The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) introduced uncanny changes for the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2019 & after a 5-day halt the tournament has now commenced.
The tournament opener saw Chattogram Challengers beat Sylhet Thunders comfortably by 5 wickets. Mohammad Mithun's 84 off 48 deliveries wasn't enough for the Thunder as they failed to contain a sturdy onslaught from Chadwick Walton(49*) & Imrul Kayes(61).
The Royals unit, on the other hand, had a Royal beginning to their BPL campaign. They beat Dhaka Platoon by 9 wickets & with 10 deliveries to spare
The Royals take on Thunder in the 5th league game of the BPL & this for an all-important two points.
Royals have played Thunder 4 times in the BPL & both teams have managed 2 wins each. The last time these two teams battled it out in the middle, Royals chased down 190 in 18 overs.
Andre Russell needs no introduction & when he features in a T20 fixture he's got to be the favourite to lead your fantasy cricket team. In 31 BPL games Russell averages 30.94 & strikes at 159.9. His highest score in the league is a mere 46*. Very unlike Russell. This season though, he'll be available for the entire league & is certain to create a difference. Russell's ball-striking ability is the best in the world bar none. A testament to it is his balls/boundary ratio(in BPL). Russell strikes a boundary every 4.3 deliveries & clears the ropes every 6.8 balls.
Russell's strike-rate in the recently concluded Abu Dhabi T10 League was a high 185.22. Not bad for a bloke who also has the ability to hurl deliveries at 150 kmph. Watch out for this superstar.
On one end of the spectrum you have the fiery Russell & on the other, the icy cool Shoaib Malik. The Pakistani all-rounder is the 4th highest run-getter(9176 runs) in franchise cricket & has played leagues all over the world. Malik's ability to churn strike & accelerate when needed makes him a player to keep a keen eye on. The right-hander is also fresh from leading the Guyana Amazon Warriors to the CPL finals this year & was also the 6th highest run-scorer in the tournament. 317 runs @ 63.40.
Shoaib Malik has picked two 5-wicket hauls in T20s. Food for thought?
The Sylhet Thunder were comprehensively beaten in their 1st fixture but Mithun's knock was a massive plus. The classy right-hander scored 84* off 48 deliveries - his highest in the T20 format. The wicket-keeper batsman debilitated the bowling attack & will look to consolidate on a fine start to this year's campaign. Mithun's strike-rate against right arm tweakers is imposing. 131.6 against leg spinners & 128.7 against off-break. He’ll certainly fancy his chances against the wrist spin of Minhajul Abedin Afridi who has only played three T20s so far.
Mohammad Mithun(wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Shoaib Malik, Alok Kapali, Johnson Charles, Rony Talukdar, Ravi Bopara, Andre Russell(c), Abu Jayed, Ebadot Hossain, Nazmul Islam