About the Match
Amidst the intriguing season of Test Cricket where top international teams are battling with the red ball, domestic T20 cricket is beginning to take off in Bangladesh. The first two matches of Bangladesh Premier League were washed out due to rain. Rangpur Riders and Rajshahi Kings both were involved in the washout albeit in different matches. The two teams now take on each other in Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka on Sunday, 6th November. Rangpur Riders finished third in the points table last year, winning seven of their ten league matches. Rajshahi, on the other hand, will be playing for the first time in Bangladesh Premier League. As the first game of both the teams was washed out, this clash becomes even more important and a fierce battle is certainly on the cards.
The Riders have brought in one of the top performing batsmen for Bangladesh in limited overs format, Soumya Sarkar. However, they've lost the services of Shakib al Hasan and Thisara Perera who were brilliant in the last year. Soumya Sarkar is expected to bat in the top three and his performance will be key for Rangpur Riders to score big in this game. In addition to that, his familiarity with conditions might prove to be beneficial to the team. Shahid Afridi will lead the side and his experience in the limited overs will be handy for the Riders.
The Riders have signed a last-minute deal will England's Liam Dawson, who did not feature in any of the ODI in England's tour of Bangladesh despite being part of the squad, is expected to be in playing eleven. Along with Shahid Afridi and Soumya Sarkar, Sharjeel Khan, Arafat Sunny, Dasun Shanaka, Babar Azam and Elias Sunny are other players in the squad who can make a big difference on their day. Overall, the team looks pretty well balanced on paper and it will be interesting to see how they perform on the field in what will be virtually their first game.
The performance of Mehedi Hasan in recently concluded test series will inflate the team with a lot of confidence. The 19-year bloke impressed one and all with his accurate and wicket-taking bowling abilities. This side will be led by on of the most successful skippers in T20 cricket, Darren Sammy. Players like Umar Akmal, Sabbir Rahman, Milinda Siriwardana Upul Tharanga and Kesrick Williams are few other important players in the squad. Upul Tharanga, however, will miss this as well as a few more games in BPL due to international duties.
Rajshahi seems to be having an excellent bowling attack with Sammy, Mehedi, and Mohammad Sami. Their batting, however, looks to be a little weak on paper. They have the services of Mominul Haque and Samit Patel and they'd have to perform well and live up their name for Kings to score big. With a strong bowling unit, they can really stifle the opposition and if their batting delivers along with the bowling, they'll be a tough team to handle.
It will be virtually first game for both the teams in the series. They have one point each and a win will take the winner to top of the table. I'd place my money on Rangpur Riders considering the fact that they've played together as a team in the tournament and the teams on-paper.