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|Nazmul Hossain Milon||13||11||0||1||118.18|
Sylhet Sixers' campaign turned from bad to worse as they faced their ninth loss of the season. The disparity between them and the team right above them is so much that the team at the seventh spot leads them by six points. Even though they are no longer in the race for the playoffs, they would still try to win their remaining matches and play spoilsport for other teams. They have a difficult assignment up next on 4th January when they'll meet Rajshahi Royals at Shere Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka. After a brief bad patch, the Royals seem to back in the rhythm and will be brimming with confidence after a much-needed win over Rangpur Rangers. Considering that and the fact that the Thunder have nothing to lose, this upcoming encounter could turn out to be a treat to watch for the fans.
Another match, but the same old story - Sylhet Thunder failed to overcome their opponents yet again. They have been so bad in the tournament thus far that even with lots of matches to go, they are not only out of the race for the playoffs, another couple of losses would ensure that they end with a wooden spoon. They are currently placed at the bottom of the ladder with two points to their name and a terrible net run-rate of -0.734.
Their most-recent encounter, against Rangpur Rangers, was yet another example of their poor approach in both the departments of the game as they failed to even compete with the Rangers. Bowling first, their bowlers looked listless when Mohammad Naim and Shane Watson launched an assault on them. They got rid of Mohammad Naim in the ninth over with Rangers' score at 77, but could not stem the flow of runs. They eventually ended up conceding 199 runs total, which proved too much to handle for their out-of-form batsmen.
As has been the case for them in the tournament, their openers struggled to get the ball rolling. Mohammad Mithun provided some much-needed impetus to their innings and Sherfane Rutherford chipped in with a beautifully crafted 60 off just 37 deliveries, but none of the other batsmen were able to contribute. They slid from 127 for 3 to 161 all-out as they eventually lost the match by 38 runs.
Mohammad Mithun, ADS Fletcher, J Charles, Sherfane Rutherford, Nazmul Hossain Milon, Abdul Mazid, S Gazi, Naveen-ul-Haq, Ebadat Hossain, Nazmul Islam, Delwar Hossain.
Rajshahi Royals once had the best record in this edition of the tournament. They stumbled for a bit as they slid to the fourth spot, btu are once again looking all set to get to the top of the table. With a win over Rangpur Rangers, they moved to the second spot on the ladder. They have 12 points to their name in six matches with a net run-rate of 0.286.
Rajashahi Royals looked down and out with back to back losses, against Dhaka Platoons and Rangpur Rangers respectively, but a spledid show against the Rangers has certainly put them back in the driving seat. A decent show in the remaining five matches would ensure their finish among the top-two teams, but considering the competition for the top four places, it is not going to be an easy task.
Against the Rangers, their batsmen found form after two dismal outings as Shoaib Malik and Ravi Bopara, their two most experienced batters, played brilliant knocks to guide them to a pretty good total. Although the total of 179 didn't look imposing, their bowlers ensured it to be too hot to handle for the Rangpur batsmen.
Their spinners, especially Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Nawaz, played key role to not only stem the flow of runs but also to pick up wickets at regular intervals. In their eight overs combined, the duo gave away just 48 runs and picked up four wickets. The major positive the Royals would draw from their win is that they won the match without any considerable contribution from Andre Russell and that should imbibe a lot of self-confidence in the team.
Liton Das, Afif Hossain, Alok Kapali, I Sukkur, Shoaib Malik, RS Bopara, Mohammad Nawaz, Abu Jayed, Farhad Reza, Kamrul Islam, Mohammad Irfan.
The two teams are placed at almost the opposite ends of the points table and this match is being regarded as more of a mismatch. Having said that, the Royals would not want to take the Thunder lightly, even though the Thunder haven't been in the best of form. Comparing the two teams on the performances in the tournament so far, the Royals are miles ahead. Even on paper, they appear to be a better-balanced side between the two, at least on paper. For that reasons and the ones mentioned above, we think that the Royals are better placed to hand Sylhet Thunder yet another defeat in this competition.
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