Before their last match, Khulna Tigers were going great guns, winning their first three games. But the Sylhet Thunder beat them by 80 runs and brought Mushfiqur Rahim and Co to ground reality. In their next match, the Tigers will be locking horns with the Rajshahi Royals in Chattogram. In their last meeting, Mushfiqur’s 51-ball 96 slapped the Royals with a five-wicket defeat at the same venue.
The Royals will also be playing after a six-day break and whether they have the momentum or not remains to be seen. The Royals started the BPL with victories over Dhaka Platoon and Sylhet Thunder and a victory in their next match will take them second on the points table after Chattogram Challengers. On the other hand, the Tigers will look to get back to winning ways.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitch at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium has been a batsman’s paradise. Bowlers can’t afford much complacency in their approach. Teams have won almost equal number of games, batting first and second. But at night with dew playing a part, chasing should be the way forward. The temperature will be around 20 degrees Celsius at night with the humidity mostly in the 70s.
The Tigers have strained to find a reliable opening duo. Rahmanullah Gurbaz has given his team brisk starts, but his opening partners- Nazmul Hossain Shanto and Saif Hassan- haven’t delivered. A lot has depended on Rilee Rossouw, who has 224 runs at an average of 112, at the top of the batting lineup.
Mushfiqur Rahim has done his bit thus far, scoring 153 runs at 76.50. It’s time for the rest of the batters to step up. In bowling, Shahidul Islam and Shafiul Islam are the leading wicket-takers with five scalps. Robbie Frylinck and Mohammad Amir have been reasonable, getting four wickets each.
Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Saif Hassan, Rilee Rossouw, Mushfiqur Rahim (C & WK), Shamsur Rahman, Robbie Frylinck, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Shahidul Islam, Mohammad Amir, Robiul Haque, Shafiul Islam
The Royals’ batting needs to go up a notch as well. Shoaib Malik scored 87 in the last game and is in a positive frame of mind. He is also the Royals’ leading run-scorer with 139 runs. Liton Das isn’t in the poorest of nicks either, scoring 102 runs at an average of 51, top-scoring with an unbeaten 44.
Andre Russell, interestingly, has gotten only six balls to face in the tournament thus far. Bopara’s role , both with the bat and ball, will be key. Bopara is the Royals’ leading wicket-taker with Alok Kapali. Both have four wickets each. Russell and the experienced Reza have three wickets each.
Liton Das (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Afif Hossain Dhrubo, Shoaib Malik, Ravi Bopara, Andre Russell (C), Alok Kapali, Farhad Reza, Taijul Islam, Abu Jayed Rahi, Kamrul Islam
Probable Top Performers
Rilee Rossouw– Khulna Tigers |Andre Russell– Rajshahi Royals
Online– Youtube (Rabbitholebd)
Match Timings – 18:00 PM IST, and 18:30 PM local time
The prediction is for to the team, batting second win the match.
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