Our prediction is that Comilla Victorians will win the battle against Rangpur Riders!
The defending champions Rangpur Riders and the table toppers of the last season would face each other in the 6th match of the 6th season of Bangladesh Premier League. After beating Rangpur Riders twice in the league stages the Victorians lost the match that mattered allowing the Riders to qualify for the Finals of BPL 2017.
Comilla Victorians would be keen to get things on track after the failure to reach the finals of the last season and especially after the good start they had this season. On the other hand, the defending champions have their issues to resolve to get going in the tournament. The close win against Khulna Titans must have settled some nerves but the Riders would have to improve their game if they are to have a chance of beating a settled Victorian side.
It was a difficult ending for the Victorians in the last season of Bangladesh Premier League 2017. After topping the table with most wins in the league stage, the Victorians failed to reach the finals despite getting a couple of chances to get there. One of the impediments on their way to the Finals were the Riders whom they will be facing at the Dhaka stadium in their second encounter of BPL 2019.
Comilla Victorians first encounter was against Sylhet Sixers who failed to put on a challenging total on the board and ended up scoring just 127 in the allotted 20 overs. The Victorians were clinical in the chase which was sealed by the T20 veteran Shahid Afridi with a boundary in the last over.
With the likes of Tamim Iqbal, Steve Smith, Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi in the squad, the Victorians bat deep and have one of the best batting combinations in the series. Comilla Victorians would hope for this batting lineup to come good against the Riders.
SPD Smith (c), Tamim Iqbal, E Lewis, Imrul Kayes, Shoaib Malik, Anamul Haque, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Saifuddin, Abu Hider, Mahedi Hasan, Mohammad Shahid
The defending champions Rangpur Riders did not have a start worthy of the champions to kick off the tournament. The Riders felt the absence of Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers in the lineup for the opening game of the season. At one point they were reduced to 35 for 7 against Robbie Frylinck’s 4 for 14. If not for Ravi Bopara and Soab Gazi’s combined 65, they would have had to endure a much harder defeat to swallow.
The Riders came back strongly in the second game on the back of good performances from Rossouw and Bopara to score a competitive 169 and were able to defend it in a cliffhanger against Khulna Titans.
The batting failed the Riders in the first game and bowling was tested in the second game despite a good score on the board. Both the departments, in the absence of some key players, need to up their game for the Riders to have any chance of defending the title in this season.
Mashrafe Mortaza (c), RR Rossouw, Mehedi Maruf, AD Hales, Mohammad Mithun, RS Bopara, Nazmul Islam, Shafiul Islam, Farhad Reza, Sohag Gazi, BAC Howell
The matches at Dhaka have been low scoring ones on the slow and tricky surface in the Bangladesh Premier League so far. This is also highlighted by the fact that it took almost 20 overs for Chittagong Vikings and Comilla Victorians to chase below par scores of 98 and 127, respectively.
The teams winning the toss should look to restrict the opposition to a small score in helpful conditions by opting to field first, and then, should look to bat sensibly to chase the target down.
Camilla Victorians have some of the world’s best T20 batsmen in their ranks with Steve Smith, making a comeback to competitive cricket, at the helm of the things. Despite not winning the title, they were probably the best team in the previous season and look like one this time as well. Rangpur Riders have had a scratchy start to the tournament and they are missing T20 giants in AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle.
Thus, our prediction is that Camilla Victorians would make a dent to their aspirations of winning the title this season by defeating Rangpur Riders in the 6th game of the current season.
Back Camilla Victorians for the win!
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