Comilla eye batting revival with spot in final at stake

Tamim Iqbal top-edges a pull to third man Raton Gomes/BCB

Big picture

Rangpur Riders and Comilla Victorians will battle it out in the second qualifier to determine who will face Dhaka Dynamites in the final of this BPL season. Both Rangpur and Comilla have plenty of international stars who have lit up the league. Rangpur, however, have had a better build-up to this clash, after having crushed an impressive Khulna side in the Eliminator. Chris Gayle unleashed his firepower, his 14 sixes entertained the Mirpur crowd as much as it did his team-mates and the Rangpur owners.

Comilla have racked up nine wins - the most by any side in the tournament - but their confidence was dented by a heavy loss against Dhaka in the first qualifier. In pursuit of 192, Comilla crashed to 96 all out in 18 overs with only captain Tamim Iqbal passing 30.

Tamim and the other Bangladesh internationals such as Imrul Kaues and Liton Das need to step up further under pressure. Marlon Samuels and Shoaib Malik have been among the runs, but Jos Buttler has struggled on the slow, dry pitches.

Comilla's bowling, however, looks in good shape with offspinner Mahedi Hasan attacking the pads in the Powerplay and Hasan Ali attacking the stumps with the end overs.

Form guide

Rangpur Riders: WLWLW (completed matches, most recent first)
Comilla Victorians: LWLWW

In the spotlight

The wait for a Jos Buttler blitz in this BPL continues. He has managed only 199 runs in 12 innings with just one fifty. Buttler's last five innings have been particularly poor: 5,3,11,5 and 4.

Brendon McCullum, another big hitter, hasn't fired like he can. He has only 152 runs in 10 innings but his strike-rate of 97.43 is more worrying.

Team news

Rangpur have Ziaur Rahman, Shahriar Nafees, Isuru Udana and Samuel Badree as replacement options but it is unlikely that they will break the winning XI that won the Eliminator with ease.

Rangpur Riders (probable): 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Johnson Charles, 3 Brendon McCullum, 4 Mohammad Mithun (wk), 5 Ravi Bopara, 6 Nahidul Islam, 7 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 8 Sohag Gazi, 9 Lasith Malinga, 10 Nazmul Islam, 11 Rubel Hossain

Comilla could consider replacing Dwayne Bravo, who leaked 45 runs on Friday, with Graeme Cremer.

Comilla Victorians (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal (capt), 2 Liton Das (wk), 3 Imrul Kayes, 4 Jos Buttler, 5 Marlon Samuels, 6 Shoaib Malik, 7 Mohammad Saifuddin, 8 Mahedi Hasan, 9 Dwayne Bravo/ Graeme Cremer, 10 Hasan Ali, 11 Al-Amin Hossain

Pitch and conditions

It rained in Dhaka on Saturday and Sunday's forecast doesn't seem very promising either. The pitch, which has been under the covers, is likely to offer some assistance to the bowlers.

Stats and Trivia

  • Comilla had beaten Rangpur twice in the group stage.

  • Comilla's 96 all out in the first qualifier was their lowest total in the BPL.

Victorians 2nd innings Partnerships

1st54Tamim IqbalLiton Das
2nd2Imrul KayesLiton Das
3rd19Shoaib MalikLiton Das
4th21MN SamuelsLiton Das
5th41MN SamuelsJC Buttler
6th10MN SamuelsHasan Ali
7th7Mohammad SaifuddinHasan Ali
8th1AG CremerHasan Ali
9th0AG CremerMahedi Hasan
10th1AG CremerAl-Amin Hossain

Bangladesh Premier League