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|Minhajul Abedin Afridi||2.3||0||8||1||3.20|
|AB de Villiers||34||22||4||2||154.55|
The Comilla Victorians moved to the top of the Bangladesh Premier League standings with a heart-stopping win against the Dhaka Dynamites. Not only did the win help put the Comilla Victorians two points clear of every other team, but it also means that the Dhaka Dynamites have to win their last game to make the BPL playoffs.
The Comilla Victorians are going to play their last group match against the Rangpur Riders who are second on the league table. If the Rangpur Riders are able to win this last match then they will finish top of the BPL League table. A loss will leave an opportunity for the Chittagong Vikings to overtake the Rangpur Riders and push them down to third place.
Since finishing in the first two affords an extra opportunity to make the final, you can expect both teams to fight till the very end.
The Comilla Victorians have hit an excellent run of form just ahead of the playoffs and that makes them formidable opponents for any side. It will take something spectacular from them and the Chittagong Vikings for the Comilla Victorians to finish out of the top-2.
Moving back to the Shere Bangla Stadium meant that the batting conditions went from being easy to difficult once again. It was no surprise to see the Comilla Victorians being able to get just 127 runs on the board.
That total was only possible through a quick inning from Tamim Iqbal at the top of the inning and a cameo from Mahedi Hasan down the order. Evin Lewis, ANamul Haque, and Imrul Kayes, all did not contribute much in the last game.
We think it is essential that the batsmen recalibrate the totals they are aiming for at the Shere Bangla Stadium. The pitch has been slow and batsmen are not able to hit through the line. Keeping players like Shahid Afridi and Thisara Perera down the order also may not make too much sense.
These are clean hitters of the ball that will be more effective against the new ball.
The Comilla Victorians may want to take inspiration from the performance Shahid Afridi put in the final a couple of years back while being promoted to open the batting.
The bowlers are going to be full of confidence after defending a small total against Dhaka Dynamites in the last match. Mohammad Saifuddin took four wickets, Mahedi Hasan took two wickets, and everyone else was economical.
Shahid Afridi was used towards the end of the inning, an interesting move which paid off big time. The Comilla Victorians are a flexible side and are going to adapt back to the realities of the Dhaka surface very quickly.
Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Shamsur Rahman, Imrul Kayes, LA Dawson, Thisara Perera, Ziaur Rahman, Abu Hider, Waqar Salamkheil, Sanjit Saha, Wahab Riaz.
The Rangpur Riders have been boosted by the introduction of AB de Villiers into their lineup. He has immediately hit form and smashed a century off just 50 balls in the last few days. Rilee Rossow and Alex Hales have also been in tremendous form giving the Rangpur Riders one of the most dangerous batting lineups in the competition.
The move back to Dhaka is going to test the Rangpur Riders, though. Can Rossow, Hales, de Villiers, and Gayle continue to smash sixes at on a much slower surface? We think AB de Villiers certainly has the talent and the experience to make the shift but are not so sure about the others.
Chris Gayle has shown patches of good form but is playing at this point more for what people have seen him do rather than he is doing right now. Mohammad Mithun may also have a bigger role to play as the playoffs approach.
If we were to bet on the top scorer in this match from the Rangpur Riders side, we would pick AB de Villiers and Rilee Rossow to bet on.
Mashrafe Mortaza, Nazmul Islam, and Farhad Reza are the bowlers who have led the Rangpur Riders bowling attack. Reza has been in the wickets very consistently over the last few matches while the others have also bowled well.
The bowling appears a little thin to us and could be put under pressure if they do not have a very large total to work with. The heavy lifting in setting up winning positions will have to be done by the batsmen only.
Chris Gayle, Rilee Rossouw, Mohammad Mithun, AB de Villiers, RS Bopara, Mehedi Maruf, Nahidul Islam, Farhad Reza, Mashrafe Mortaza, Shahidul Islam, Minhajul Abedin Afridi.
The team winning the toss is likely to want to bat first
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The Bangladesh Premier League 2019 match between the Comilla Victorians and the Rangpur Riders is going to be played at the Shere Bangla Stadium, Dhaka. The weather forecast for Dhaka is pretty good and we should have an uninterrupted match play out.
The pitch at this venue has been slow since the start of the tournament and the evidence of the last few matches suggests that not much has changed over the short break in matches. The spinners are going to reign supreme and making the most of the powerplay with the new ball is going to be key.
These are easily two of the best sides in the tournament and their position in the BPL league table proves that. The contest between them is going to be curtain raiser of what we might end up seeing in the Qualifier or even the final.
The Comilla Victorians seem to have a better side to be able to adjust to the conditions and could upset the strong batting unit of the Rangpur Riders.
Back the Comilla Victorians to win.
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