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BPL 2017, Match 2 Preview: Rajshahi Kings vs Rangpur Riders

Under the leadership of Mushfiqur Rahim, they will be kicking off their campaign with a crunchy contest against Rangpur Riders

Rajshahi Kings
Rajshahi Kings. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After coming agonizingly close and going down quite cheaply in the previous edition‘s finals, Rajshahi Kings will be looking turn the tables. Under the leadership of Mushfiqur Rahim, they will be kicking off their campaign with a crunchy contest against Rangpur Riders, who have some T20 masters on their side.

With some decent overseas batsmen, their batting looks pretty well sorted, but they don’t have good enough Bangladeshi batsmen in their side. The most experienced local batsman in their side is Mohammad Mithun, who is no longer a regular in the main side. Mortaza’s main strength will be their bowlers and if the likes of Adam Lyth and Bopara can help them notch good scores, they’ll be a tough side to beat.

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Rajshahi side, in contrast, has a strong local contingent. Mushfiqur, Mominul Haque, Mehidy Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman will be a part of the runner-ups from the previous season and the experience of Farhad Reza is always a bonus. They are not heavily reliant on their foreign players and definitely, this side is good enough to go one step further than the last season.

Toss: Rangpur Riders won the toss and opted to field

Probable XI

RAJSHAHI KINGS: Luke Wright, Mominul Haque, Lendl Simmons, Mushfiqur Rahim (WK), Rony Talukdar, Darren Sammy(C), Samit Patel, Farhad Reza, Mehidy Hasan, Kesrick Williams, Mustafizur Rahman

RANGPUR RIDERS: Adam Lyth, Mohammad Mithun (wk), Thisara Perera, Ziaur Rahman, Ravi Bopara, Sohag Gazi, Mashrafe Mortaza (C), David Willey, Rubel Hossain, Abdur Razzak, Samuel Badree.

Focus will be on

Mushfiqur Rahim (Rajshahi)

One of the stalwarts of Bangladeshi cricket, Mushfiqur is considered an icon in their country. He brought the Rajshahi side very close to the title, but Dhaka outplayed them in a one-sided final. The haunting memories of that humiliation will be lurking around, but he still has a decent enough side to go all the way. His batting position is still unknown but he is highly likely to bat at number 4.

Samuel Badree (Rangpur)

Whenever the historians will sit down and list few of the best T20 bowlers thus far, Samuel Badree will be right up there. One of the smartest bowlers this format has seen, Badree ties the batsmen in the crease and never lets them score freely. In Windies’ both World T20 triumphs, he was an integral part of the side and bowled extremely well. Rangpur will make him play every game probably as he’s their best bowler on paper.

Playing combinations

Rajshahi Kings

T20 specialist Luke Wright will be opening the innings for Mushfiqur’s side and accompanying him at the top will be local youngster Mominul Haque. Lendl Simmons and Mushfiqur will be taking the all-important number 3 and 4 positions, with Rony Talukdar, Darren Sammy, and Samit Patel available in the middle order.

Kesrick Williams has had a fantastic 2017 thus far and he is an invaluable addition to the Rajshahi unit. Accompanying him in the fast bowling department are Mustafizur Rahman and Farhad Reza, who have been brilliant in this tournament previously. Mehidy Hasan and Samil Patel are the spinners in the side, with Sammy and Wright being the part-time seamers.

Rangpur Riders

Chris Gayle will be opening the innings alongside Mohammad Mithun and coming in at number 3 will be Ravi Bopara. Their side has a whole lot of all-rounders and Mortaza will be banking on Ziaur Rahman, Thisara Perera and Sohag Gazi to contribute well in every department.

With skipper Mashrafe Mortaza leading the bowling attack, he will be having his national teammate Rubel Hossain in the side. English fast bowler David Willey is another great addition in the side. The experienced Abdur Razzak and Samuel Badree will handle the spin department, with Sohag Gazi being their sixth bowling option.

StatAttack

1 – Mushfiqur Rahim is the leading run-scorer in BPL history with 1172 runs.

50 – Rangpur Riders have a win percentage of 50% in the BPL, whereas their counterparts have a 51.28%.

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