About the Match
The Vikings won their opening game against Victorians by a massive 29 runs and now they will take on Rangpur Riders in the 4th match of the season at Dhaka on 9th November. The Riders have a start studded squad with several big-hitters but they will have quite a challenge to face the in-form Vikings, who cruised to a big victory and have their morale boosted. The upcoming contest on Wednesday will surely see some good performances in all departments of the game; whichever team can keep a cool head above its shoulders under crunch situations could be victorious here.
The team has many T20 specialists like Shahid Afridi, the terrific all-rounder, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Shahzad, the exciting batsman from Afghanistan and local talents like Soumya Sarkar, Rubel Hossain, and Ziaur Rahman. The batting line-up will rely on these players to come out with the big shots and they will be eager to stabilize the innings from the top and the middle order.
The bowling unit has spinners Sohag Gazi, Elias Sunny, Arafat Sunny, Sachithra Senanayake and the match-winning skills of Afridi; Sri Lankan medium pacer Dasun Shanaka brings a lot of depth to the attack along with speedsters like Rubel Hossain, Muktar Ali, Richard Gleeson and Soumya Sarkar. They have a good mix of spin and pace, which can be used tactfully to contain the Vikings.
If players like Afridi, Shahzad, Sharjeel Khan and other all-rounders and build the foundation whether batting first or during the chase, then the Riders can definitely try to start their campaign with a win.
All-rounder Mohammad Nabi grabbed 4 wickets with his spin skills and gave away just 24 runs in his 4-over spell to stifle the Victorians in their chase for 162 runs. Put to bat first, Tamim Iqbal led from the front with his brilliant 54 off 38 that saw him hit 6 boundaries and couple of sixes. Shoaib Malik posted 42 from 28 while Anamul Haque and Jahurul Islam kept the scoreboard ticking to set a comfortable 161 runs on the board.
The bowlers combined well and gave good support to Nabi in containing the Victorians; Abdur Razzak, TS Mills, Smith and speedster Taskin Ahmed took a wicket each and helped win the match by 29 runs. The victory has surely given them a huge boost and they will be determined to continue with the winning momentum.
All-rounders like Nabi, Smith, and Shoaib Malik definitely give the edge to the team and with in-form batsmen, at the top-order, the Vikings can prove to be a tough nut to crack on Wednesday.
While the Vikings have a psychological advantage after scoring the big win against a tough side, the Riders have enough firepower to overcome the challenges with bat and ball here. The contest could well go down to the wire but we feel that the Vikings with their band of match-winners are better placed to get off to a winning start