- Chattogram Challengers won both league games against Dhaka Platoon
- Chris Gayle has already looked in good form for Challengers and he can single-handledly win the game for the side
- Dhaka Platoon’s bowling attack is their weak point. None of their bowlers have been consistent this season
We are in the business end of the Bangladesh Premier League 2019-20. The playoff fixtures have been decided and Chattogram Challengers who finished third on the points table would be up against Dhaka Platoon in the Eliminator game. It is a high stakes battle between the two teams and the loser will have to pack their bags and head home. The two sides have played well in this season and deserve to head into the second qualifier game.
In the league stage, the two sides had played in two games and Chattogram Challengers had won on both those occasions. The Challengers would be looking to carry that confidence as they play the Platoon for the third time. Platoon is playing at their own city and would have noisy crowds supporting them in the game. They will look to use this to their advantage in the high stakes battle where pressure would be on both sides.
The Challengers had dominated the leagues stages for most parts of it and were topping the points table almost till the end. Finishing third on the points table after a loss against the Rajshahi Royals in the last league game would have hurt skipper Mahmudullah. He would want to erase that defeat and take his side to the qualifier with a win in the next game. Having defeated Dhaka Platoon twice in the season would give them the psychological edge going into this game.
The side has very strong batting line-up with Chris Gayle having joined the squad. Gayle along with Lendl Simmons will look to provide the side with a good start. In Imrul Kayes, Mahmudullah and Chadwick Walton they have a very strong middle order. These players have scored runs earlier in the season and this would add to their confidence going into the game.
The weakness for the side is in its bowling as the bowlers haven’t had the best run in the season. Rubel Hossain and Rayad Emrit have done well but rest of the bowlers have leaked runs in most games. Liam Plunkett hasn’t lived up to his reputation and needs to do well in the game. Mahmudullah and Nasum Ahmed will have to keep their ends tight against the strong batting line-up that Dhaka has.
Chris Gayle, Lendl Simmons and Imrul Kayes would be the three players that are likely to influence the game most for the side.
Mashrafe Mortaza would have surely wanted to end the league stages better than they did. With his absence doubtful with a hand injury the odds are against the side. From a position of dominance they qualified for the playoffs as the fourth team on the points table. The side lost its last two games and the eight wicket loss against the Khulna Tigers after putting up 205 in the last game would have hurt their confidence. They lost both their games against the Challengers in the league stages and hence this game would be a big challenge for the side.
The side has a very strong batting line-up. Mominul Haque looks in great form and his opening partner Tamim Iqbal has done well throughout the season. In the middle order they have quality players in Anamul Haque, Jaker Ali and Mahedi Hasan. With Thisara Perera coming down the order they have a powerful batting line-up and will been looking to score big runs on a flat surface.
It was a nightmarish experience for their bowlers in the last game as none of their bowlers were able to trouble the opponents. Mahedi Hasan will need to bowl tighter lines with the new ball. The bowling performance from Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan and Hasan Mahmud in the middle overs will be crucial as they have gone for runs in their previous two games.
Tamim Iqbal, Mominul Haque and Mahedi Hasan would be the three players to watch out for Dhaka Platoon in the game.
It is an afternoon game and hence there won’t be much in the surface for the bowlers. Batting on this wicket would be easy as we have seen from the number of games played here in the afternoon. Both the sides have strong batting line-ups. This one being a high pressure game we expect the side winning the toss to bat first.
PITCH AND WEATHER CONDITIONS
The last few games has seen flat surfaces as the curators have been focusing on creating run scoring surfaces. Going into the Eliminator game at the Shere Bangla Stadium, Dhaka we don’t expect to see much of change in the character of the surface. The ball would come onto the bat nicely and allow batsmen to free their arms easily. The side batting first will have to target a score of 180 runs or more to be able to defend on this track successfully.
It will be clear skies over Dhaka and would be a warm afternoon evening at the start of the game with the mercury hitting 22° C mark during the start of the game. 71% humidity is predicted for the day and wind speed is expected to be normal and precipitation around the 10% mark.
It will be a battle of nerves in the game as it will be the end of the road for the side that loses the game. The Challengers have played well and have a powerful batting line-up going into the game. Having defeated the Platoon twice already in the season they will start from a position of advantage which is why we believe they will win the game.
We are backing the Challengers considering the pitch conditions where it will be easy for the batsmen to play their strokes and man to man they have a far stronger batting on this surface. The Platoon cannot be counted out completely though as they will have the huge crowds at their home city cheering for them.
The problem for the Platoon is their bowling attack that has gone for plenty of runs in the last two games and this is likely to play in their minds as they bowl against one of the strongest batting line-ups for the season. It is expected to be a close game but Chattogram Challengers would start as favourites in the game.