About the Match
BPL 2017 is coming to an absolutely incredible end with unprecedented drama, rain delays, and matches being carried on to the next days. The Dhaka Dynamites will have waited with a lot of interest to see who their opponents will be for the finals after having defeated the Comilla Victorians comprehensively in the 1st
qualifier, and now they know that they will be up against the Rangpur Riders.
The final match of the tournament promises to be as exciting as the tournament has been with match winners on both sides in top-form.
A few tweaks to the team lineup of the Dhaka Dynamites paid huge dividends as they benefitted from contributions from multiple players and absolutely crushed the Comilla Victorians in the 1st
qualifier. Now, the defending champions have an opportunity to win successive titles but will need to plan for a rampaging Rangpur Riders team.
The mainstay of the batting for Dhaka this season has been Evin Lewis. He top-scored with 47 in the last match and will be looking to upstage Gayle, McCullum, and co. again. Kieron Pollard is also striking the ball very cleanly, Shakib Al Hasan has been winning games single-handedly with the bat and ball, while Shahid Afridi cannot be counted out in any match.
In fact, the bowling of Shahid Afridi and Sunil Narine on a spin-friendly Mirpur surface could be the decisive moment in this match. The Rangpur Riders boast many big hitters in their side but getting the better of these two and Shakib Al Hasan as the third spinner is not going to be easy.
There is no place where the Dhaka Dynamites are lacking at the moment but it could be Shakib Al Hasan’s captaincy that is X-factor that gives them that extra boost in this match. He is easily the boss of Bangladesh cricket and the BPL 2017 is his tournament to win. He has the talent and the motivation to ensure that Dhaka wins their second title in as many years.
The Rangpur Riders destroyed the Khulna Titans thanks to a brilliant inning from Chris Gayle and then went past the Comilla Victorians thanks to a pair of brilliant performances from Johnson Charles and Brendon McCullum.
Unfortunately for them though, there is a big question mark over the participation of Chris Gayle for this match as he turned his ankle and looked in quite some discomfort. If the big West Indian is missing and it looks increasingly likely like he will be then it puts additional pressure on Brendon McCullum and Johnson Charles.
Both these two players cleared the boundary easily in the last match with a combined 16 sixes coming from their bats. Repeating the same or even coming close to this against the world class spinners at Dhaka’s disposal is not going to be easy.
Ravi Bopara is an often underrated cricketer but we have a feeling that he could play a pivotal role in the final. He has extensive T20 experience of playing tournaments all over the world, plays spin very well, and also bowls the cutters that can be difficult to get away on a sluggish surface.
With a bowling lineup that is dependent on Rubel Hossain, Mashrafe Mortaza, and Sohag Gazi as the three frontline bowlers, the Rangpur Riders know that they need their batsmen to give them a cushion of an extra 20 runs in this match.
The Rangpur Riders will be in extremely high spirits coming into this match but their success borne out of individual brilliance is tough to replicate match after match. They will also have just over 16 hours to recuperate before they are back on the field and that could be a big factor as well.
The odds are definitely against the Rangpur Riders at the moment.
Pitch and Conditions
There were more runs scored in the Qualifiers than was expected after the poor pitches on offer in Mirpur during the group stages. With very little time to prepare the surface for the finals, we expect spin to dominate the proceedings once again.
We think the teams will be faced with a much slower surface where a total of 150 could be match-winning. The team that makes the best use of the new ball to score the runs is likely to come on top. We are predicting a low scoring thriller as the culmination to this tournament.
The last five matches between the two sides have seen Dhaka Dynamites win thrice to hold a slight advantage. In the two matches that they played this season, both teams won one each.
For the final, we are backing the superior spin bowling of the Dhaka Dynamites to come good and allow the defending champions to win once again.
Back the Dhaka Dynamites to win