About the Match
After an exciting round of group matches, the Bangladesh Premier League 2017 has reached its knockout stages. The Comilla Victorians had already locked in their position at the top of the table but they still registered a resounding win over the Sylhet Sixers to come into the Qualifier with a positive frame of mind. Their opponents, the Dhaka Dynamites, had to claw their way to victory against the Rangpur Riders and are now assured of an extra shot at making the final should they need it.
With 19 points to their name and nine wins from twelve matches, the Comilla Victorians have been head and shoulders above the rest of the teams. They had come into this tournament after an extensive revamp which saw them splurge on big-name purchases head of the tournament.
That strategy has clearly paid off and now they must believe that they can make the final push and win the BPL 2017.
The Comilla Victorians have a problem of plenty when it comes to their batting. Five of their batsmen have scored more than 200 runs and a sixth is just short with 194 runs to his name. This means that there is no question of sitting anyone from Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Shoaib Malik, Jos Buttler, Litton Das, and Marlon Samuels out.
This is the strongest batting unit on paper and considering the kind of pitches that Mirpur has thrown up, the most likely to be able to adapt to any conditions they might encounter.
Their bowling lineup is also quite good thanks to the presence of the Pakistani duo of Hasan Ali and Shoaib Malik. The Victorians would have loved to have had Rashid Kahn at their disposal but he is away on international duty. Al-Amin Hossain and Mohammad Saifuddin have been impressive with 11 and 15 wickets to their name respectively as well.
It is difficult to see a weakness in this Comilla Victorians team at the moment and they will be difficult for any opponent to beat.
The defending champions managed to win a very exciting game in their last league match and finish second on the league table. As the format is currently designed to reward the top two finishers with an additional shot at reaching the finals, this win could prove to be very important for Dhaka.
The star of their victory was the inspirational Shakib Al Hasan who top-scored with 47 runs and then bowled an immaculate spell of bowling to effectively beat the Rangpur Riders on his own. Shakib is known to go on sprees of good form and this performance augers very well for the Dhaka Dynamites.
The Dhaka Dynamites have also benefitted greatly from the form of Evin Lewis this season. The aggressive West Indian opener has 334 runs to his name with a total of 23 sixes coming from his bat as well.
With pitches that deteriorate quickly, taking advantage of the new ball is going to be crucial and that makes Evin Lewis very important for the Dhaka Dynamites.
A look at the bowling attack for Dhaka also illustrates just why they can never be counted out of any match. Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, and Mohammad Amir are all international bowlers of the highest quality while others like Abu Hider, Mossadek Hossain, and Keiron Pollard have also contributed in important situations.
Considering the talent at Dhaka’s disposal, a case can be said that they underperformed in the group stages but now that they are here and peaking at the right time, it would be foolhardy to write them off.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitches being prepared at Mirpur have come in for considerable criticism from players that are calling for flatter and truer decks that allow for better strokeplay. Unfortunately, that is not going to happen overnight and we are going to see more of the same low, slow, and turning tracks that we have seen so far.
The weather is expected to be dry on match day with a few clouds around. Looks like we will get a full, uninterrupted game in.
The previous five matches between the sides have seen the Comilla Victorians win three times to hold a slight advantage. The last two times in this tournament have been won by the Comilla Victorians.
This is easily the closest match on paper and we think the same might be repeated in the finals. For this match, though, we are backing the Dhaka Dynamites to win because of their superior bowling lineup.
Back the Dhaka Dynamites to win