Dhaka will be looking for a response after they lost a match that they really should’ve won, now they face off against Rajshahi who just recently notched up their fourth win of the tournament. The Dynamites are favorites to win this game, but the Kings shouldn’t be discounted.
Unfortunately for the Dynamites, they let another close encounter slip away from them, this time it was against the Comilla Victorians who have now claimed top spot as a result. Heading into the game without Shahid Afridi was a bold move, especially due to the amount of impact the Pakistani-veteran has made so far in the BPL this year. It turned out to be a costly decision as Dhaka struggled to take wickets regularly, and they could have used that extra bit of firepower with the bat to get them over the line. Take nothing away from West Indian all-rounder Kevon Cooper who was the man that replaced him, but Afridi’s sense of the occasion & game awareness would have been a real asset. Power-hitting opener Evin Lewis had a rare single-digit outing while Dynamites skipper Shakib Al Hasan and pinch-hitting all-rounder Sunil Narine couldn’t contribute enough runs on the night either, in hindsight there was a lot that went wrong in that innings for Dhaka. A loss is a loss, there’s not much positives they can take out of it other than a chance to respond in their following match. The team might be feeling a bit flat, but England’s Joe Denly has reason to smile as he posted his second-consecutive 40+ score since joining the side. In Denly’s two stints for the Dynamites, he’s scored 44 off 39 balls against Chittagong & 49 off 39 balls against Comilla. You can never be too complacent in any team, but Denly has reason to be and may just have consolidated his spot in the starting XI.
It was interesting to see that Dhaka decided to retain Kieron Pollard instead of Shahid Afridi for the Victorians clash, one would think his two fifty-plus scores in Dhaka kept the big-hitting West Indian in the side for that exact reason. His Caribbean teammate Sunil Narine hasn’t had a huge impact with the ball in recent time either, picking up just the one wicket from his past three BPL outings. The impressive thing about Narine’s recent performances in particular are how-little he’s conceded when handed the ball, he’s easily been Dhaka’s most economical bowler in the past two matches, maybe even the entire tournament. It’s hard to separate both Narine & Pollard, they’re both match-winners in their own unique way. Yet another West Indian came into the playing XI, and he didn’t disappoint either. Sure Kevon Cooper was expensive in his four overs, but his medium pacers seemed to do the trick as he worked his way through Comilla’s middle order taking 3/42. It’s going to be fascinating to see whether Dhaka want to bring back Cameron Delport, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Amir or maybe even Kumar Sangakkara.
Rajshahi are back on the winners list after they took advantage of the standings and did what they needed to do to defeat the bottom-placed Chittagong Vikings. They were in a not to dissimilar situation a while ago, so they’ll be glad they’ve started to crawl their way up the BPL points table. Kings skipper Darren Sammy has tried his best to motivate his side both as a leader and through his own individual efforts down the order. The former West Indian skipper has been enjoying his time with the bat in the lower order, peppering the boundary in Chittagong against the Victorians and Vikings where he scored 47* & 40 respectively. Star T20 batsman Luke Wright has also worked his way back into the side after picking up an injury earlier in the tournament, his presence at the top of the order has been comforting with others feeding off his good starts. The locals have been a bit down on their output though, both Mominul Haque and Zakir Hasan have had a string of matches where they haven’t contributed anywhere near enough runs. New Zealand’s James Franklin has been a regular in the starting team which is a huge achievement, he’s either chipping in runs with the bat or contributing wickets with the ball, he’s been one player who hasn’t let the Kings down in the tournament.
What a dream debut for a 19-year-old, left-arm seamer Qazi Onik rattled the Chittagong Vikings batting line-up with figures of 4/17 as he played a significant role in Rajshahi’s win that day. The much-anticipated return of Mustafizur Rahman has been a success so far, apart from that thrashing against the Titans he’s been very impressive in his return from injury. Mustafizur has picked up multiple wickets in two of his three outings with the ball, both in Chittagong which should test his adaption to Dhaka’s conditions in their upcoming match. Pakistani seamer Mohammad Sami has been another of the Kings bowlers who has really excelled at times, his best bowling figures of the tournament came against the Victorians in Chittagong where he stunned a pretty handy batting line-up taking 4/9. With the return of Mustafizur Rahman and Luke Wright, and the in-form skipper with the bat Darren Sammy along with James Franklin who is doing his job to perfection at the moment, this Kings outfit is finally starting to come together as a unit after an extended period of inconsistency.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Dhaka Dynamites | BPL | 36th match | Dhaka
- Shakib Al Hasan
- Joe Denly
- Sunil Narine
- Cameron Delport
- Jahurul Islam
Wildcard pick – Kevon Cooper
Top 5 fantasy picks | Rajshahi Kings | BPL | 36th match | Dhaka
- Luke Wright
- Mustafizur Rahman
- James Franklin
- Qazi Onik
- Darren Sammy
Wildcard pick – Usama Mir
Dhaka Dynamites (possible) – 1. Evin Lewis/Kumar Sangakkara 2. Joe Denly 3. Jahurul Islam (wk) 4. Cameron Delport/Kieron Pollard 5. Shakib Al Hasan (c) 6. Sunil Narine 7. Shadman Islam/Mehedi Maruf 8. Mosaddek Hossain 9. Kevon Cooper 10. Abu Hider 11. Mohammad Shahid.
Rajshahi Kings (possible) – 1. Mominul Haque 2. Luke Wright 3. Zakir Hasan/Rony Talukdar 4. Mushfiqur Rahim (wk) 5. James Franklin 6. Darren Sammy (c) 7. Mehidy Hasan Miraz 8. Usama Mir 9. Mohammad Sami 10. Qazi Onik 11. Mustafizur Rahman.