Rajshahi Royals lost a solitary game to the Khulna Tigers in the BPL 2019-20. However, apart from that, Andre Russell and Co haven’t put a foot wrong, having won four out of their five matches in the T20 championship. The Royals also have a net run rate of +1.351, which can help them finishing in the top two. In their last match, the Royals beat Cumilla Warriors by seven wickets in Chattogram.
The teams are again set to lock horns, this time at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. It’s the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader. The Warriors, on the other hand, have found themselves in trouble. After winning their first three games, Dasun Shanaka and Co slumped to three losses on the trot. Being placed fifth on the points table, another defeat could make it tad tricky for them.
Pitch and Conditions
The first game at noon favoured the slow bowlers to a large extent. Run-making wasn’t all that easy and the spinners came into play big time. Hence, chasing can be a wise choice as the teams will have a target to work on a slow surface. The playing conditions will be on the hazy side with the temperature around the 23 degrees Celsius mark. The humidity will mostly be in the 40s and 50s.
The Warriors’ batting has been their main strength. Dawid Malan has shown imperious form, having scored 300 runs at an average of 75. He also scored his third T20 century this year in the last match. Bhanuka Rajapaksha notched an unbeaten 96, but has tended to be a bit on the inconsistent side.
Soumya Sarkar hasn’t scored big either. But he is the Warriors’ joint-highest wicket-taker with eight wickets. Mujeeb Ur Rahman has been the standout performer in the bowling unit. The spinner has eight wickets at an economy of 5.08. Al-Amin has seven wickets, but needs to work on his economy.
Bhanuka Rajapaksha, Dawid Malan, Sabbir Rahman, Soumya Sarkar, Dasun Shanaka (C), Yasir Ali Chowdhury, Mahidul Islam Ankon (wk), Robiul Islam Robi, Sumon Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain
Rajshahi’s batting has been compact, a reason why they have won all their matches while chasing. The move to open with Afif Hossain has paid dividends as he has 147 runs at an average of 36.75. The left-hander also got 76 versus the Warriors and it will keep them in a positive frame of mind.
Shoaib Malik faltered in the previous match, but is in good enough form. Andre Russell and Ravi Bopara have chipped in as well. Bopara and skipper Russell are also two of the Royals’ top bowlers with seven and nine wickets respectively. The rest of the bowling unit has looked a tad rusty.
Liton Das (wk), Afif Hossain Dhrubo, Shoaib Malik, Ravi Bopara, Andre Russell (C), Nahidul Islam, Alok Kapali, Farhad Reza, Abu Jayed Rahi, Mohammad Irfan, Kamrul Islam Rabbi
Probable Top Performers
Mujeeb Ur Rahman– Cumilla Warriors |Afif Hossain Dhrubo– Rajshahi Royals
Match Timings – 01:00 PM IST, and 01:30 PM local time
The prediction is for the team, batting second to win the match.
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