RR vs ST: The Bangladesh Cricket Board has introduced uncanny changes for the Bangladesh Premier League 2019 & after a 5-day halt the tournament has now commenced. The Board had set in motion rules like “all squads must have an overseas quick who bowls above 140kmph and a legspinner, who has to bowl four overs in each game”. The changes did draw controversies but the league after receiving a lot of flak has by some means begun.
The tournament’s opener saw the Chattogram Challengers beat the Sylhet Thunders comfortably by 5 wickets. Mohammad Mithun’s 84 off 48 deliveries wasn’t enough for the Thunder as they failed to contain a sturdy onslaught from Chadwick Walton(49*) & Imrul Kayes(61). As far as the Thunder’s BPL history is concerned, they’ve managed to make it to the playoffs only once & they also have the lowest winning percentage among all teams – 40.35%. Mosaddek Hossain will lead the Thunders this year & he’ll need the youngsters in his squad to come out all guns blazing.
On the other hand, the Rajshahi unit had a Royal beginning. They beat the Dhaka Platoon by 9 wickets & with 10 deliveries to spare. Hazratullah Zazai batted with a lot of maturity. The left-handed marauder curbed his natural instincts, scored an unbeaten 47-ball 56 & saw his team through. Shoaib Malik & the free-flowing Liton Das also had impressive outings.
The Royals take on the Thunder in the 5th league game of the BPL & this for an all-important two points.
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When: 13th December 2019, Friday
Where: Shere Bangla Nation Stadium, Dhaka
Kick-Off Time: 1:30 PM, IST
The Rajshahi Royals have played the Sylhet Thunder 4 times in the BPL & both teams have managed 2 wins each. The last time these two teams battled it out in the middle, Rajshahi chased down 190 in 18 overs. Laurie Evans & Ryan Ten Doeschate the match winners for the Royals on that occasion.
FANTASY PICKS FOR THIS FIXTURE: RR vs ST
Andre Dwayne Russell needs no introduction & when he features in a T20 fixture he’s got to be the favourite to lead your fantasy cricket team. In 31 BPL games, Russell averages 30.94 & strikes at 159.9. His highest score in the league is a mere 46*. Very unlike Russell. This season though, he’ll be available for the entire league & is certain to create a difference. Russell’s ball-striking ability is the best in the world bar none. A testament to it, is his balls/boundary ratio(in BPL). Russell strikes a boundary every 4.3 deliveries & clears the ropes every 6.8 balls.
Russell’s strike-rate in the recently concluded Abu Dhabi T10 League was a high 185.22. Not bad for a bloke who also has the ability to hurl deliveries at 150 kmph. Watch out for this superstar.
On one end of the spectrum you have the fiery Andre Russell & on the other, the icy cool Shoaib Malik. The Pakistani all-rounder is the 4th highest run-getter(9176 runs) in franchise cricket & has played leagues all over the world. Malik’s ability to chrun strike & accelerate when needed makes his a player to keep a keen eye on. The right-hander is also fresh from leading the Guyana Amazon Warriors to the CPL finals this year & was also the 6th highest run-scorer in the tournament. 317 runs @ 63.40.
Shoaib Malik has picked 2 5-wicket hauls in T20s. Food for thought?
The Sylhet Thunder were comprehensively beaten in their 1st fixture but Mithun’s knock was a massive plus. Mithun scored 84* off 48 deliveries – his highest in the T20 format. The wicket-keeper batter debilitated the bowling attack & will look to consolidate on a fine start to this year’s campaign. Mithun’s strike-rate against right arm tweakers is imposing. 131.6 against leg spinners & 128.7 against off-break. Mithun will fancy his chances against Minhajul Abedin Afridi who’s only played 3 T20s so far.
Mohammad Mithun(wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Shoaib Malik, Alok Kapali, Johnson Charles, Rony Talukdar, Ravi Bopara, Andre Russell(c), Abu Jayed, Ebadot Hossain, Nazmul Islam
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