- Chattogram Challengers are coming into this game with a win under their belt, which is a big plus in a high pressure contest
- Chris Gayle has played few good knocks for Challengers and he has the talent to win the game for his side all by himself
- Rajshahi Royals’ bowling attack looks weak at the moment and only Mohammad Irfan is looking in form
We are just two games away from crowning the champions of the Bangladesh Premier League 2019-20. The Chattogram Challengers would be up against the Rajshahi Royals in the 2nd Qualifier and the winner of this game would meet Khulna Tigers in the grand finale on January 17. The stakes are high for both the teams going into the game and one of the sides will have to leave the ground in a mood of sadness.
There isn’t much to choose between the two sides as they had won equal number of games during the league stages and shared the honors in the two league games where they met earlier. While the Challengers would go into this game with slight edge having won the Eliminator the Royals would have to come out of the defeat they met in the 1st Qualifier. It is a high pressure game and the side that shows better character would emerge as winner.
The performance of the Royals in the first qualifier left much to be desired. Skipper Andre Russell would have been displeased with the way his side went down in the last game. It seemed pressure of the occasion got better of them. As they take on the Challengers in a do-or-die encounter the skipper would hope his side is able to stick to their plans and come out winning in the game.
It was a huge let down from their batting in the last game. Apart from Sohaib Malik none of the other batsmen stuck to the wicket for long. The opening pair of Afif Hossain and Liton Das will need to provide the side with a good start in the game. Ravi Bopara, Russell and Malik in the middle order are wonderful players in this format and they will look to make good use of their experience. Alok Kapali and Farhad Reza will need to do the hitting towards the end.
Mohammad Irfan has been their standout bowler in the last couple of game and he will need to pick early wickets. Russell and Malik have also bowled well in the season. But the side would need better show from the likes of Abu Jayed, Taijul Islam and Bopara as these bowlers have been inconsistent in the last few games with the ball.
Andre Russell, Sohaib Malik and Liton Das are the players to be watched out for the side in this all important game.
It was an impressive win for the Challengers in the Eliminator game against the Dhaka Platoon. Skipper Mahmudullah would have been impressed with the way his batsmen and bowlers went about their business in the Game. He would look forward to carrying the same momentum in the next game and make their way to the finals of the tournament.
Batting is looking rock solid for the side with Chris Gayle in good form. His opening partner Ziaur Rahman also looks good at the moment. In Imrul Kayes and Mahmudullah their middle order pair is doing well at the moment. With Chadwick Walton and Nurul Hasan following them they will look to make a strong impact in the next game against Royals’ bowling attack that isn’t in the best of form at the moment.
After a bad show in the previous game their bowlers made a strong impact in the last game. Rubel Hossain and Nasum Ahmed bowled extremely well in the game. Rayad Emrit was miser with his spells in the middle overs. With Mahmudullah shaping up well and Mahedi Hasan Rana having done well earlier in the season they have a good bowling attack going into this game.
Chris Gayle, Imrul Kayes and Mahmudullah would be the players to watch out for the Challengers in this game.
There has been a trend this season at the BPL where most captains winning the toss have preferred to bowl first. Having a target score in mind is preferred over chasing one on a pitch that is known to be tricky at times. Hence we believe the skipper winning the toss would have no hesitation in bowling first.
PITCH AND WEATHER CONDITIONS
We have seen mixed response from the wicket so far. While it has been a good one to bat on at time, in other games the ball has stopped a bit and created trouble for the batsmen. Going into the next game we expect the surface to balance it out between the batsmen and the bowlers and the batsmen have to be watchful in the initial overs when there is some assistance with the new ball. The side batting first will need a score of around 180 runs to feel comfortable on this surface.
The Dhaka weather would be perfect for a game of cricket with clear skies. The evening temperature would be around 20° C mark during the start of the game. We expect 72% humidity and 10% precipitation. There would be some dew on the surface late in the evening.
It will be a very interesting contest during the second qualifier of the Bangladesh Premier League. The Chattogram Challengers would out as a confident lot during the game after having registered a big win in the last. This is why we are rooting for the Challengers to win this game as Royals have come into this one after suffering a loss.
The Royals cannot be counted out though as they have a very experienced batting line-up with proven T20 players. In the last league game they had defeated the Challengers in a game by 8 wickets which they would like to draw confidence from going into this game.
But we see the Chattogram Challengers as the clear favourites given the fact that they have a very strong batting line-up with a game changer like Chris Gayle at the top. Together with the momentum they are in at the moment they will start as favourites to win this game.