BPL 2017, Match 14 Preview: Comilla Victorians v Chittagong Vikings

BPL 2017, Match 14 Preview: Comilla Victorians v Chittagong Vikings

The tournament has not even reached the halfway mark and here we are, at an incredibly interesting juncture.

Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler of Comilla Victorians attends the practice session. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Comilla Victorians registered a thumping victory the other night in Dhaka, which keeps them in the third position on the points table. With two wins in three games, they are on level terms with Khulna and Dhaka, but the Dynamites secured a massive victory a couple of days ago, which escalated their net run rate to +2.684.

Two of the finest talents from the Afghan lands, Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan, recently made a significant impact in the IPL and are now showing off their quality in the BPL. Giving away just 22 runs in 8 overs together, they helped Comilla subdue the opponent batsmen to a below par total, which eventually was condensed easily by Imrul Kayes and Jos Buttler.

Vikings on the other hand, are coming off a defeat in their previous game. They are in the bottom half of the table, tied with Rajshahi and Rangpur with just one win. Although the net run rate keeps them in the 5th position, that’s not where they would want to see themselves. The tournament has not even reached the halfway mark and here we are, at an incredibly interesting juncture.

Comilla Victorians (Playing XI): Liton Das (wk), Imrul Kayes, Marlon Samuels, Jos Buttler, Alok Kapali, Mohammad Nabi (c), Dwayne Bravo, Mohammad Saifuddin, Rashid Khan, Arafat Sunny, Al-Amin Hossain

Chittagong Vikings (Playing XI): Luke Ronchi (wk), Soumya Sarkar, Dilshan Munaweera, Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Luis Reece, Anamul Haque, Sikandar Raza, Tanbir Hayder, Sunzamul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Subashis Roy

Focus will be on

Mohammad Nabi (Comilla)

With figures of 3/15 in 4 overs, Nabi made a significant case for the player of the match award, but eventually, it went to his national teammate Rashid, who registered figures of 2/7 in 4 overs. The first Afghan player to captain a side in BPL, Nabi has been spectacular thus far. He’s shuffling his bowling combinations well and he himself is doing a spectacular job with the new ball. He’s already in contention for the MVP award this season.

Luke Ronchi (Chittagong)

Experience always counts and on slow tracks like these, Luke Ronchi can be a potent weapon. He raced off to a decent start in the tournament, but his middle order companions are not giving great support to him, which indeed is disappointing. Ronchi and Soumya Sarkar at the top are doing a great job and no matter what happens in the middle, he needs to keep chipping in with good shows to help his side enter the top four.

Playing Combinations

Comilla Victorians

Liton Das went berserk in the little time he spent at the crease last game and he will be opening alongside the swashbuckling Jos Buttler. Imrul Kayes was pushed down to number 3, but he seems to relish the position.  Marlon Samuels, Rashid Khan, Alok Kapali, Mohammad Nabi, Dwayne Bravo, and Mohammad Saifuddin will be forming the middle order.

Arafat Sunny and Nabi shared the new ball the other day and it might be the same combination yet again. Al-Amin Hossain, Dwayne Bravo, and Mohammad Saifuddin are doing a good job in the fast bowling department whilst Nabi and Rashid Khan are exerting the pressure by picking the wickets.

Chittagong Vikings

Luke Ronchi and Soumya Sarkar are not just the openers for the Vikings, but also their mainstays. Dilshan Munaweera at number 3 got a few starts but failed to convert them into big ones.  Misbah-ul-Haq, Luis Reece, Anamul Haque, and Sikandar Raza will comprise the middle order.

Sunzamul Islam and Sikandar Raza are currently sharing the new ball duties for the Vikings. Misbah also used the likes of Munaweera and Subashis Roy in the Powerplay and it’ll be interesting to see how he uses his options. His trump card will be Taskin Ahmed, with options available in Tanbir Hayder and Luis Reece.

StatAttack

120 – Luke Ronchi thus far has accumulated 120 runs, which makes him the highest run-getter for the Vikings and the fifth best overall.

25 – Jos Buttler needs 25 more runs to complete 4,000 T20 runs.