About the Match
It is fast getting to that stage in the tournament where every match will have an added consequence as the teams try and lock up their places for the knockouts. The two teams playing this match are not yet out of the tournament but they need to get their act together fast. The Rajshahi Kings looked to have been on the upward swing but stuttered once again in their last match, while the Chittagong Vikings would also be bitterly disappointed to have lost their last game against Dhaka after having been in a strong position.
An excellent batting performance by the Chittagong Vikings in their last match saw them put up 187 against the Dhaka Dynamites. It was a score that had not been chased down up until then in the tournament but a phenomenal batting performance by Evin Lewis aided by some truly bad bowling saw the Vikings crash to their 6th
defeat from 8 completed matches.
There were some positives and some players that continued to disappoint for the Vikings.
Ronchi scored a powerful 59 while Anamul Haque top-scored with 73 runs from just 47 deliveries. These two players have been having an excellent tournament and they laid down the foundation of a string total before Sikandar Raza put the ribbon on the total with 26 runs from just 11 deliveries.
With Soumya Sarkar having a horror tournament up at the top, the Vikings should really look to push Sikandar Raza up the order and have him play as many deliveries as possible to try and make use of his excellent form.
The bowling for the Vikings saw them lose a tight match in their previous outing and it once again let them down in this match. Rayad Emrit from the West Indies was the only bowler to go for less than 9 runs an over.
Sunzamul Islam went for 26 in the only over he bowled, Taskin went for 35 off his 3.5 overs, and no bowler took more than one wicket.
The Vikings have been coming close to winning matches but falling short because of their bowling. A relatively weaker batting lineup of the Rajshahi Kings could give them some hope to do better.
On paper, the bowling lineup of the Rajshahi Kings is not the kinds that would give away 213 runs in just 20 overs. That is exactly what happened though against the Khulna Titans as Mohammad Sami, Mustafizur Rahaman, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Kesrick Williams, and James Franklin all failed to make much impact.
To be fair to Mohammad Sami, his figures of 22 for 1 from 4 overs look brilliant in comparison to the others but even he would have wanted to take more than one wicket.
This is an all international attack that should be able to perform better under pressure but they are currently lacking the kind of form that transforms an average team into a winning one.
The batting was always going to have a tough time chasing down this total and they fell short by quite a distance. This was not unexpected as the Rajshahi Kings have been struggling for runs all throughout.
Luke Wright at the top of the order has a huge responsibility of setting up the inning with Mominul Haque but both of them are having a very average tournament. Rony Talukdar was brought into the side in order to try and strengthen the batting and his 36 from 23 balls should help him get a longer run for the time being.
Skipper Darren Sammy who has been belligerent with the bat in a few innings but inconsistent as a whole, Mushfiqur Rahim who lacks the power to bat deep in T20 cricket, and James Franklin whose batting has deteriorated alarmingly all need to step up and provide the kind of support international players are expected to.
The strength of this team is definitely its bowling but on the flat batting pitch of Chittagong, their batting also needs to fire for them to be competitive.
Pitch and Conditions
The weather is expected to be cloudy but clear during the match day and we should see a full T20 game be played out. As far as the pitch, there can be no complaints from the batsmen as every team that has played here has scored plenty of runs. The Vikings with their stronger batting lineup are definitely more suited to the conditions here.
The Rajshahi Kings have beaten the Chittagong Vikings two out of the last three times these two teams have met including the two most recent encounters, however, we feel they are up against it this time around.
Back the Chittagong Vikings to win