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|M Junaid Siddique||13||12||1||1||108.33|
|AB de Villiers||41||25||3||4||164.00|
The Khulna Titans are continuing to sink deeper and deeper into the abyss and have now lost six out of their seven matches played this season of the Bangladesh Premier League. Their task is not going to get any easier as they now face up against the Rangpur Riders that have been reinforced by the addition of AB de Villiers.
A few wins and some timely results in the BPL have put the Rangpur Riders in a good position. A win in this game should see them jump up to third on BPL League table even though they would have played one game more.
The way the Khulna Titans have been playing, the Rangpur Riders have to be the clear favorites for the match.
The previous match saw the Khulna Titans put up a spirited chase of 214 but eventually fall 26 runs short. The middle order batsmen scored freely but the end result was never in doubt. The poor performance by the bowlers ensured that the Khulna Titans never really stood a chance.
It was extremely surprising to see Lasith Malinga be smashed all around the park. He may not be the bowler he once was but he is still someone who have the experience to adjust to different conditions. The flat batting pitch at Sylhet did him no favors and Malinga just did not have an answer.
Lasith Malinga was far from the only bowler to be hit around the park, though. Subhasis Roy went for 9.50 runs an over, Malinga 11.00 runs per over, and Shariful Islam went for 15.67 runs per over.
David Wiese was the only saving grace for the Khulna Titans as he picked up two wickets for 26 runs in his four overs.
Junai Siddique had played a very good inning just a couple of matches back but he has not been able to replicate that form since. We don’t really rate him as a very good player because he always looks so jumpy at the crease.
Paul Stirling continues to live on reputation and perceived threat than actual performances while Mahmudullah continues to bat too low. A quick cameo from Brendan Taylor, a fifty from Mahmudullah, and a 20 ball 40 from david Wiese were the highlights of the Khulna Titans batting.
We don’t think the Khulna Titans have their team balance right even at this advanced stage of the Bangladesh Premier League. Individual brilliance has kept them in the match but they keep losing even when they clearly have the talent in their side to do better.
M Junaid Siddique, Nazmul Hossain, Al Amin, Mahmudullah, BRM Taylor, Ariful Haque, D Wiese, Taijul Islam, Yasir Shah, Junaid Khan, Subashis Roy.
The Rangpur Riders chased down 195 with ease in their last match even though Chris Gayle scored a total of 0 runs in the inning. This is the kind of batting depth that they possess, especially now that AB de Villiers has joined the side.
Rilee Rossow top-scored with 61 while both Alex Hales and AB de Villiers contributed with quick thirties to their name. Credit must also be given to Farhad Reza who scored 18 off just six deliveries and helped delivered the knockout blow.
With a batting order that is as stacked as the Rangpur Riders, the side is going to be hard to stop. Gayle, Rossow, de Villiers, Mohammad Mithun, and Alex Hales are all proven match winner in the BPL. We think that Gayle is bound to fire in one of these matches and a century can never be too far from his bat.
De Villiers also looked in sublime touch and is only going to get better as the tournament progresses.
While the batting is definitely looking stronger than the Khulna Titans, the bolwing for the Rangpur Riders is a little suspect. MAshrafe Mortaza is not the force he once was and even though he bowled one sensation spell in the BPL, he is not someone that is going to run through sides too often.
The other bowlers like Nazmul Islam, Shaiful Islam, Sohag Gazi and the part-timers are all containing in nature at best. The Khulna Titans definitely have an opportunity to try and put up a big score or chase one down against this bowling attack.
Shaiful islam had a poor last game but he is the one bowler we would recommend backing.
Chris Gayle, AD Hales, Rilee Rossouw, AB de Villiers, Mohammad Mithun, Nahidul Islam, Farhad Reza, Mashrafe Mortaza, Nazmul Islam, Shafiul Islam, S Gazi.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to bat first
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The Bangladesh Premier League match between the Khulna Titans and the Rangpur Riders is going to be played at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Dhaka. The first leg of matches played at the Shere Bangla stadium were plagued by poor pitches that made run scoring very difficult.
The first match in the next leg has been a bit better but we don’t think the pitch will change too much. The spinners are going to be dominating the proceedings and making the most of the new ball will be very important.
The Rangpur Riders have a very strong batting lineup and the addition of AB de Villiers in the middle make them an easy side to pick. The bowling for both teams is weak and this is why in-play betting to hedge your position is advisable.
Back the Rangpur Riders to win.
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