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|M Junaid Siddique||33||30||3||1||110.00|
Bangladesh Premier League started off on an interesting note with Chittagong Vikings upsetting the defending champions, Rangpur Riders, in a low-scoring close encounter. Considering the budget and the make-up of the Vikings, this win is being seen as surprising. Rangpur Riders are now placed third in the points table but will slide in the bottom half pretty quickly with another game coming up tomorrow. The Riders will be looking to set things straight when they meet Khulna Titans in the second of the two games on 6th January at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka. This will be the opening game for the Titans and having watched Riders go down the way they did in the opening match will certainly give a lot of confidence to Khulna Titans.
Although it hasn't been a lot of time since the Titans have debuted in Bangladesh Premier League, they've been one of the most consistent sides. They finished fourth last year under the leadership of Mahmudullah Riyad and made their way to the playoffs in the prior edition as well.
Understandably, the Titans have retained skipper Mahmudullah and alongside him, Ariful Haque, Carlos Brathwaite, and Nazmul Hossain Shanto have also been retained. Following some impressive performances in test cricket for Bangladesh, Taijul Islam was picked in the draft.
Lasith Malinga was their most expensive pick in the player's draft and with him being not available, Ali Khan and David Wiese will share the load of quick bowling. The Titans have one of the best spin attacks in the tournament with the likes of Zahir Khan, Taijul Islam, Yasir Shah, and the skipper himself. Their battery of spinners could be extremely useful on Dhaka's slow surface.
Khulna Titans lack local experienced batting options at the top of the order with only Mahmudullah available in there. However, if the likes of Dawid Malan, Brendan Taylor, and Paul Stirling can acclimatize quickly and join the party as they've done in their respective domestic T20 competitions, the Titans will be a hard team to beat.
PR Stirling, Jahurul Islam, M Junaid Siddique, Nazmul Hossain, Mahmudullah, Carlos Brathwaite, Ariful Haque, Taijul Islam, Ali Khan, Shariful Islam, Zahir Khan.
It was a sorry story for Rangpur Riders on the opening day of Bangladesh Premier League where they were ruthlessly thrashed by Chittagong Vikings. It wasn't an easy surface to bat on, but Rangpur Riders' batsmen lacked application as they were dismissed for just 98.
It was BPL debutant Robbie Frylinck who wreaked havoc on Riders' top-order as he dismissed Alex Hales, Mohammad Mithun, and Mehedi Maruf inside the first four overs. Riders further slid to 35 for 7 and were staring at an embarrassing sub-50 total before Ravi Bopara bailed them out with his 44-run knock.
The 98-run total provided them some cushion for their bowlers and their bowlers did not disappoint. Defending such a low total was in all probability next to impossible, but their bowlers bowled hard to deny an easy win to Chittagong Vikings. It was only in the last over the Vikings overhauled the minuscule total with just three wickets in hand.
Mehedi Maruf, AD Hales, Mohammad Mithun, Rilee Rossouw, RS Bopara, Benny Howell, Farhad Reza, Mashrafe Mortaza, S Gazi, Nazmul Islam, Shafiul Islam.
Rangpur Riders were taken aback by the surface offered and an excellent spell by Robbie Frylinck in their opening match of BPL. It will be difficult to bounce back, but the experience of playing at the sluggish surface at Dhaka should come in handy for them. Their bowlers were brilliant and with the kind of experience they have in their batting order, things are only going to improve for them. It will be the first match for the Titans and they, too, might find it difficult to thrive on slow Dhaka surface due to the lack of locally experienced batsmen. We expect Rangpur Riders to bounce back and register an important win in their second match, against Khulna Titans.