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After bossing most of the Bangladesh Premier League, the Chittagong Vikings are losing momentum at an important stage in the inning. They have lost their last two matches including one against the Rajshahi Kings, a side that the Chittagong Vikings would have been confident of getting past.
The Chittagong Vikings are all but sure of qualifying for the BPL Playoffs and are still at the top of the table. They are going to be taking on the Comilla Victorians in this game, one of the sides that has been very impressive and is capable of winning the Bangladesh Premier League as well.
The Comilla Victorians are going to be playing against the Khulna Titans the day before taking on the Chittagong Vikings and so may already be top of the table by the time this next match gets underway.
The loss of Robbie Frylinck came back to haunt the Chittagong Vikings in their last game as they failed to chase down 12 runs in the last over. It was a situation from which Frylinck had rescued the side on multiple occasions this season and Sikandar Raza was unable to finish off the game in his absence.
One of the problems for the Chittagong Vikings has been its bowling. The pitch in Chittagong has been very good for batting and has exposed the gaps in the Chittagong Vikings bowling. The team has been able to win matches so far by being a batting powerhouse. Now that it has lost its finisher and the bowling is being put under pressure, winning matches has not been as easy as it once was.
The Chittagong Vikings are not going to have an easy time against the Comilla Victorians. Not only are they going to be up against a batting lineup that can match them blow for blow but the bowling unit of the Comilla Victorians is also very difficult to score against.
Mohammad Shahzad provided the Chittagong Vikings with a flyer in the last match and looked in good touch. He opened the batting with Cameron Delport and they are a very strong opening combination. With an in-form Yasir Ali, Mushfiqur Rahim, and Sikandar Raza to follow, the Chittagong Vikings are a very strong batting side.
We really like Sikandar Raza as a player and think he has a lot to offer this side. He comes in too low to be the top-scorer consistently but could be the ballast in the middle to provide balance to the side.
The real challenge is going to be for the bowlers to limit the Comilla Victorians batsmen. Abu Jayed, Khaled Ahmed, and the rest had a very bad day in their previous match and will have to come up with some new plans quick.
M Shahzad, C Delport, Shadman Islam, Mushfiqur Rahim, Yasir Ali, Mosaddek Hossain, Sikandar Raza, N Zadran, Nayeem Hasan, Khaled Ahmed, Abu Jayed.
The Comilla Victorians were one of the sides that we liked at the beginning of the Bangladesh Premier League and they have been pretty consistent through this season. A few stutters here and there have not derailed the side that seems to have quality in all departments.
We love the fact that they have both Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes in their side. Both of these two batsmen have been scoring runs for Bangladesh very consistently in the last couple of years. In fact, Kayes has discovered a whole new gear to his style of play and is a better player in our opinion.
With Anamul Haque and Shamsur Rahman in the top-4, the Comilla Victorians are basing their batting on the cream of the Bangladeshi crop right now. This allows them to play some quality all-rounders that provide power down the order and plenty of bowling options.
We are talking about Thisara Perera, Shahid Afridi, and Liam Dawson. All three of the players can bat and ball reliably which is a huge asset to have.
With Mohammad Saifuddin, Wahab Riaz, and Mahedi Hasan in the side as front line bowlers, the Comilla Victorians are not short of quality here either.
We think Shahid Afridi and Thisara Perera are going to play a very important role in the end stages of the BPL. Afridi has been bowling brilliantly and does not seem to have tapered off at all after retirement. In fact, he is also batting with more freedom, something which did not seem possible during his time as an international player!
Tamim Iqbal, Evin Lewis, Anamul Haque, Imrul Kayes, Shamsur Rahman, Thisara Perera, SMSK Afridi, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mahedi Hasan, Wahab Riaz, Abu Hider.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to bat first
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The Bangladesh Premier League match between the Chittagong Vikings and the Comilla Victorians is going to be played at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chattogram. The pitches being offered at the ground have been very good for batting so far. The weather is expected to be sunny and dry so there are no interruptions expected.
We think another high scoring match between two strong batting sides is likely in this contest as well.
The Chittagong Vikings have been in very good form this season of the BPL. The last time they played against the Comilla Victorians, the Chittagong Vikings won a close encounter by 4 wickets. Their recent form, though, has been a bit sketchy and they have lost their last two games.
The Comilla Victorians are going to be playing back to back games and that is not easy in Bangladeshi weather conditions. Still, the side seems to have enough talent and power in its ranks to overcome the Chittagong Vikings.
Back the Comilla Victorians to win.
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