About the Match
Rangpur Riders suffered defeat against Dhaka Dynamites by 43 runs in the last league match but qualified for the knock-outs as they finished 4th with 12 points; they will take on third-place holders Khulna Titans for a place in the semi-finals, on 8th December in the Eliminator match at Dhaka. The Titans were leading the race till recently but finished with 15 points in their bag, just behind Dynamites and Victorians, and they will fight hard to keep their campaign going. The Riders on the other hand, have proved to be the underdog, and could cause an upset here if they come out al guns blazing. It surely will be a thrilling contest as both sides try to dominate each other on Friday to enter the next stage.
When they met Rangpur Riders recently, the batsmen had put up a dismal show as the middle-order collapsed while chasing 148 runs. Klinger top-scored with 44 runs while Nazmul Hossain and Archer tried to get the runs on board; however, with players like Mahmudullah and Nicholas Pooran getting out for single digits, they fell short of the target by 19 runs. Earlier, M Irfan and Brathwaite impressed with their pace skills, taking a wicket each while J Archer dismissed two opponents to restrict the Riders to 147.
They defeated Victorians by 14 runs in the last match after successfully defending 174; Nazmul Hossain and Michael Klinger posted a 55-run opening stand while Mahmudullah, Ariful Haque and Brathwaite kept the scoreboard ticking to build a solid total. The bowlers then struck hard as pacers Brathwaite, Mohammad Irfan and Benny Howell provided regular breakthroughs. Mahmudullah dismissed one opponent and they stifled Victorians to win the match.
The Titans are a strong team with plenty of all-rounders, who give them the edge over opponents and can strategize well to outwit Riders this time.
The Riders batsmen put up a disappointing performance while chasing a humble total of 138 runs against Dynamites as the top-order collapsed under pressure. Johnson Charles and Ravi Bopara fought hard to keep the runs flowing as they scored 20+ runs each; however, the bowlers’ good efforts went in vain as they lost the match by 43 runs in the end. Earlier, Nahidul Islam and Samuel Badree put up an economical spell with the ball and took a wicket each; Rubel Hossain and Ebadat Hossain took 2 wickets each to restrict the opponents to 137.
Chris Gayle and Mohammad Mithun did well against Titans previously, scoring 38 and 50 runs respectively to help their team post 147 batting first. The bowlers then successfully defended the total thanks to a stupendous 2-4 by Bopara, and contributions by Nahidul Islam, Nazmul Islam, Isuru Udana and Sohag Gazi, who took a wicket each.
The Riders have secured a place in the top four and will leave no stone unturned to keep their winning momentum. They have good resources with bat and ball, and have triumphed against Titans before.
Both teams are equally matched in terms of experience and young talent, and we could see a fiercely fought contest on Friday. However, Riders who have the psychological advantage of having defeated Titans earlier, seem better placed to emerge victorious here.