed above & beyond all expectations it must be said. Not one opposition team has been able to restrict the duos scoring output, resulting in some damaging partnerships throughout the entirety of all three matches. I can now confidently tell you that this “power-couple” so to speak is the real deal, easily the best batting combination going around in this years BPL by a country mile. If we have a look at the numbers game, Andre Fletcher is averaging 49 for the tournament, while Upul Tharanga has not scored under fifty in the Sixers three games, resulting in an average of 85 with three half centuries to start the campaign, what an effort! The rest of Sylhet’s batting order hasn’t really been tested, bringing in Tharanga’s Sri Lankan teammate Danushka Gunathilaka seemed to prove effective as the power-hitting all-rounder struck 42 from 22 deliveries in the recent win against Rajshahi. I get the feeling they’ll continue to persist with Sabbir Rahman at No. 3 despite some below-par scores to start the tournament, due to Fletcher & Tharanga’s dominance in the opening stand, there hasn’t been any real pressure on the middle order to perform as strange as it may sound. With the batting all sorted for the time being, they haven’t fallen short in the bowling department either, binding together and producing some all-round solid performances. Both Abul Hasan and England seamer Liam Plunkett have been the Sixers two most consistent bowlers in terms of wicket taking, Plunkett currently leads the team in wickets with six, not far behind him is Hasan on five. Even Nasir Hossain has chipped in with some pretty handy spells with the ball with three wickets, as well as Krishmar Santokie and Taijul Islam. This is a side who are looking like comfortably taking out the BPL title at the moment, they’re going to be hard to beat after this strong start.
Having played just the one game, we haven’t seen enough of the Titans to make any assumptions on how their campaign might turn out. Going on what we saw in their opening game, it’s not looking too good. While the Caribbean flavor kicked in early with Chadwick Walton making the most of his opportunities with a 13-ball blitz with the bat, his quickfire-30 was unable to inspire the rest of his team who crumbled apart from a couple of individuals. Lets rewind to the start of the game though, Khulna won the toss and elected to field for whatever reason which in hindsight was a crucial mistake. They then went on to concede 202 runs which was always going to be beyond them, especially in a run chase batting second. Dynamites batsmen Evin Lewis and Cameron Delport scored at will up the top of the order with some costly overs aggressively lifting the run rate, both batsmen ended up scoring 60-odd runs each which proved to be costly for the Titans. Shafiul Islam, one of the BPL’s most impressive bowlers from last year was absolutely hammered for runs in his three overs. Islam picked up 2/41, but he was far to expensive and only managed to pick up the wicket of Lewis after copping a hiding with the ball. Sri Lankan off-spinner Akila Dananjaya was a hit-and-miss, while Abu Jayed looked quite impressive with his 2/29 despite his team getting poleaxed around him. West Indian T20 skipper Carlos Brathwaite was handy for his 1/34 from his full quota of overs, but he couldn’t back it up with the bat as he was dismissed for a golden duck at No. 3. In Brathwaite’s defense, he hardly ever bats above six in the West Indian side which raises some questions as to why he was promoted that high in the order, most likely for his hitting ability which should have been used later in the innings. With both Cricket Australia & the WACA giving Michael Klinger permission to take part in this years BPL just recently, the Australian veteran would be a much-welcomed addition as a specialist opening batsman for the rest of the Titans campaign.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Sylhet Sixers | BPL | 8th match | Sylhet
- Upul Tharanga
- Andre Fletcher
- Liam Plunkett
- Sabbir Rahman
- Taijul Islam
Wildcard pick – Danushka Gunathilaka
Top 5 fantasy picks | Khulna Titans | BPL | 8th match | Sylhet
- Shafiul Islam
- Chadwick Walton
- Michael Klinger
- Abu Jayed
Wildcard pick – Jofra Archer
Sylhet Sixers (possible) – 1. Upul Tharanga 2. Andre Fletcher 3. Sabbir Rahman 4. Danushka Gunathilaka 5. Ross Whiteley 6. Nasir Hossain (c) 7. Nurul Hasan (wk) 8. Liam Plunkett 9. Abul Hasan 10. Taijul Islam 11. Kamrul Islam Rabbi.
Khulna Titans (possible) – 1. Michael Klinger 2. Chadwick Walton (wk) 3. Nazmul Hossain Shanto 4. Rilee Rossouw 5. Mahmudullah (c) 6. Carlos Brathwaite/Jofra Archer 7. Ariful Haque 8. Mosharraf Hossain 9. Akila Dananjaya/Kyle Abbott 10. Shafiul Islam 11. Abu Jayed.
Try these fantasy picks in your playing XI on DFC and win money today!
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.