Comilla Victorians, Dhaka Dynamites on track for play-offs in BPL 2017
As the 2017 edition of the Bangladesh Premier League is at the halfway mark, we take a look at where the teams are positioned and the chances of them making to the play-offs.
Comilla Victorians: (Matches - 6, Points - 10, Position - 1)
By far the most impressive team and the most comfortably placed side among the seven. They started the tournament with a defeat to Sylhet Sixers but quickly turned things around with five consecutive wins that saw them claim the position at the top. The impressive part of their game goes to the fact their wins are contributed in a collective manner. The Victorians do not have a bowler in top 10 leading wicket-taker list but five out of them - Hasan Ali, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dwayne Bravo and Mohammad Saifuddin - occupy five out the next six places. Imrul Kayes (201 runs) has been the most impressive batsman for them in the tournament while Jos Buttler (156) and Marlon Samuels (153) did no harm to their reputation as overseas players.
Verdict: With the least games played in the tournament and already securing the most wins, Comilla Victorians are all but certain to make it to the top four with ease going by their current form. Interested in betting for Bangladesh Premier League? Here is the list of best betting websites online.
Dhaka Dynamites: (Matches - 8, Points 9, Position - 2)
The influence of the West Indian and Pakistan internationals led by ever reliable Shakib Al Hasan has brightened their chances in the tournament that began with a demoralising nine wicket win against Sylhet. Evin Lewis with 239 runs is already the leading run-scorer in the tournament and has shown how destructive he can be but it was Shahid Afridi's inclusion that made them a totally different unit. While runs from the former Pakistan captain at the top has been a bonus, he has 11 wickets from four games at an economy of 6.25, winning games singlehandedly for the team. Abu Hider, Shakib, Sunil Narine along with Afridi occupy four positions in the top five leading-wicket takers this season, making them a dangerous unit.
Verdict: With the firepower and the all-round depth, Dhaka Dynamites should reach the top four and even have the resources to clinch the title.
Khulna Titans: (Matches - 7, Points 9, Position - 3)
Led by Mahmudullah, Khulna Titans had a decent outing in the tournament so far with four wins from seven games. They have the leading wicket-taker of the tournament on their side, Abu Jayed, who has 12 scalps from six games but lack support as the likes of Shaiful Islam and Carlos Brathwaite have been disappointing but Junaid Khan's arrival will be the additional firepower they need in the bowling department. As Mahmudullah been solid as ever, Ariful Haque and Rilee Rossouw have been the other two promising performers.
Verdict: Khulna are in line to reach the top four position but with improved bowling attack they have the chance to make it to the top two as well.
Sylhet Sixers: (Matches - 8, Points 7, Position - 4)
The Sixers went on from one extreme to another and lost momentum rapidly. After winning the first three games, Sylhet have suffered four defeats and an abandoned game in the next five which meant they have made their pathway tough for themselves. The three wins earlier in the tournament came when Upul Tharanga fired with half-centuries in each of the game but their fate will now lie with the performances of Nasir Hossain, Danushka Gunathilaka and Sabbir Rahman, who were good in patches. Their bowling too went wayward and the fact that their top two leading wicket-takers haven an economy of over eight does not bode the team well.
Verdict: In this format, losing momentum can prove to be decisive and Sylhet need a turnaround very quickly if they are to make it to the play-offs.
Rangpur Riders: (Matches - 6, Points 6, Position - 5)
After a struggling start to the tournament that saw them win just one out of the first four games, Riders have gathered some momentum with back to back wins over Sylhet Sixers and Dhaka Dynamites that keeps them in contention for a top four spot. The addition of Chris Gayle to the already existing firepower of Brendon McCullum makes them dangerous, even though the latter is yet to take off. Thisara Perera has been good in patches but Ravi Bopara has redeemed himself with the bat especially and they need Lasith Malinga to find his form.
Verdict: They have all the big names in this format including Gayle, McCullum and Malinga and on their day they can be intimidating but at present, they are battling out for a third or fourth finish.
Rajshahi Kings: (Matches - 7, Points 4, Position - 6)
A team that had promising local talents including Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mehedi Hasan but with the overseas players like Luke Wright, Darren Sammy and Lendl Simmons, struggling to find their feet, they are struggling to get the crucial points.
Verdict: Unlikely to reach the play-off unless two or three of their overseas players redeem themselves considerably.
Chittagong Vikings: (Matches - 6, Points 3, Position 7)
With the tournament gone halfway, they are yet to strike a right combination. Barring the top three, Soumya Sarkar, Luke Ronchi and Anamul Haque the batting lacks depth and the situation isn't too different in the bowling front as well. The last four games saw them lose three, with one ending in no result and with not much firepower they are unlikely to make a turnaround that will push them into the top four.
Comilla Victorians and Dhaka Dynamites are on track to make it to the play-offs while the remaining two spots will have to battled between Khulna Titans, Sylhet Sixers and Rangpur Riders.
© Cricket World 2017