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|M Junaid Siddique||20||15||2||1||133.33|
|Mahidul Islam Bhuiyan Ankon||4||4||0||0||100.00|
Khulna Titans lost their third game in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League, this time to Rajshahi Kings, and are languishing at the bottom of the table. Rajshahi Kings, after losing the first match to Dhaka Dynamites by a considerable margin, finally bounced back to find themselves back in contention with four teams having two points each. Khulna Titans are the only team in the competition which is yet to get off the mark and a loss in their next will only increase the prospects of their early elimination. They'll be up against Chittagong Vikings in their next game which is to be played at Dhaka on 12th January.
Chittagong Vikings' last match was an anomaly in the ongoing Big Bash League considering that it was the first match that went right down the wire. Vikings had a fate similar to what Titans had in their opening match.
After being perfectly on course in the chase, Vikings' batsmen played a couple of reckless shots too many and found themselves in a hole they could never get out from. Sikandar Raza and Robbie Frylicnk tried hard to get them closer to the total, but they eventually fell short by 6 runs.
Despite the loss, the Vikings shouldn't really be too concerned. Robbie Frylink has been in excellent form having picked seven wickets in two matches. Additionally, his form with the ball has reflected on his batting as well. Cameron Delport, Mohammad Ashraful, and Sikandar Raza looked good in the last game, and with Mushfiqur Rahim available in the mix, they have a settled batting lineup.
Their bowlers, too, have done well in the two games so far. They dismissed powerful batting lineup of Rangpur Riders for a paltry total in the opening game and followed it up with a decent performance against the Sixers. Overall, the Vikings are a well-balanced team, at least on paper, and if they play to their potential, they will be a very difficult side to defeat in this tournament.
M Shahzad, C Delport, Mosaddek Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim, Yasir Ali, Sikandar Raza, Robbie Frylinck, Khaled Ahmed, Nayeem Hasan, Sunzamul Islam, Abu Jayed.
Khulna Titans' struggles with the bat do not seem to end as they finished with yet another subpar score which was chased pretty easily by the Kings. Prior to their last game, they were demolished by Dhaka Dynamites as they failed to put even a hundred runs on the board.
In their opening match, their middle-over woes were apparent as they failed to overhaul the target despite being in a position to dictate terms midway through their chase. It was a similar kind of story in their last match as their middle order failed to build onto the start provided by their openers.
In the competition so far, it's been Paul Stirling and Junaid Siddique who have even looked good for them. Stirling scored a valiant fifty in their opening match but has been pretty ordinary since then. Siddique, on the other hand, has had starts in all the three games and has failed to convert any of those every single time. Dawid Malan joined them back in the last match and played a cameo of 22, but he, too, succumbed to pressure with wickets falling around him.
The Titans have a battery of spin bowlers, but lack experience which has been a telling factor up until now. Having said that, their bowling couldn't really have done much in their last match with such a low total to defend. All in all, Khulna Titans are desperately seeking for some inspiration in their batting lineup and the likes of Mahmudullah and Dawid Malan would need to step up for Titans to get back on the BPL board.
PR Stirling, M Junaid Siddique, Mahmudullah, Dawid Malan, Nazmul Hossain, Mahidul Islam Bhuiyan Ankon, Ariful Haque, Carlos Brathwaite, Taijul Islam, Shariful Islam, Junaid Khan.
It's an important game for Khulna Titans. They are struggling with poor net run rate and with some tough games coming ahead, they'd like to get the ball rolling as early as possible. Chittagong Vikings have done well so far in the tournament having scored one win in two matches. The Vikings have a settled batting unit with an excellent amalgamation of youth and experience. With Robbie Frylinck coming in at number seven, they bat deep which can be a game-changing factor in crunch contests. Considering the aforementioned factors, we think that the Vikings will topple the Titans in the upcoming contest to join Dynamites and Riders at the top of the table.
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