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|Mahidul Islam Bhuiyan Ankon||11||9||0||1||122.22|
|Nazmul Hossain Milon||2||2||0||0||100.00|
|Mujib Ur Rahman||4.0||0||23||1||5.75|
The final phase of league fixtures at the 2019-20 Bangladesh Premier League sees out-of-form Sylhet Thunder take on play-off chasing Comilla Warriors, as the tournament returns to Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
Comilla Warriors go into the match in fifth place in the table, two points off the play-offs, and need a win to keep themselves firmly in contention for a top-four spot. It would see them complete a double over bottom-of-the-league Sylhet Thunder, having beaten them in a super over in their most recent match.
The Thunder have played twice more since then, but two more defeats – their ninth and tenth in 11 matches so far – means they have nothing but pride to play for in what will be their final match of this year’s tournament.
Afghan teenager Mujeeb Ur Rahman helped keep Comilla’s play-off hopes alive thanks to his superb bowling in their most recent game, also against Sylhet Thunder. The 18-year-old spinner took 4-12 from his four overs and then conceded just seven runs in the subsequent super over to claim the man-of-the-match award.
That Comilla had to face a super over at all, however, was indicative of why they are just outside the play-off places. They had Sylhet Thunder on the ropes at 33/5 and then 104/8 but poor bowling, misfields and dropped catches nearly proved very costly.
A last-ball run-out forced the tie, however, and Comilla took the points – they now have four victories in nine games and have won their last two in a row.
Upul Tharanga top-scored in a below-par total of 140/9 last time out, having stepped in for Dawid Malan when the England international returned home. With Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Dasun Shanaka now away with Sri Lanka too, Stiaan van Zyl and David Wiese have also come into the team of late.
Mujeeb tops the billing when it comes to their overseas stars, however – his 13 wickets in nine matches so far putting him two ahead of all-rounder and captain Soumya Sarkar. The Afghan twirlyman’s economy rate of just 4.91 runs per over is outstanding too.
Where they have struggled is with the bat – Sarkar has 246 runs but without Malan, Rajapaksa and Shanaka they are missing three of their five top run-scorers. If Tharanga and Van Zyl can fire at the top of the order, however, the Warriors can keep their play-off hopes alive.
WU Tharanga, Dawid Malan, Soumya Sarkar, Fardeen Hasan, Yasir Ali Choudhary, D Wiese, Mahidul Islam Bhuiyan Ankon, Abu Hider, Sunzamul Islam, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain.
A dismal BPL campaign just keeps getting worse for Sylhet Thunder. A record of one win in 11 matches is abysmal – there is no dressing that up – and they go into their final match of the season desperate to salvage a slither of pride.
Their bowlers have been too expensive in the two games they have played since they last faced Comilla – conceding 199/5 in a 38-run defeat to Rangpur Rangers and then 145/4 in just 15.1 overs as they lost to Rajshahi Royals by six wickets last time out.
Coupled with that, Sylhet have simply not scored enough runs. Their super-over defeat was reflective of that – they nearly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, but they were only chasing a vastly below-par 141 to win.
Some positives can be found in the resurgent batting form of Sherfane Rutherford – who has picked up wickets too – and Mohammad Mithun’s general run-scoring consistency. Overseas stars Andre Fletcher and Johnson Charles have not consistently delivered on expectations, however – despite both being revered as potentially explosive at the top of the order.
That is summed up by Fletcher’s batting record so far. He hit an unbeaten century early in the tournament against Khulna Tigers but he only has 130 runs from his other eight innings. Mosaddek Hossain’s recent absence also reduces their batting prowess.
Selection is hard to judge – they have used 19 players so far and only two – Mithun and Ebadot Hossain – have played every game. They could well finish with a strong line-up, however, as they look to claim just their second win of the tournament.
ADS Fletcher, Abdul Mazid, J Charles, Mohammad Mithun, BMAJ Mendis, S Gazi, Nazmul Hossain Milon, Delwar Hossain, Nazmul Islam, Nayeem Hasan, Ebadat Hossain.
Sylhet Thunder won the toss and elected to field when these teams last met, and teams generally choose to field first in Dhaka. After winning the toss in all three matches in the Sylhet phase of fixtures, the Thunder – by the law of averages – should lose this one. Comilla Warriors are likely to put the Thunder in first in that case.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
The fifth phase of league fixtures in the 2019-20 Bangladesh Premier League sees the tournament return to Dhaka for the third time. The Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium generally spins, but it also produces good batting wickets on the whole.
Comilla Warriors chased 160 to win in their most recent game in Dhaka, while Sylhet Thunder’s 133/9 in their last game of the third phase of fixtures was well below par.
While humidity will increase in the evening on Tuesday, conditions in Dhaka are otherwise forecast to be sunny throughout the day and leading into a clear night.
Comilla Warriors nearly threw away what should have been a comfortable victory when they last faced Sylhet Thunder – perhaps highlighting a lack of depth to this team beyond stars such as Mujeeb Ur Rahman. They have certainly been hit hard by the unavailability of three of their key overseas players. Nevertheless, Sylhet are in miserable form – they have lost ten from 11, including that super-over defeat, and it is hard to see them ending their dismal run in this game.
Bet on Comilla Warriors to win.
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