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BPL 2017, Match 6 Preview: Sylhet Sixers vs Rajshahi Kings

Sammy and Mushfiqur have a lot of rethinking to do after Rajshahi lost their opener so badly. 

Upul Tharanga
Upul Tharanga won two man of the match awards thus far. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Sylhet Sixers are making the most of the home leg as the returning club have already registered two thumping victories in the first two matches. With Upul Tharanga firing all guns, they look lethal in the batting department and thus far, their bowling has clicked quite decently as well. Sammy and Mushfiqur have a lot of rethinking to do after losing their opener so badly.

On two consecutive occasions, Sylhet’s openers Tharanga and the West Indian Andre Fletcher have added more than 70 runs for the first wicket. This is an excellent start for both and their campaign looks quite promising to go a long way. Skipper Nasir Hossain is doing a terrific job with the new ball and is getting good support from his fellow bowlers.

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On the contrary, Rajshahi has a lot of issues to deal with. Skipper Darren Sammy and Mushfiqur should sit down and explain their side that they have enough firepower to go all the way and all they need is a confident display. Barring Roni Talukdar and Sammy, everyone faltered with the bat and their bowling was nowhere close to being brilliant.

Probable XI

Sylhet Sixers: Upul Tharanga, Andre Fletcher, Ross Whiteley, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain (c), Shuvagata Hom, Nurul Hasan (wk), Taijul Islam, Abul Hasan, Liam Plunkett, Krishmar Santokie

Rajshahi Kings: Darren Sammy (c), Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), James Franklin, Farhad Reza, Luke Wright, Samit Patel, Mominul Haque, Nihaduzzaman, Rony Talukdar, Mehidy Hasan, Kesrick Williams

Focus will be on

Upul Tharanga (Sylhet)

The Sri Lankan limited overs captain Upul Tharanga has been Sylhet’s mainstay thus far. He also is the highest run-scorer this tournament thus far with two hard-fought half-centuries. The southpaw is measuring his approach brilliantly on the tracks which are turning a lot and being an Asian, he is used to playing on such pitches and needs to chip in a lot more than this.

Rony Talukdar (Rajshahi)

With all the International stars getting dismissed cheaply, Rony Talukdar gave no excuses and chipped with a crucial innings to help his side post a respectable total. Although his side lost the game, his effort was commendable and will do a world of good to his confidence. This innings also cemented his spot at the top of the batting order.

Playing combinations

Sylhet Sixers

No one would want to change a winning combination much and this means Tharanga and Fletcher will keep opening the batting, hopefully for the rest of the season. Ross Whiteley will come in at 3, to go with Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Shuvagata Hom, and Nurul Hasan in the middle order.

Their fast bowlers Krishmar Santokie, Abul Hasan and Liam Plunkett are bowling mostly in the death, as the spinners are well with the new ball. Nasir Hossain had two wonderful games with the ball. Accompanying him in the spin department will be the left-arm spinner, Taijul Islam.

Rajshahi Kings

Ignoring what happened in the first game, Rajshahi will still go with Luke Wright and Mominul Haque as the openers. Rony Talukdar was brilliant at number 3 and Mushfiqur will come in at number 4. They have some powerful strikers like James Franklin, Darren Sammy, and Samit Patel coming down the order.

Mehidy Hasan and Samit Patel took the new ball for Rajshahi in the previous game and unlike others, they didn’t reap anything off the pitch. Nihaduzzaman, Farhad Reza, and Kesrick Williams are the frontline pacers for Sammy and accompanying the skipper in the list of part-timers is James Franklin.

StatAttack

74 – Mushfiqur Rahim needs 74 runs to complete 15,000 runs in Professional cricket (List-A + First Class + T20 runs)

198 – Tharanga and Fletcher added 198 runs together thus far for the opening wicket.

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