About the Match
The bottom-placed team of the league so far, Chittagong Vikings, will be taking on the fast sinking Sylhet Sixers. These are two teams that are struggling for form at the moment and may think that their best chance of victory is against one another. Which one of these two flawed entities will come out on top and maybe spark some semblance of resurgence?
Just one win out of their six matches so far, which includes one washout, is a fair indication of the chaos prevailing in the Vikings camp. They made some baffling moves during the draft by letting some of their best players go and then refusing to pay money for replacements so these results are not entirely unexpected.
Their last game against the Khulna Titans went down to the wire but the Chittagong Vikings are not in the kind of form that lets them win those crunch moments.
The standout batsman for the Vikings has been Luke Ronchi with 154 runs from five innings. He has the most runs amongst the team, the maximum sixes, maximum fours, highest individual score, highest strike rate, and the joint highest fifty scores for the team.
Get him out early and you expose a deep chasm in the batting lineup. Soumya Sarkar was supposed to replace Tamim as the icon player for this side but his returns have been poor with the bat and add more weight to the belief that he flatters to deceive more often than not.
An excellent inning of 62 in the last match by Anamul Haque will give rise to some hope of support for Ronchi. Some changes in the eleven meant that Najibullah Zadran, Sikandar Raza, Stiaan van Zyl, and Chris Jordan made up the lower batting order.
We think this selection was more or less in line with what was needed and provided some teeth in the bowling department as well.
Jordan has yet to take a wicket in his two games but he should be persisted with as he is a world-class bowler at the death, Taskin Ahmed, Sunzamul Islam, Al-Amin, and Sikandar Raza have all threatened in parts but not come together as a bowling unit often enough.
The newest team of the Bangladesh Premier League started off their tournament in fairytale style. Three wins out of three and people were already counting them in as a done deal for the knockouts. The next five matches have not quite panned out that way, though, as they have recorded four defeats and been involved in a washed out game.
They are currently in the fourth spot on the league table but the Rangpur Riders are just one point behind them with two matches in hand.
A win here for the Sylhet Sixers is crucial to their chances of going further than the qualifying stages.
The Sixers left out Upul Tharanga from the last game as Babar Azam made his entry into the tournament, perplexing decision. Tharanga has scored over 200 runs in the BPL this year and it was his partnership with Fletcher at the top that was instrumental to the Sylhet Sixers winning their first three matches.
Gunathilaka has played a few important matches but could have easily sat out the last match instead of Tharanga. If Upul Tharanga is not carrying an injury then we expect to see him back into the side immediately.
The biggest gain for the Sixers from the last match would be the sparkling form displayed by Nasir Hossain and Sabbir Rahman. They almost took the team to victory while chasing a stiff target eventually falling just seven runs short.
With Liam Plunkett, Tim Bresnan, Taijul Islam, Abul Hasan and a number of other players to roll over the arm, we think that the Sylhet Sixers are close to finding their best combination.
Pitch and Conditions
The weather is expected to be clear and sunny throughout the day and so we should be looking at getting the full 40 overs in without any trouble. The pitch will have been used for a couple of matches before this one and so we should have a clearer idea of what to expect but the initial indications are for a flat batting deck which should favor the batsmen.
Sylhet Sixers to wi