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BPL 2017, Match 15 Preview: Khulna Titans v Sylhet Sixers

The Sylhet Sixers had a wonderful beginning to their campaign, with three wins on the trot. But suddenly, they seemed to have lost their way.

Sylhet Sixers
Sylhet Sixers. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Sylhet Sixers had a wonderful beginning to their campaign, with three wins on the trot. But suddenly, they seemed to have lost their way. In the four games they played in the opening leg of the tournament at their home, Sylhet managed to pile up three victories before going down to the Khulna Titans in their fourth game.

Shahid Afridi announced his arrival in the tournament with some style and this came at quite an expense for the Sylhet side. They were at the receiving end of this carnage and finished with two defeats in a row. They are desperate for a comeback in the tournament and will need their top order to fire, just the way they did during their winning run.

Carlos Brathwaite’s exploits almost earned them a victory over the Dhaka Dynamites, but they lost the game after a nerve-wracking final over. Their top order struggled on Tuesday, something which the skipper Mahmudullah wasn’t hoping for in a crucial game like this. Yet, there’s a long way to go and Khulna still has a fair chance to make it to the playoffs.

Khulna Titans (Probable XI): Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Michael Klinger, Rilee Rossouw, Mahmudullah (c), Dhiman Ghosh (wk), Ariful Haque, Carlos Brathwaite, Jofra Chioke Archer, Akila Dananjaya, Shafiul Islam, Abu Jayed

Sylhet Sixers (Probable XI): Upul Tharanga, Tim Bresnan, Mohammad Sharif, Ross Whiteley, Nasir Hossain (c), Sabbir Rahman, Taijul Islam, Abul Hasan, Danushka Gunathilaka, Nurul Hasan (wk), Wanidu Hasaranga

Focus will be on

Michael Klinger (Khulna)

One of the most experienced T20 cricketers around the world, Michael Klinger’s addition in the Khulna Titans’ side is quite an advantage for them. He showed his class in his first game of a season with a half-century and now, he will be playing at a position where he relishes. The Australian opener has to be amongst the runs to script something brilliant for his side.

Nasir Hossain (Sylhet)

These are testing times for Sylhet Sixers’ skipper Nasir Hossain, who tactics got massacred by Shahid Afridi and Evin Lewis the previous time. Yet, he has to let that go off his mind and lead his side from the front. Sylhet earning a win here help them win their top spot on the table and that is what their side will be aiming for right now.

Playing Combinations

Khulna Titans

Nazmul Hossain Shanto and Michael Klinger will be opening the innings for the Titans with the veteran Dhiman Ghosh coming in at number 3. The middle order comprises of some big names like Jofra Archer, Rilee Rossouw, and Ariful Haque, but the main onus will be on the skipper Mahmudullah and Carlos Brathwaite.

Their seamers are their main strength and Abu Jayed thus far has been fabulous. His local fast bowling partner Shafiul Islam has been decent as well and these both players will be accompanied by Carlos Brathwaite and Jofra Archer in the seam bowling contingent. The spinners in the side are Mahmudullah and Akila Dananjaya.

Sylhet Sixers

Upul Tharanga and his Sri Lankan companion Danushka Gunathilaka will be opening the innings for the Sixers, with one of their main men Sabbir Rahman coming in at three. Nasir Hossain once again might bat at number 4, with Ross Whiteley, Nurul Hossain, and Wanidu Hasaranga to follow in the middle order.

Tim Bresnan’s experience will hold the key to their success as he pairs up interestingly with Nasir Hossain and Taijul Islam in the new ball department. Abul Hasan needs to perform well after having two dismal games in a row. Gunathilaka and Wanidu Hasaranga are the part-time options available for Nasir.

StatAttack

197 – Upul Tharanga leads the highest run-scorers chart with 197 runs thus far.

7 – With 7 wickets in his baggage, Abu Jayed is the second highest wicket-taker in the tournament. Though he’s leveled with Abu Hider, the latter’s economy keeps him at the top.

6 – Six bowlers bowled in Sylhet’s previous game against Dhaka and all of them registered an economy rate of 10 or more.

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