BPL 2017, Match 18 Preview: Khulna Titans vs Chittagong Vikings

BPL 2017, Match 18 Preview: Khulna Titans vs Chittagong Vikings

With a flabbergasting inning coming in the middle order, Brathwaite well and truly announced he's back in full flow.

Carlos Brathwaite
Carlos Brathwaite of the West Indies. (Photo by Jan Kruger-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

Despite coming so close, the Khulna Titans bowed down to the reigning champions Dhaka Dynamites by a slender, heart-breaking margin. Carlos Brathwaite‘s heroics with the bat went in vain thanks to his fellow Caribbean mate Kieron Pollard, who spanked a 19-ball half-century during the run chase for the Dynamites.

The Chittagong Vikings have had nothing special in the tournament thus far. Their biggest problem has been their batting, which let them down on quite a few occasions. Although the likes of Luke Ronchi and Soumya Sarkar are doing decently at the top, the middle order has failed to click even in a single game, resulting in them ending up with below par scores.

Misbah-ul-Haq has enough resources in his armory to defend any total, but their batsmen must give them some breathing space. All-rounder Chris Jordan was roped into the XI to add some stability to the middle and hopefully, for them, he can help them get a better finish. Their bowling attack looks strong with Jordan, Taskin, and Subashis Roy and they’d be hoping to defend a much better target this time.

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

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

Focus will be on

Carlos Brathwaite (Khulna)

With a flabbergasting inning coming in the middle order, Brathwaite well and truly announced he’s back in full flow. He was slowly getting there with a couple of cameos and he countered something big in the previous game when it mattered the most. He’d be disappointed that he couldn’t take his side over the line, but that doesn’t take away anything. Khulna still are in a good position and with the tournament approaching the half-way mark, these are positive signs for the big man.

Misbah-ul-Haq (Chittagong)

Many might say he has the experience after his name, but the age factor is slightly getting on top of Misbah. The Vikings’ captain has had a forgettable start personally and team wise, but there’s a lot of time left to turn the tables around. A good performance against the Titans, who are playing decently, might make an awful lot of difference to Misbah and his team’s campaign.

Playing Combinations

Khulna Titans

The Titans will keep going with the same pair of Nazmul Hossain Shanto and Michael Klinger at the top to ensure their best player plays the most number of overs. Coming in at 3 would be Dhiman Ghosh, followed by a powe-packed middle order in Rilee Rossouw, Mahmudullah, Ariful Haque, Carlos Brathwaite, and Jofra Chioke Archer.

Abu Jayed and Shafiul Islam have been decent thus far and theyll once again open the bowling attack. Akila Dananjaya was brilliant in the previous game and he’ll be up with more responsibility next time. All-rounders Brathwaite, Jofra Archer and Mahmudullah cannot afford to be too expensive.

Chittagong Vikings

The Vikings are coming off a defeat to the Victorians and the opening combination for them would their mainstay in Luke Ronchi and Soumya Sarkar. Dishan Munaweera needs to fire at number 3, with the likes of Misbah-ul-Haq, Sikandar Raza, Chris Jordan, and Tanbir Hayder coming in later on.

Munaweera opened the bowling attack last time and picked up 2 wickets giving away just 17 runs. His spinning companion Sikandar Raza was a tad expensive, but he’ll be crucial on Saturday. Sunzamul Islam is the other spinner in the line-up. They have some brilliant fast bowlers in Jordan, Subashis Roy and Taskin Ahmed to get the job done.

StatAttack

11 – Luke Ronchi and Carlos Brathwaite hit 11 sixes thus far this season and are tied at the first spot for the most sixes award.

7 – Abu Jayed is second in the list of highest wicket-takers with 7 scalps in four games.