About the Match
Comilla Victorians defeated Dhaka Dynamites in the last game to yet again take the lead on the table with 14 points in their kitty; they will go up against Rangpur Riders, who are placed 4th with 10 points, on 2nd December at Dhaka. The Riders also come here at the back of a win, defeating Sylhet Sixers by 4 wickets recently; both teams will be eager to continue with their winning momentum. When these two sides met previously, Comilla Victorians had emerged victorious by 14 runs, and will try to repeat the winning show again on Saturday. It needs to be seen if the Riders can avenge their previous defeat and take their campaign ahead with another win.
Openers Tamim Iqbal and Liton Das posted a 60-run stand batting first against Dynamites; while the captain scored 37 runs, Das contributed with 34 and they are in good form to set up a solid foundation. Marlon Samuels top-scored with 39 off 27 while Imrul Kayes kept the scoreboard ticking with 26 runs. They took the total to 167, and then the bowlers led by Dwayne Bravo’s 3-31 defended the score to win the match by 12 runs. Mohammad Saifuddin and Shoaib Malik took 3 wickets between them and add depth to the attack.
Against Riders previously, the batsmen could muster only 153 runs batting first but it was the spin combination of Rashid Khan and Mehedi Hasan that brought down the opposition and led to a victory by 14 runs. Fast-bowlers Al-Amin Hossain and Hasan Ali also pitched in with a wicket each, and restricted Riders to 139. Earlier, Marlon Samuels and Imrul Kayes did well to score 40+ runs each but others like Jos Buttler, Liton Das and Shoaib Malik failed to fire.
They have a strong bowling unit with a balanced pace and spin combination, which can stifle the Riders yet again on Saturday.
They comfortably chased down a target of 174 runs against Sylhet Sixers thanks to a good show by Ziaur Rahman, Brendon McCullum and Ravi Bopara. McCullum top-scored with 43 while the other two scored 30+ runs each to get to the finish line on time. Spinner Nazmul Islam was the most successful with the ball, claiming 3-18 in 4 overs; captain Mashrafe Mortaza got the first breakthrough in the 19th over. They also have experienced bowlers like Malinga, Shenwari and Rubel Hossain, who can deliver the goods.
Against Victorians, Mortaza and Perera took 2 wickets each to restrict the opponents to 153; however, the batting line-up failed to steady the innings and despite a good performance by wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Mithun and all-rounder Ravi Bopara, they fell short of the target by 14 runs.
The Riders have had a mixed run so far but are constantly improving their performance as seen in recent matches. If batsmen like Gayle and McCullum come out all guns blazing, they might just cause an upset here.
The Victorians are a well-rounded team with a hard-hitting top-order and result-oriented bowlers; they have the psychological advantage of having won earlier, but we feel that the Riders batsmen could make a comeback here to redeem themselves with a win.