DHAKA: The first qualifier of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) is between Comilla Victorians and Dhaka Dynamites today (Friday) at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka.
The head-on clash between the Comilla Victorians and the Dhaka Dynamites will reveal the first finalist of the tournament.
Friday’s clash will be an imperative one because none of the two participating teams would like to go into the uncertainty of competing in the second qualifier.
As a result, both sides will look to seal their spot in the finals in this game itself and that resolution, in turn, is guaranteed to give rise to some good cricketing action for the onlookers.
Dhaka Dynamites are a team filled with T20 superstars. Comilla Victorians are much the same, their hefty batting line-up and proficient bowling attack helping them finish as the top team in the league stage.
Comilla will rely heavily on their experienced players Tamim Iqbal, Shoaib Malik and Marlon Samuels to complement the youthful brigade of Hasan Ali, Mohammad Saifuddin and Mahedi Hasan. All six have performed admirably.
Mahedi, the 22-year old uncapped offspinner, has been the biggest surprise, matching accuracy with big-match temperament. Hasan, the Pakistan sensation, has gone from strength to strength to cap off a stunning 2017. Saifuddin has a bit of distance to go but the seamer has shown the ability to bounce back from a bad show.
Comilla Victorians’ strength in the tournament has been undisputed. The opening pair can be made up by Tamim Iqbal and Liton Das, followed by Imrul Kayes, Marlon Samuels and Shoaib Malik. Graeme Cremer and Raqibul Hasan can fulfill the all-rounding role. The bowling department can be held together by pacers, Mohammad Saifuddin and Al-Amin Hossain and spinner, Mahedi Hasan.
Predicted XI: Tamim Iqbal (c) Shoaib Malik, Graeme Cremer, Marlon Samuels, Imrul Kayes, Jos Buttler (wk), Raqibul Hasan, Al-Amin Hossain, Liton Das, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mahedi Hasan
Dhaka are bookended by the big-hitting prowess of Evin Lewis in the opening slot and Kieron Pollard down the order. You cannot go wrong with these two in good form, particularly with Lewis taking his innings deep.
The bowling attack can comprise Hossain, Saddam Hossain, Mohammad Amir and Abu Hider Rony as the front-line bowlers.
Dhaka’s spin trio – Shakib Al Hasan, Shahid Afridi and Sunil Narine – have taken a wicket roughly every 14 balls, which means that they can take up to eight wickets in a game if it is their day.
The opening duo can find its footing in the form of Sunil Narine and Evin Lewis. The rest of the batting responsibilities can be shouldered by Joe Denly, Jahurul Islam, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehedi Maruf and skipper, Shakib Al Hasan.
Kieron Pollard can serve the roles of the required all-rounder.
Predicted XI: Shakib Al Hasan (c), Kieron Pollard, Mohammad Amir, Joe Denly, Sunil Narine, Jahurul Islam (wk), Abu Hider Rony, Mosaddek Hossain, Evin Lewis, Saddam Hossain, Mehedi Maruf.
Story first published: 8th December 2017