Series: Bangladesh Premier League 2019
Match: Qualifier 1
Date: 4th February 2019,Monday
Time: 6.30 PM Local Time
Venue: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka
Rangpur Riders, the defending champions, didn’t start this edition’s Bangladesh Premier League on a grand note. However, after the inclusion of AB de Villiers and Alex Hales, they dominated most teams, so much so that the Mashrafe Mortaza-captained team ended the round-robin stage atop the points table. Nevertheless, the franchise won’t have the services of the stalwarts in the playoffs of the event.
They would next be facing the Comilla Victorians in the Qualifier 1 at the iconic Sher-E-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka. The Victorians lost Steve Smith after a couple of encounters due to an elbow injury, but Imrul Kayes stepped up and captained the team with sheer authority. They beat the Riders in the last group-match to finish second on the points table and would be brimming with confidence.
Evin Lewis have been struggling with his hammy but our cricket tips is he will play. Bopara will have a vital role for Rangpur Riders. The void made by hales and De villiers can not be filled but if gayle fires then anything is possible. Afridi didn’t play the last match but he should play today.
Team Combination –
All-rounder Benny Howell is likely to replace De Villiers. Sohag Gazi may get the nod ahead of leg-spinner Minhajul Abedin Afridi. Gayle and Maruf are the opening batsmen with the experienced Rilee Russow at the number three slot and Mithun at four. Ravi Bopara also needs to perform with bat and ball. Mortaza would be leading the bowling attack. Shahidul, Nahidul, and Reza are the other bowlers.
Rangpur Riders – Chris Gayle, Mehedi Maruf, Rilee Rossouw, Mohammad Mithun (wk), Ravi Bopara, Benny Howell, Nahidul Islam, Farhad Reza, Mashrafe Mortaza (C), Shahidul Islam, Minhajul Abedin Afridi/Sohag Gazi
After benching five players against the Riders, the Victorians will field their full-strength team in the next match. Tamim and Lewis will open with Anamul at number three. Skipper Kayes and Shamsur would bat at four and five. The onus would again be on the likes of Shahid Afridi and Thisara Perera. Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Saifuddin would be the ones to look out for in the bowling department.
Comilla Victorians- Tamim Iqbal, Evin Lewis, Anamul Haque (wk), Imrul Kayes (C), Shamsur Rahman, Shahid Afridi, Thisara Perera, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mahedi Hasan, Wahab Riaz, Mosharraf Hossain
Ground and Conditions -It’s a night match and hence, dew is most likely to be a major factor. Bowlers are expected to hit the right channels in order to restrict the batters.Our cricket tips is Batting second may be the safer option. Average first innings score at night here is 150. Surprisingly batting first has won 3 out of last five matches here.
Toss- Both the teams are good at chasing so batting second should be the option. But as the pitch is sluggy batting first would not be a bad option. Spinners will be key in this match.
Predictions- Our cricket tips is Comilla will be favourite here. Rangpur have some great bunches of players but they lack in quality spin bowling. So Comilla have better chances of qualifying to the final.