About the Match
The match between the Chittagong Vikings and the Comilla Victorians is an interesting match and will provide the first look at both the teams in this tournament. The Comilla Victorians have revamped their squad heavily and got in some big name overseas players that should help them avoid the debacle that was their last season while the Vikings have gone the exact opposite route and picked the least number of overseas players of all the teams.
As one of the teams that looked to have come out of the draft with no real big name players to its name, the Chittagong Vikings are going to have to prove their strategy was a well thought out one through the strength of its results.
The Vikings are also going to without Tamim Iqbal who moved to their opponents of this match before the start of the season. That loss, in particular, is going to be huge to overcome as Tamim was the highest scorer of the season last year and primarily responsible for carrying the Vikings to the knockouts.
The main batsman for them this year is going to Soumya Sarkar. The Bangladeshi international is seen as an underachiever on the big stage up until now although a few good performances in South Africa have given his supporters hope that he has turned a corner.
Sarkar will be hoping from some regular contributions with the bat from Luke Ronchi, Jermaine Blackwood, Misbah Ul Haque and Sikandar Raza.
The bowling for the Vikings will also be overhauled this year as they play this season without their highest wicket-taker from last year. There will be added responsibility on Taskin Ahmed and Subashis Roy, both of whom are talented enough to have made it into the national side.
With Misbah unsure to play as of now and the other international players lacking in star power somewhat, this tournament looks set to be an uphill battle for the Chittagong Vikings.
A lot is expected of a star-studded Comilla Victorians team for this year’s BPL. Tamim Iqbal, their marquee player, is out due to injury but there are still plenty of players to take his spot. Imrul Kayes, Liton Das, and Alok Kapali are all local players of undoubted talent.
Liton Das could be this year’s surprise package in our opinion and has the range of shots to ensure that the Victorians do not miss Tamim too much.
Their internal bench is also overflowing but the unavailability of Pakistani players for the first two weeks has hampered their plans somewhat. In Jos Buttler, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Mohammad Nabi, and Rashid Khan the Victorians have plenty of power, experience, and all-round skill to call upon.
No matter what the conditions that are thrown up, the Victorians have some world class players perfectly suited to take advantage.
The only concern for the Victorians would be the fact that some of their players like Dwayne Bravo and Liton Das are returning from injury and could be a little rusty. Jos Buttler has experience of playing in these conditions but his record in the subcontinent is nowhere near as impressive as on the hard, bouncier, wickets of England and Australia.
The real task for the team would be to gel together as a unit and find a common strategy that makes the best use of their resources. Too often in leagues like this, we see a team packed with stars but going nowhere because of a lack of effective leadership.
Pitch and Conditions
The weather is not expected to feature in the conversation in this match and should be pleasant with some humidity in the air.
Chasing seems to be the way to go in the BPL up until now with three of the first four matches being won by teams that batted second. The pitch has helped the spinners but allowed the batsmen plenty of scoring opportunities in the powerplay overs as well.
Run-scoring could get tougher in the death overs and so making use of the new ball will be crucial.
A score of 150 is par.
Comilla Victorians to win