Hosts Dhaka look to consign Sylhet to their third consecutive loss!
Sylhet Thunder to win!
It is the 8th match of the BPL and Dhaka Platoon will be taking on Sylhet Thunder at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka.
Dhaka Platoon comes into this fixture with some confidence on their side after beating Cumilla Warriors in the last match. Asked to bat first, star player Tamim Iqbal started with a fifty as Dhaka looked set to post a decent total on the board. However, a stunning death-overs assault from Thisara Perera meant that Dhaka managed to post an excellent total of 180-7. In return, Perera again stole the limelight as his five wickets meant that Cumilla kept on losing batsmen at regular intervals and this didn’t help them get any momentum in their chase.
On the other hand, Sylhet Thunder might come into this match with their confidence shattered after being outplayed by Rajshahi Royals on Friday. While the first match against Chattogram was a relatively close affair, Sylhet was never in with a chance against Rajshahi as their batsmen crumbled against Alok Kapali's leg-spin. With them just posting 91 runs, Rajshahi coasted home with more than 9 overs to spare.
Batting was the problem in the first match against Rajshahi and although a team effort wasn’t possible, Tamim Iqbal and Thisara Perera's superb knocks against Cumilla bodes well for the hosts. Tamim Iqbal's importance at the top of the order can’t be understated as he can hold an inning and also play an aggressive role at the same time. Even in the last edition of the BPL, Tamim Iqbal was one of the best batters with 467 runs in 14 matches. With Tamim missing a fair bit of cricket since the World Cup, Dhaka would be pleased that he has hit the straps pretty quickly.
All-rounder Thisara Perera will be another important player for Dhaka especially after putting in a stunning performance against Cumilla. While such an effort wouldn’t be possible in every match, Dhaka would still hope for Perera to chip in with some big hits every now and then while also bowling tight spells with his medium pace. Perera has tended to be pretty inconsistent in this regard and Dhaka will hope that he can change that tag in this BPL.
Apart from the duo, it has only been Mahedi Hasan who has impressed so far with his tidy off-spin bowling in the powerplay overs. While Wahab Riaz did come up with a very good spell in the last game, much more will be expected him and the likes of Laurie Evans, Anamul Haque and Shahid Afridi with the bat in hand.
Anamul Haque, Tamim Iqbal, Laurie Evans, Jaker Ali (WK), Ariful Haque, Thisara Perera, Shahid Afridi, Mashrafe Mortaza (C), Wahab Riaz, Mahedi Hasan, Hasan Mahmud
Ariful Haque, Hasan Mahmud, Mashrafe Mortaza, Laurie Evans, Mahedi Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Jaker Ali Anik, Thisara Perera, Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz, Anamul Haque
It is never easy to get up quickly after such a one-sided affair but Sylhet Thunder has to quickly forget their match against Rajshahi Royals and focus on getting their first win on the board. It would be not wise to panic about the batting effort which saw the team post a paltry 91 as there is enough ability in the team.
After all, the duo of Johnson Charles and Mohammad Mithun were in superb touch only a few days ago. Mithun was especially on a song with a stunning 84 off 48 balls. However, Sylhet might be looking at either Andre Fletcher or Shafiqullah Shafaq to add some strength to the batting line-up. In fact both might get a game if Sylhet looks to bench the young Afghan pacer Naveen Ul Haq along with Jeevan Mendis as the duo hasn’t started the BPL on a great note.
Although Krishmar Santokie might get another game, veteran Pakistani pacer Mohammad Sami is waiting in the wings and he will be an interesting option for Sylhet. On a side note, the young off-spinner Nayeem Hasan was impressive even in the defeat against Rajshahi and he will be looked upon to continue with his good performances.
Andre Fletcher, Johnson Charles, Rony Talukdar, Mohammad Mithun (WK), Shafiqullah Shafaq/Jeevan Mendis, Mosaddek Hossain (C), Nayeem Hasan, Sohag Gazi/ Naveen Ul Haq, Krishmar Santokie, Nazmul Islam, Ebadot Hossain
Ebadat Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Delwar Hossain, R Talukdar, Nayeem Hasan, Krishmar Santokie, Nazmul Islam, Shafiqullah, Mohammad Mithun, J Charles, ADS Fletcher
The tracks so far have been decent although a few sides have been bundled out for low totals. Mostly, the batsmen have seemed to enjoy the pace and bounce from the surface while spinners have predictably got a fair share of help. With respect to the weather, there is absolutely no chance for rain and a full game is expected.
The famous Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka will be the venue for this fixture too. Although there has been some good cricket on offer, surprisingly the attendances haven’t been massive. With the weekend setting in, bigger crowds and an exciting atmosphere might be on the cards. The second match on Friday saw a high-scoring encounter and fans would want to see the same.
We will be expecting the captains to prefer batting first as the tracks have seemed to get tougher to bat on in the second inning. This is interesting as chasing was the favorite option last year with teams batting second winning quite a few matches.
We are expecting this match to be a pretty close one with Sylhet nicking it in the end. At the same time, we are predicting this on the basis that the likes of Andre Fletcher and Shafiqullah Shafaq could add some firepower to the batting line-up. A big total would be required as bowling is clearly not the strength for Sylhet.
Sylhet Thunder to win!