Rangpur Rangers look to get off to a good start against Comilla Warriors!
Comilla Warriors to win!
The new season of the Bangladesh Premier League is underway and the evening match on Day 1 will see Rangpur Rangers taking on Comilla Warriors at the Shere Bangla National Stadium. As mentioned above, the teams are not franchise-based anymore and this happened due to financial irregularities and mismanagement from the private owners. The problems aside, there is a lot to look forward to in the Bangladesh Premier League as a lot of T20 superstars have been recruited and the tournament could witness a lot of quality. Also, BCB has announced interesting rules for the upcoming season.
All the teams have to include a fast bowler who can bowl 140 KPH on a consistent basis, a leg spinner who has to bowl his full quota and also local batsmen should be given priority with respect to the batting line-up. Coming into this particular fixture, the franchise from Rangpur won the tournament in 2017 while Comilla won the tournament earlier this year. It will be interesting to see whether these teams can carry on with impressive performances.
On Wednesday, there could be some mouth-watering match-ups to look forward too as Rangpur skipper Mohammad Nabi will be itching to bat against Mujeeb Ur Rahman. The ace all-rounder has generally tended to succeed against Mujeeb in T20 leagues. Apart from the duo, the performances of Sabbir Rahman, Yasir Ali and Abu Hider will be noticed closely by everyone concerned as Bangladesh look to improve their T20 performances ahead of the World Cup in Australia next year.
Comilla Warriors formed an impressive team in the draft and they will be raring to start the tournament. The most eye-catchy aspect of the team is the number of match-winners with the bat. The likes of Soumya Sarkar, Kusal Perera and Dawid Malan have the ability to win a game on their own. Also, Yasir Ali will be one to watch out for as he was really impressive by scoring 307 runs in the last edition.
Just like Naim Sheikh, Yasir Ali is also playing for the Bangladesh U-23 team at the moment. In terms of the bowling strength, Mujeeb Ur Rahman will obviously be the trump card for Comilla Warriors. Given how it was the BPL that helped everyone notice Abu Hider Rony, he will be a key component too. Watch out for 19-year old Sumon Khan as he was in amazing form during the Emerging Cup.
Soumya Sarkar (C), Kusal Perera (WK), Sabbir Rahman, Dawid Malan, Fardeen Hasan, Dasun Shanaka, Sumon Khan, Sunzamul Islam, Abu Hider Rony, Al-Amin Hossain, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Al-Amin Hossain, Sunzamul Islam, Soumya Sarkar, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Sabbir Rahman, Abu Hider, Dasun Shanaka, Yasir Ali Choudhary, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mahidul Islam Bhuiyan Ankon, Dawid Malan
Lead by the World's No.1 all-rounder Mohammad Nabi, Rangpur Riders will depend on a lot on his experience as the team has a lot of youngsters. From the outset, Rangpur has all the makings of a good bowling attack as the likes of Mustafizur Rahman, Arafat Sunny, Taskin Ahmed along with Nabi could make it difficult for the other teams. Taskin, in particular, was impressive in the previous edition by picking up 22 wickets in 12 matches.
Spinner Sunny was also very good with 16 scalps to his credit. With the pacer being in and out of the national team, this tournament provides a good opportunity to make a strong case for another comeback. On the other hand, the likes of Shai Hope, Cameron Delport, Naim Sheikh will be the most important batsman for the side. While Shai Hope has shown good signs that his T20 game is improving with good knocks in the CPL, young batsman Naim Sheikh has continued on with his good form after impressing against India in a three-match T20I series.
However, Naim Sheikh won’t be available for the first game as he is part of the Bangladesh U-23 team for the South Asian Games at this moment.
Shai Hope, Cameron Delport, Jahurul Islam, Zakir Hasan (WK), Lewis Gregory, Mohammad Nabi (C), Nadif Chowdhury, Rishad Hossain, Arafat Sunny, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed.
Fazle Mahmud, Lewis Gregory, Jahurul Islam, Mohammad Zakir Hasan, M Shahzad, Mustafizur Rahman, Sanjit Saha, Mohammad Naim, Taskin Ahmed, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Nabi
The last season had a lot of tricky pitches with spinners playing a major role. Several matches had teams not even scoring run-a-ball but with the T20 World Cup set to be played on flat tracks in Australia, Dhaka might see a few batting friendly pitches. There should be no problem with respect to the weather conditions as sun is set to rule the roost on Wednesday.
A historic ground, Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka is the most known cricketing venue for fans around the world. This ground generally hosts all the important matches and will once again be the venue for the BPL final next month.
Unless the pitch shows signs of slowing down in the second inning, chasing should be preferred. Interestingly, in the previous season, there was an interesting trend of afternoon matches being won by teams batting first while the second match on a particular day was won via chasing. With this match set to be played under lights, there is more reason to bowl first.
This match is set to be a very close one with talented cricketers on both sides but we are siding with Comilla Warriors as they have a more all-round look to their squad. If Rangpur is going to have any chance, they need Mustafizur Rahman and Taskin Ahmed to strike early in order to put Comilla's star-studded top-order under pressure.
Comilla Warriors to win!