About the Match
The Sylhet Sixers have stunned everyone by winning their first three matches and making a fantastic start to the Bangladesh Premier League 2017. The newest team in the league has rocketed off the starting gates and has left it all to do for the trailing pack. Part of that pack will be their opponents for this match, the Khulna Titans, who have played and lost only match in the tournament so far.
This match will be the Sylhet Sixers fourth match in BPL 2017 when no other team would have played more than two. Not that they would be complaining as they have now won all three of their matches and would love to ride that momentum for as long as possible.
A look at their statistics shows the reason behind their success so far. Their openers have put on three 50 plus scores in the three matches so far and ensured that the Sixers go into the back end of the innings with plenty of wickets in hand.
Upul Tharanga already has 170 runs to his name at an average of 85.00 and a strike rate of 136.00 while Andre Fletcher has 147 runs to his name at an average of 49.00 and a strike rate of 133.63. Fletcher has also hit 8 sixes in the three matches already.
These two have also been well supported by the middle order of Gunathilaka, Whiteley, and Sabbir Rahman. In fact, Rahman has not had much to do in the tournament so far which should scare the opposition because he is also a world-class talent.
Similarly, the bowling has been led brilliantly by Liam Plunkett and Abul Hasan with support from all the rest of the team.
The Sixers will not want to change too much and hope that their fairytale run can continue. We think they have a good chance of doing that until their top order is firing because a couple of early wickets could lead to a spectacular collapse and a return back to earth very quickly.
The Titans were thrashed by the Dhaka Dynamites by 65 runs in their first match and will desperately want to get their BPL 2017 campaign off the mark. It is not going to be easy, though.
Their first match was a disaster in all aspects. They bowled first and ended up giving away 202 runs to effectively lose the contest at that stage only. Akila Dananjaya had a horror game, Joffra Archer went for plenty of runs, Craig Braithwaite had very little impact and the local bowlers were also thrashed all over the park.
Everyone needs to do better if they are to have a chance. We think that the same set of bowlers will come back stronger after having learned from their first experience. Jofra Archer is the one bowler we are looking at as a potential future star with his extra pace and the ability get the Yorkers in during the death overs.
The batting order could also be reshuffled a little in our opinion. Chadwick Walton looked in tremendous touch before getting out but demoting Rilee Rossouw to number four behind Braithwaite and Nazmul Hossain Shanto made little sense.
Rossow is a match winner and performs at his best at the top of the order. He should be unleashed straight upfront to put the opposition under pressure.
Mahmudullah also batted a little too low for our liking and could come in at 3.
There is plenty of batting firepower in this side and just a few minor tweaks could see the Titans rack up some big scores in this tournament.
Pitch and Conditions
The scores in the tournament seem to be trending upwards as the players get a better understanding of the conditions. We think a score of 170 should be considered par. The new ball remains critical for run-scoring though and the team that wins the powerplay overs is the one most likely to emerge the winner.
The weather conditions are expected to remain excellent for cricket.
We are going for the upset in this one and backing the Khulna Titans to win.
Back Khulna Titans to win