Sylhet Thunder aim to use their recently found confidence to good use against Dhaka Platoon!
Dhaka Platoons to win a close match!
It is another double-header match-day in the Bangladesh Premier League with 3rd placed Dhaka Platoon will take on 6th placed Khulna Tigers in the afternoon fixture at the ZAC Stadium in Chattogram.
Dhaka Platoon has been pretty inconsistent but their most recent win came in a manner that would have come as a huge boost to the entire team. The match almost seemed done and dusted when Shahid Afridi was adjudged LBW off the first delivery of 18th over which was bowled by Cumilla's ace spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman. However, with the decision being overturned through DRS, Afridi came into life and showcased he still has his power-hitting skill.
Eventually, Dhaka reached home with just one ball to spare as Shahid Afridi remained unbeaten along with Mominul Haque. Earlier in the match, Sri Lankan batsman Bhanuka Rajapaksa scored a scintillating 96 off 65 balls to help Comilla post 160-3. He also got some decent support from Yasir Ali who came up with a steady knock.
In return, Mahedi Hasan's blitz ensured that Dhaka was well ahead of the game until Mujeeb came up with two quick strikes. After that though, it was only the Afridi show that ruled the roost at Chattogram.
Meanwhile, Sylhet Thunder are themselves coming off a morale-boosting victory against a strong Khulna Tigers outfit.
While Dhaka won a thriller, Sylhet dominated the proceedings against Khulna right from ball one. The dangerous power-hitting duo of Andre Fletcher and Johnson Charles with a hundred and fifty respectively as Sylhet posted a mammoth total of 232-5. From there on, Sylhet was always the dominant force as even a superb fifty from Rilee Rossouw and some brutal hitting from Robbie Frylinck at the end saw Khulna Tigers fall short by 80 runs.
Dhaka Platoon's record of three wins and two losses is indicative of how the team hasn’t hit the straps as of yet. But in all their three wins, Bangladeshi superstar Tamim Iqbal has had a big role to play. Like how he has been in the last few years, Tamim has played more of a sheet anchor role to help the hitters down the order play with full freedom. That said, Tamim might have to work on his strike-rate of 115.20 as high-scoring games have been prevalent in the BPL this season.
Just like Tamim, Anamul Haque has been decent with 101 runs from five matches but he needs to convert his starts. Perhaps the stand-out player so far has been all-rounder Thisara Perera as he shone with the bat regularly while also picking up a fifer against Cumilla Warriors. However, Perera didn’t feature in the last game against Comilla and it would be interesting to see if he comes back for this upcoming match.
While 'Boom-Boom' Afridi showed what he can do in the last match, spin-bowling all-rounder Mahedi Hasan has been positive for Dhaka Platoon. Until now, Mahedi has scored 79 runs and picked up 4 wickets.
Anamul Haque (WK), Tamim Iqbal, Jaker Ali, Mahedi Hasan, Asif Ali/ Laurie Evans, Shahid Afridi, Shadab Khan/ Thisara Perera, Wahab Riaz, Mashrafe Mortaza (C), Hasan Mahmud
Hasan Mahmud, Mominul Haque, Mashrafe Mortaza, Mahedi Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Jaker Ali Anik, Asif Ali, SMSK Afridi, Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz, Anamul Haque
Runs and wickets both seemed to be a major problem when Sylhet Thunder lost four matches on the bounce but everything clicked against Khulna Tigers in the last match.
Once again, the onus will be on Andre Fletcher and Johnson Charles to come up with the goods. However, it might also be time for the likes of Mohammad Mithun and Mosaddek Hossain as they haven’t done much apart from scoring one fifty each in the season.
On the bowling front, Krishmar Santokie is clearly the leader of the attack and he has done pretty decently to honor that tag too. Thus far, Santokie has picked up 7 wickets at an economy rate of 7.94. Sylhet also did well to bring back Naveen Ul Haq in place of Shafiqullah Shafaq and the Afghan delivered by dismissing the dangerous Rilee Rossouw.
Young Bangladeshi pace-bowling hopeful Ebadot Hossain also finally showcased his potential with a fine spell which saw him take two wickets and also concede at less than five runs per over.
Andre Fletcher, Abdul Mazid, Johnson Charles, Mohammad Mithun (WK), Mosaddek Hossain (C), Nazmul Milon, Sohag Gazi, Monir Hossain, Krishmar Santokie, Ebadot Hossain, Naveen Ul Haq
Ebadat Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Abdul Mazid, Krishmar Santokie, S Gazi, Nazmul Islam, Sherfane Rutherford, Mohammad Mithun, J Charles, ADS Fletcher, Nazmul Hossain Milon
Friday saw two relatively average-scoring matches and this could see batting getting trickier as more matches are played in the upcoming days. This could see the spinners having more of a say while fast-bowlers could also be effective with their variations. A score around 170-180 might be good enough for the defending team. While the pitches might be deteriorating, the weather doesn’t seem so and beautiful sunny skies will be yet again seen on Tuesday.
Known for some really big scores in Test cricket, the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium hasn’t disappointed the fans as a venue for T20 cricket too as batsmen have made merry at this venue so far.
However, just like how it happens in the 5-day format, spinners will start coming into the equation pretty quickly. The big boundaries at this ground also play into the hands of spin bowlers.
Stats-wise, the average first innings score has tended to be around 155 while teams batting second have won four out of the five-afternoon matches until now.
Even after considering the fact that pitches might slow down slightly, it still feels like there is nothing alarming to bat first. In T20 cricket, chasing becomes an advantage on most days and the duo of Mashrafe Mortaza and Mosaddek Hossain should keep this in mind while making the important decision at the toss.
Just like Dhaka Platoon’s last match, this fixture could also be a very tight one with Dhaka's bowling giving them the edge over Sylhet Thunder. In Mashrafe Mortaza, Wahab Riaz, Shahid Afridi and possibly Shadab Khan too, Dhaka has a lot of quality and this will test a Sylhet batting line-up that has been overly reliant on individual performances.
Dhaka Platoons to win a close match!