About the Match
The Rajshahi Kings get ready to take on the Rangpur Riders in a match that would hold significance for both the teams. While the Rangpur Riders managed to win their last match after a disappointing start, building on that momentum is crucial while the Rajshahi Kings are the only team without a win this season and need to turn it around quickly.
The standout player for the Riders in the first two matches has been Ravi Bopara. He has 77 runs to his name at a strike rate of 140.00 and three sixes to his name. He is also the current highest wicket taker of the team and has the best economy rate as well of just 5.75.
It is fair to say that a lot of how the Rangpur Riders go in this tournament will depend on him. Providing him excellent support in the batting are Mohammad Mithun, Shahriar Nafees, and Thisara Perera.
The experiment with Adam Lyth at the top of the order did not work out and neither did his replacement Samiullah Shenwari set things on fire. This leaves the Rangpur Riders with a difficult choice of sticking with Shenwari or strengthening their batting order a little more.
In our opinion, the Riders should look to add some extra firepower at the top of the order with Johnson Charles and reduce their dependence on Ravi Bopara later in the innings.
The biggest positive for the team has been the fact that most of their bowlers have started out well in the tournament. Mashrafe Mortaza has been difficult to get away, Lasith Malinga seems to be hitting his yorkers well, and are ably supported by Bopara, Gazi, and Nazmul Islam.
The Kings are still looking for some of that magic which led them to the finals but it has eluded them so far. Darren Sammy and his boys are much loved by the crowd and tend to be well supported wherever they play in Bangladesh. They will be hoping that they give their fans something to cheer about in this match.
Their team is actually pretty decent. The likes of Luke Wright, James Franklin, Samit Patel, Darren Sammy, and Kesrick Williams are all very decent t20 players. Wright, in particular, would have some idea of the conditions in front of him now and would be hoping to make full use of the powerplay overs.
He is regarded as one of the best T20 batsmen in the world with plenty of success around the world and we feel it is only a matter of time before he comes good in this tournament as well.
The local batting unit seems to be a little light on experience at the moment but a positive start from Rony Talukdar should give them something to build upon moving forward.
The Kings are also underperforming with the ball at the moment. Mehedi Hasan Miraz has had almost no impact in the first two games while Samit Patel has been kept wicketless too.
It will be very important for these two gun spinners for the Rajshahi Kings to come good and start contributing if their team is to have a chance.
Pitch and Conditions
Mirpur has traditionally offered much more to the batsmen than Sylhet and we think that the average scored should move upwards. We could see a batting slugfest in this match and the par total should be somewhere around 160.
The weather forecast is for a clear day with no chance of rain. A few harmless clouds may be visible later in the day to provide some respite to the batsmen.
Chasing has been the order of the day and we expect that to continue in this one as well.
We are backing the Rajshahi Kings to register their first victory in this match.
Back the Rajshahi Kings for victory.