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|AB de Villiers||37||27||1||3||137.04|
The buzz before the Bangladesh Premier League 2019 began was all about the batting might of the Rangpur Riders. The side had assembled a collection of the best batting talent in one T20 side and it was going to be thrilling to watch. Things did not turn out like that at the start of the season but the pieces are coming together very nicely now.
The Rangpur Riders have won their last four matches to reach the top of the BPL League table. Now, they are going to be taking on the Rajshahi Kings, a side against whom they lost narrowly earlier in the season. The Rajshahi Kings have been quite inconsistent this season but still, have a decent chance of making it to the playoffs.
After centuries for Rilee Rossow and Alex Hales in the match against the Chittagong Vikings, it was the turn of AB de Villiers to get to three figures against the Dhaka Dynamites. Chasing a total of 187 is never easy on the Bangladeshi pitches but the Rangpur Riders made it look like a cakewalk in the end.
Alex Hales continued his good form and was unbeaten with 85 runs to his name while AB de Villiers scored 100 off just 50 deliveries. The fact that Chris Gayle and Rilee Rossow scored just one run in total was of no concern to the Rangpur Riders.
With three out of the top-4 having scored centuries in the last couple of matches, Chris Gayle is surely due to get his big score of the BPL! This is the batting strength that makes the Rangpur Riders so formidable.
They also have Mohammad Mithun to follow after these four and help extend the batting lineup even further.
With such a strong batting lineup, the onus has to be on the bowlers to do their bit of the work as well. Mashrafe Mortaza has been surprisingly good this season considering the fact that he looks held together by tape at this point in time.
Nazmul Islam and Shaiful Islam are also good bowlers that become better by having scoreboard pressure at their back. One thing that we saw in this last game against Dhaka was that any opponent of the Rangpur Riders is mindful of the fact that they need to score more runs than normal to be competitive. This provides plenty of wicket-taking opportunities to the Rangpur Riders bowlers.
The Rangpur Riders juggernaut is rolling and is going to be very difficult to stop.
Chris Gayle, AD Hales, Rilee Rossouw, AB de Villiers, Mohammad Mithun, Nahidul Islam, Mashrafe Mortaza, Nazmul Islam, Farhad Reza, Shafiul Islam, Shahidul Islam.
The Rajshahi Kings are the opposite of the Rangpur Riders ins some respects. The Rajshahi Kings have one of the weakest batting lineups in the competition. Laurie Evans has played a couple of brilliant innings and Ryan ten Doeschate has shown glimpses of his best self but the others have been underwhelming.
Adding Johnson Charles to the lineup paid dividends in the last game so expect him to continue to stay in the playing eleven. Soumya Sarkar got a start but was unable to convert it and his rotten season continued.
Christiaan Jonker enjoyed the better batting conditions in Chittagong and scored 37 off just 17 deliveries in the last match.
The Rajshahi Kings batting is going to need to have a tremendous day to be able to match the Rangpur Riders. The Rajshahi Kings must put their faith in their bowlers coming into this match. Mehidy Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman were in the wickets in the last game.
They are both quality bowlers and can hope to nip out the top-order of the Rangpur Riders. Kamrul Islam, Arafat Sunny, and the part-timer bowlers make the Rajshahi Kings a decent bowling lineup. They are unlikely to be able to do too much to stop the Rangpur Riders if they are unable to pick some early wickets, though.
We think the match is going to come down to the performance of the Rajshahi bowlers in this match. More specifically, Mustafizur Rahman and Mehidy Hasan have to pick wickets, keeps runs down, and build pressure to give their side a chance of winning this match.
J Charles, Soumya Sarkar, Laurie Evans, Christiaan Jonker, Fazle Mahmud, Mominul Haque, Mehidy Hasan, A Sunny, Qais Ahmad, Kamrul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to bat first
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The Bangladesh Premier League match between the Rangpur Riders and the Rajshahi Kings is going to be played at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chattogram. The weather has been excellent in Chittagong so far and more of the same is predicted for this match day.
The pitch has also been excellent for batting with 180 plus scores being reached in almost all the matches. Both sides have some powerful hitters that will enjoy batting on this surface.
The current form of the Rangpur Riders top-order makes it impossible to look past them. We think they are going to be able to win again and consolidate their position at the top of the table.
Back the Rangpur Riders to win.
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