About the Match
Rangpur Riders defeated Sylhet Sixers in the last match by 4 wickets and currently are placed 4th with 10 points; they will go up against 2nd placeholders Khulna Titans, who have 13 points in their kitty, on 3rd December at Dhaka. The Titans suffered a humiliating defeat against Victorians recently after they were stifled for a meager 111 runs; they will eager to bounce back with a win here. Riders lost the last time they met Titans by 9 runs and will be determined to reverse the outcome this time around. It needs to be seen which side will emerge victorious on Sunday as the league reaches the knock-out stage.
Brendon McCullum top-scored with 43 off 38 while chasing 174 against Sixers recently; Ziaur Rahman and Ravi Bopara played useful knocks to steer the team to a victory with 2 balls to spare. Earlier, spinner Nazmul Islam took 3-18 while Mortaza dismissed one opponent to restrict the opponents. They have experienced bowlers like Malinga, Bopara, Shenwari and Rubel Hossain, who can help them stifle Titans.
They also won against Vikings previously, after successfully chasing down 177 runs thanks to a good show by Mohammad Mithun and Mortaza, who scored 40+ runs each. Thisara Perera and Chris Gayle also contributed with 28 and 33 runs respectively to help gun down the runs. The bowlers had earlier provided regular breakthroughs with Malinga, Mortaza, Islam, Hossain and Perera taking a wicket each.
When they met Titans earlier, the batting line-up had faltered while chasing 159 runs, and despite a strong performance by Bopara and Nahidul Islam, they fell short of the target by 9 runs. Rubel Hossain was successful with 3 scalps while Malinga and spinner Sohag Gazi took 3 wickets between them. They will be motivated to put up an all-around performance this time.
The Titans batting line-up was demolished by Victorians while setting up a target recently; the top-order was wiped out with just 40 runs on board, and they could muster only 111 runs in the end. Mahmudullah, Rossouw, and Archer tried to contain the opponents with the ball, but they hardly had enough to defend and lost the match by 9 wickets. They have good resources and will try to make a comeback here to retain the top spot.
When they met Riders earlier, Mahmudullah had led from the front with a well-made 59 while others like Nicholas Pooran, Ariful Haque, and Carlos Brathwaite kept the scoreboard ticking to take the total to 158. Spinner Afif Hossain claimed 2-2 in his 2-over spell to stifle the opponents while Junaid Khan dismissed one wicket while containing the run-flow. They helped wrap up a win by 9 runs and could repeat the inning performance again on Sunday.
Overall, the Titans have dominated throughout the series and with all-rounders like Afif Hossain, Rilee Rossouw, Brathwaite and Mahmudullah, they can surely go back to their winning ways.
The Titans outwitted the Riders the last time they met but this could be a close contest here, looking at the Riders’ recent form. While the match could go down to the wire, we feel that Rangpur Riders are better placed to put up an all-round performance and win the match.