- Rajshahi Royals have a better batting line-up and better current form.
- Ravi Bopara has given Royals the boost with bat in the final overs.
- Sylhet Thunder have had as poor tournament as it can get and will be running low on confidence.
The 34th Match of the Bangladesh Premier League 2019-20 will see the clash between Sylhet Thunder and Rajshahi Royals at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium, Sylhet on Saturday. Sylhet Thunder are currently placed at the bottom of the table with just one win in nine matches and are out of the tournament, which means they cannot qualify for the play-offs. They will be looking to test their bench strength and will play fearless cricket as they have nothing to lose.
Rajshahi Royals are currently top of the table in the league table with 6 wins from 9 games and are in a position to qualify for the play-offs if they win the game against Thunders. They have lost back to back two games but have won their previous match against Rangers and are back again on the winning track.
Sylhet Thunders without a doubt have been the worst performing team of the season. Johnson Charles has scored the most runs for the Thunder with 262 and from 8 innings at an average of 32.75 and a strike rate of 167.94. Charles has struck two half-centuries, with the best of 90. Mohammad Mithun, Mosaddek Hossain and Andre Fletcher have also contributed.
While their bowling has done decently in the last few matches, their batting has been substandard. Even in the last two matches, they were restricted to below par totals of 134 and 157 respectively. On paper, they have the likes of Mohammad Mithun, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, but none of them has managed to fire consistently for the Thunder.
On the bowling front, the likes of Nayeem Hasan, Ebadot Hossain, and Naveen Ul Haq have done pretty well for them. They returned with the decent figures in the last match and kept a strong hold on their opponent's scoring rate before their other bowlers gave away a few runs. They also lost a close super over game against Warriors. All in all, it's been a tricky tournament for Sylhet Thunder with poor performance from almost all their players.
Overall the Royals batting has done well. Shoaib Malik has back-to-back ducks and he will be desperate to make amends. The opening duo of Liton Das and Afif Hossain have been on top of their game.
Liton Das is the top run-scorer for Rajshahi Royals with 252 runs from 9 innings at an average of close to 35. He has struck at over 135 and has the best of 58. Shoaib Malik and Afif Hossain have also contributed. However, they need to fill the voids in their bowling unit.
The focus will be on Ravi Bopara and Andre Russell to deliver big. There’s also doubts over whether Russell will bowl or not. Against the Rangers, he pulled out after bowling only three balls. The Royals tactic of using eight to nine bowlers in every match also seemed to have backfired a bit on them.
Bearing in mind the inconsistent nature of the pitch, teams are likely to field first after winning the toss.
Average first innings score: 156
Record of chasing teams: 6 out 8 wins (international T20 matches).
PITCH AND WEATHER CONDITIONS:
The pitch in Sylhet was slow to start with last time around. But as the BPL progressed, some high-scoring affairs took place. The conditions will mostly be cloudy with chances of rain to interrupt during the match.
Rajshahi Royals are favorites to win this match. They are up against a team that is getting its act together, trying everything, even if it is a bit too late, and so we expect the Royals to come out firing. More depth in the batting and better current form are things that should help the Rajshahi Royals win the match.
Liton Das will continue his good form with the bat and Andre Russell if fit can be very dangerous for Sylhet bowlers especially in the last 4 overs.