About the Match
Khulna Titans carried on with their winning spree, defeating Rajshahi Kings by 2 wickets recently; they are placed third on the table with 9 points and will take on 5th place holders Rangpur Riders on 24th November at Chittagong. The Riders have 6 points in their kitty after their recent victory against Dhaka Dynamites by a close margin of 3 runs. Both teams are facing other for the first time this season, and they will be eager to outwit the other with their strong resources. It needs to be see which side will come out with flying colours on Friday.
Chasing 167 against Kings, captain and all-rounder batsman Mahmudullah scored 56 off 44 to lead the team to another victory. Although Rilee Rossouw was the only other top-order batsman to contribute with the bat with 20 runs, Ariful Haque in the lower order came out with a quick fire 43 off just 19 balls to help them win the match by 2 wickets. Earlier, fast-bowler Junaid Khan put up a stupendous act taking 4-27 while Abu Jayed and Carlos Brathwaite provided a breakthrough each to restrict Kings to 166.
Against Chittagong Vikings, it was Rilee Rossouw and Mahmudullah who posted 40+ runs each to steer the team towards the finish line while chasing 161 runs. Ariful Haque played a useful knock, scoring 34 off 24; earlier, the bowlers led by Abu Jayed’s 3-26, stifled the opponents to 160.
They have a deep batting line-up with players like Michael Klinger, Rossouw, Mahmuddulah, Haque and Brathwaite who can step up when needed to get the runs on board. They have a good variety of pace options, and can strategize well against Riders here to win again.
Batting first against Dhaka Dynamites, Chris Gayle started the innings on a blaze scoring 51 off 28; the in-form wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Mithun posted 22 runs. Others like McCullum, Ravi Bopara, Mortaza and Thisara Perera failed to build up the momentum and they could muster only 142 runs. However, the bowlers led by captain Mortaza put up a determined effort and provided regular breakthroughs to defend the total successfully and win the match in a thrilling finish by 3 runs. Spinner Sohag Gazi, speedsters Rubel Hossain, Mortaza and Perera took 2 wickets each while ace pacer Lasith Malinga also dismissed one opponent.
Against Sylhet Sixers too, the bowlers did well to defend 169 runs successfully thanks to economical spells by Sohag Gazi, Mortaza and Rubel Hossain, who also took a wicket each. Thisara Perera is a very useful all-rounder and contributed with a wicket apart from scoring 15 runs earlier. Gayle posted a well-made 50 while McCullum, Mithun and Bopara kept the scoreboard ticking with 33, 25 and 28 runs respectively.
The recent thumping victory against Dynamites has surely boosted their morale and they will leave no stone unturned to keep the winning momentum going.
The Titans and Riders have equally matched resources with bat and ball, and the contest could go down to the wire; however, we feel that Gayle and company are in better batting form to come out all guns blazing and win the match on Friday