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|M Junaid Siddique||14||14||1||1||100.00|
|Mohammad Zakir Hasan||7||12||1||0||58.33|
|RN ten Doeschate||13||13||0||1||100.00|
Just as the teams were settling into the groove at Shere Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka, the Bangladesh Premier League is all set to move to Sylhet for the second leg of the tournament. In the past couple of days, we have seen some of the closest encounters of the tournament including the super-over match between Khulna Titans and Chittagong Vikings.
Currently, the Titans are at the bottom of the table and are yet to get off the mark in the points table. They, along with Rajshahi Kings, will get the things rolling at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium, Sylhet as they lock horns on 15th January. Rajshahi Kings' recent win over Rangpur Riders added to more points to their kitty, but due to their poor net run rate, they are the fifth position will all other teams with four points having a net run rate better than them. Khulna Titans will be looking to start the second leg on a happy note to get back into the contention for the playoffs. Rajshahi Kings, on the other hand, did well in their last game and will be looking to move higher up the ladder. Looking at how close the recent matches have been in the competition, a thriller of a contest is certainly on the cards.
Not only have the Titans managed to lose on all four occasions, but they've also done so in a heart-breaking manner in almost each of their matches. In all of their matches, more often than not they've lost control of the match after getting into a position to dictate terms. It was a similar story in their last encounter as well, with Chittagong Vikings, which went down to the super over were they failed to garner two important points.
Put into bat by the Vikings, Khulna Titans managed to crawl to a total of 151 which was possible largely due to the 77-run third wicket stand between Dawid Malan and Mahmudullah Riyad. While the Titans' would have been relieved to finally see some runs coming from their middle order, yet another failure from their openers would be a matter of concern for them.
With Mahmudullah, Brathwaite, and Malan all getting dismissed in a space of eight deliveries, the Titans failed to finish with a flourish which was one of the factors contributing to their narrow loss.
They started off well in the defense of the total and stayed pretty much on the top of the proceedings for the most part until the final over of the match. Needing to defend 19 in the final over, it was Titans' match to lose. However, The decision to introduce Ariful Islam backfired as got hit for three sixes by Nayeem Hasan and Robbie Frylinck to tie the match. Titans' failure to chase a total of 11 runs in the super-over summed up the day for them as Chittagong Vikings grabbed two important points. Carlos Brathwaite and Shorfiul Islam each picked up two wickets for them and Junaid Khan Taijul Islam and Ariful Islam contributed with one wicket each.
Nazmul Hossain, M Junaid Siddique, Dawid Malan, Mahmudullah, Carlos Brathwaite, D Wiese, Ariful Haque, Jahurul Islam, Taijul Islam, Shariful Islam, Junaid Khan.
Rajshahi Kings came from behind to steal yet another win, this time from Comilla Victorians, to move one place higher in the points table. It was a wonderful display of death bowling from Kings' bowlers led by Muztafizur Rahman which helped Kings defend a reasonably low score.
After failing to put up a total they've liked to on the board, the way their bowlers came back in the second innings was commendable. They were put in to bat by the Riders and lost their skipper on zero on the second delivery of the second over. Important knocks from Mohammad Hafeez and Zakir Hasan revived them from a tricky situation, but they, too, failed to step on the gas pedal in the slog overs. They not only lost too many wickets towards the back-end of their innings but also failed to score quickly which resulted in their subpar score of 135.
Up until the seventeenth over, Rangpur Riders were cruising to overhaul the target. It was a difficult surface to score quickly and their bowlers made the task more so by bowling tight lines with excellent accuracy. Mohammad Hafeez played a vital role in the middle overs as the middle overs as he not bowled miserly, but also picked up important wickets of Ravi Bopara and Mohammad Mithun.
However, despite all the excellent effort from their bowlers in the middle overs, a win was an unlikely scenario until the last two overs. With 18 needed off two overs and Rossouw being well set, the Riders were favorites to get home. First, Isuru Udana bowled an excellent 19th over in which he picked up Nahidul Islam off the final delivery of the over. The wicket played a crucial role in the final outcome as Fizz tied down Farhad Reza, who came in to replace Islam, in the 20th over and kept Rossouw away from the strike. Needing seven off the last delivery, Rilee Rossouw failed to push the game into the super-over, as he miscued a full delivery from Rahman and Kings ended up fetching an unlikely five-run victory.
Mominul Haque, Mehidy Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Christiaan Jonker, Zakir Hasan, Laurie Evans, RN ten Doeschate, Isuru Udana, A Sunny, Kamrul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman.
The Titans' campaign in the tournament went from bad to worse with their hear-breaking loss in their last encounter which went right down to the super over. They're desperate for their first win and will be hoping for a change in their fortunes with the change in venue. Rajshahi Kings, on the other hand, have done incredibly well in their last two matches after getting off to a terrible start. In addition to being in excellent form, the Kings will take the confidence from the win they scored over the Titans not long ago. Rajshahi Kings have a balanced and experienced bowling attack which is likely to thrive on Sylhet's surface. Although their batting hasn't been at it's best, their bowling has covered for it more often than not and therefore we believe that the Kings are more likely to emerge on top in the upcoming encounter at Sylhet.
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