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|Shakib Al Hasan||4.0||0||11||0||2.75|
|Shakib Al Hasan||0||1||0||0||0.00|
45 matches and 30 days - that's how long it took us to get the top-four for the 2019 edition of the Bangladesh Premier League. The tournament couldn't have been more intense for the Dhaka fans. They finally posted a win when it mattered after a series of losses in the second half of the tournament. They'll be looking to the momentum into the first eliminator of the competition as they take on Chittagong Vikings on 4th February. Chittagong Vikings, on the other hand, have had a rather mixed tournament. They've been very unpredictable - often winning from hopeless situations and losing from where they should have won. Bangladesh Premier League picked up pace after a rather humdrum start and we expect the knockouts to begin on a super-exciting note with the Dynamites taking on the Vikings.
At one point in the tournament, Chittagong Vikings were looking top-contenders for the top-two spots, but a poor run their last few matches pushed them to the third spot. They lost to spirited Sylhet Sixers in their last round-robin match and consequently finished third on the ladder with 14 wins in the tournament. They are the only team in the top four to have a negative net run rate and thanks to that, even a win against Sixers wouldn't have been sufficient to take them to the top-two.
As has been the case in the whole of the tournament, Chittagong Vikings looked heavily dependent on the pair of Mossadek Hossain and Mushfiqur Rahim after their openers failed to get them off to a decent start against the Sixers. Chasing a total of 166, the Vikings were two down inside the first two overs and although the third wicket partnership between Yasir Ali and Mishfiqur Rahim revived their chase, the pace of scoring proved to be too slow. The partnership between Mossadek Hossain and Mushfiqur Rahim brought them back on track, but once they perished, Chittagong Vikings didn't stand much of a chance, especially with no Robbie Frylinck to bail them out.
Unlike their batting, which although was inconsistent and depended heavily on a couple of players, still did well in the league stage, they didn't really have a top-performer in the bowling department. Barring Nayeem Hasan and Abu Jayed, most of their bowlers failed to either contain or pick wickets as they ended up conceding more than par scores more often than not. It was a similar sort of story against Sixers where despite an excellent spell by Hardus Viljoen, who picked four wickets, the Vikings failed to restrict Sylhet Sixers to an under par score. Viljoen clearly lacked support from the other end which is so often very crucial to put pressure on the batsmen.
All in all, despite dependence on a few players, the Vikings have done pretty well in the tournament. Mushfiqur Rahim and been brilliant and is one of the leading run scorers. On top of that, they've beaten Dynamites twice in two matches during the round-robin stage which should boost their morale ahead of the big encounter on Monday.
C Delport, Yasir Ali, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mosaddek Hossain, Dasun Shanaka, Hardus Viljoen, Robbie Frylinck, Nayeem Hasan, Shadman Islam, Abu Jayed, Khaled Ahmed.
Dhaka's win in their final league game, against Khulna Titans, would have provided them with a huge relief especially after the slide they were coming from. The Dynamites had a sensational start to the tournament and at the halfway mark, their qualification for the playoffs looked nothing but certain. However, as luck would have it, their batting stopped clicking and found themselves sliding down the hole and staring at a possible elimination tournament. The win against Titans pushed them into the knockouts where they'll be looking to get into the groove they once were in.
The opening pair of Hazratullah Zazai and Sunil Narine got Dynamites off to a terrific start in the tournament, but soon the former lost his touch and Dynamites started struggling. Variety of combinations were tried at the top of the order, but nothing seemed to be working until their last game. Upul Tharanga smashed a vital 42 while chasing a modest total of 124 which got Dynamites their sixth win of the season. The Dynamites will be looking up to the opening pair of Tharanga and Narine to get them off to a flying start once again.
Overall in the tournament, the Dynamites have been bowling decently. Shakib Al Hasan stands second on the list of highest wicket-taker in the competition and he will be the biggest threat for the Vikings - with both bat and the ball. Their pace bowling looks pretty settled with Andre Russell and Rubel Hussain at their disposal. Over the course of the last few games, they desperately needed a win to get back on track. Their win again Khulna Titans should boost their morale and they'll be hoping to get into the mood they were at the beginning of the tournament.
WU Tharanga, SP Narine, Shakib Al Hasan, Nurul Hasan, Kieron Pollard, R Talukdar, Andre Russell, Shuvagata Hom, Mahmudul Hasan, Qazi Onik, Rubel Hossain.
Both the teams have had a contrasting sort of tournament. While Dhaka Dynamites garnered most of their points in the first half of the tournament, Chittagong Vikings peaked during the middle part. They both appeared to be losing steam towards the back-end of the competition. Chittagong Vikings are coming off a loss in their previous match where their bowling vulnerabilities were highlighted before their over-reliance on Rahim and Mossadek. Dhaka Dynamites, on the contrary, will be pumped by their win over Khulna Titans and with an experienced core, we think that they're better placed to emerge on top in the upcoming eliminator fixture.
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