The two BPL bottom sides face off against each other at Dhaka later today. At this stage, both Sylhet and Chittagong are purely playing for pride with their playoffs aspirations looking all but done and dusted for 2017.
It’s been a heavy fall from grace for the Sylhet Sixers who at one stage in the opening stages of this years BPL were sitting at the top of the table with three-straight wins. The question has to be put to them, what the hell happened?! In that time since the Sylhet faze of the tournament, they’ve managed to slide down to sixth position and inevitably choked as their losses piled up as the competition progressed. The middle stage of their campaign really killed them, they couldn’t find any continuity in their game which forced some quality players out of the side, leading to even more disaster. Pakistan’s star batsman Babar Azam has been exactly what the Sixers would have been hoping for, stringing together some consistency with scores of 41 & 54 in his past two outings. It’s a shame they didn’t receive Azam earlier in the tournament, he would have been a huge asset alongside Fletcher & Tharanga. After a bleak start to his campaign, Bangladeshi excitement-machine Sabbir Rahman has finally worked his way into the BPL averaging 39.50 in his past four digs at the crease. Azam’s inclusion has allowed Sabbir to drop down the order from No. 3 and play more aggressively in Sylhet’s middle order.
The bowling is a bit of a head-scratcher though, they haven’t persisted with the likes of Liam Plunkett, Krishmar Santokie and Kamrul Islam Rabbi who all shown they had great wicket-taking potential & ability when they were given a go earlier in the tournament. It’s easy to drop a player after they’ve gone for plenty of runs without making much of an impact in the process, and those three bowlers were a victim of that policy in my opinion. Even local spinner Taijul Islam has had a bit of a shocker which caused him to fall out of favor with the starting XI, he was held wicketless in his past four matches before he was dropped. As for the Sixers current bowling attack, Abul Hasan and Kamrul Islam Rabbi have been consistent in taking wickets while England’s Tim Bresnan hasn’t really stamped his authority in this Sylhet outfit as of yet. Pakistan’s Sohail Tanvir just recently joined the squad and should help the Sixers finish the remainder of their tournament strongly, Sylhet are currently on a six-game losing streak & are desperate for a win.
The Sylhet Sixers may be on an extended losing streak, but they’re still hovering above the Chittagong Vikings who’ve had a tournament to forget so far. There’s no complacency sitting at the bottom of the table, and that sort of pressure is the equivalent of a dark cloud constantly hanging over your head. From the outset, this is a side that has just lacked a lot in critical areas of the game. The squad didn’t really have any “big names” like Gayle, McCullum, Narine, Wright, Afridi & Simmons, so they were always fighting an uphill battle with a team full of dark horses, making it even more difficult to work out the potential of a winning combination with a lot of unknowns. New Zealand’s Luke Ronchi has been the focal point at the top of the order, producing some quick-fire knocks that have given the Vikings the perfect start, only to be let down by the rest of the team who haven’t been able to bind any consistency together as a team. There’s been plenty of Chittagong batsman bordering on average in this years BPL, apart from a couple of decent scores both Anamul Haque and Sikandar Raza have struggled to go on with their innings at times, and Soumya Sarkar and Dilshan Munaweera haven’t scored over 40 runs in a match which adds to the Vikings frustrations. South African all-rounder Stiaan van Zyl has had an instant impact since joining the side, he’s currently averaging 40 with the bat from his five innings.
Their bowling attack is just another reason why they’re sitting where they are in the standings. It’s been a combination of Taskin Ahmed and Sunzamul Islam working with the all-rounders & part timers due to the amount of runs the remainder of the attack have been going for, resulting in a lot of 1-2 over games which has upped the all-rounders & part timers workload. Rotating various bowlers in & out of the side has taken it’s toll on the team, only Taskin Ahmed (13 wickets) and Sunzamul Islam (9 wickets) have been the regulars featuring in the Vikings bowling attack alongside Sikandar Raza, Soumya Sarkar and Dilshan Munaweera who have been handy part-time bowlers without costing them to many runs, although they haven’t had a lot of impact either which is expected. Hopefully Chittagong can end their chopping & changing after 17-year-old Nayeem Hasan was impressive on debut, and Luis Reece retains his spot after picking up three wickets against the Kings.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Sylhet Sixers | BPL | 37th match | Dhaka
- Babar Azam
- Sabbir Rahman
- Andre Fletcher
- Sohail Tanvir
- Abul Hasan
Wildcard pick – Nurul Hasan
Top 5 fantasy picks | Chittagong Vikings | BPL | 37th match | Dhaka
- Luke Ronchi
- Stiaan van Zyl
- Anamul Haque
- Taskin Ahmed
- Sikandar Raza
Wildcard pick – Nayeem Hasan
Sylhet Sixers (possible) – 1. Andre Fletcher 2. Nurul Hasan (wk) 3. Babar Azam 4. Sabbir Rahman 5. Nasir Hossain (c) 6. Ross Whiteley 7. Tim Bresnan/Liam Plunkett 8. Kamrul Islam Rabbi 9. Nabil Samad 10. Abul Hasan 11. Sohail Tanvir.
Chittagong Vikings (possible) – 1. Luke Ronchi (c) 2. Soumya Sarkar 3. Anamul Haque (wk) 4. Stiaan van Zyl 5. Sikandar Raza 6. Luis Reece 7. Tanbir Hayder 8. Rayad Emrit/Liam Dawson 9. Sunzamul Islam 10. Nayeem Hasan 11. Taskin Ahmed.
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.