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Khulna, Rangpur brace for do-or-die Eliminator

  • Published at 01:28 pm December 7th, 2017
Khulna, Rangpur brace for do-or-die Eliminator
Khulna Titans will face Rangpur Riders in the Eliminator of BPL 2017 at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Friday afternoon. Khulna finished the group stage with 15 points and Rangpur earned 12 and Friday's match will be a stern test for both the teams as the winner will play the Qualifier 2 while the loser will be sent packing. Khulna have a balanced side and produced some all-round performance throughout the tournament. Middle-order batsman Ariful Haque and captain Mahmudullah are in good touch while big-hitter Carlos Brathwaite also provided firepower at the latter part of the innings. Right-arm pacer Abu Jayed is also bowling brilliantly as he took 18 wickets from nine innings so far in the tournament. He is currently the second highest wicket-taker of BPL 5. The top-order was a concern for Khulna at the beginning of the money-spinning tournament but local recruit Nazmul Hossain Shanto made some notable runs in his last few outings and the Titans will need another good score from him Friday. Khulna took part in an intense practice session at Mirpur Academy Ground Thursday. On the other hand, Rangpur have two destructive batsmen at their top-order in the form of Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum. Although these two big hitters were unable to score big in the tournament so far, either of them can destroy any bowling attack on their day. Rangpur played against table-topper Comilla Victorians Wednesday in Mirpur. And with one eye on the Eliminator, they rested key players, including captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza. They made seven changes to their side in the last game. But Rangpur will definitely play their best team against Khulna. PLAYERS TO WATCH Mahmudullah Mahmudullah is yet again leading from the front for the Titans as the all-rounder has played some significant knocks for his team this year in the BPL. Mahmudullah has scored 392 runs in the tournament in 11 innings and also picked up six wickets in nine innings. Khulna will bank on their captain’s services in order to produce a win Friday. Carlos Brathwaite The West Indies T20I skipper has played some destructive innings in this year’s BPL. Khulna will surely need him at the latter part of the innings to accelerate the run-rate. Brathwaite has scored 225 runs in the tournament so far with a superb strike rate of 178.57. The tall seamer has also been effective with the ball as he bagged five wickets in crucial stages of the cash-rich competition. So a big match awaits Carlos. Brendon McCullum The Kiwi top-order batsman has not been in good form so far but today can be the day he really captures the imagination with an aggressive innings. McCullum has played nine games for Rangpur so far, scoring 152 runs, certainly not upto the mark for player like him. The Rangpur camp will be hoping the right-hander plays his natural game in the do-or-die Eliminator against Khulna. Mashrafe bin Mortaza Mashrafe has been leading Rangpur with superb captaincy skill and all-round performance throughout the tournament. Mashrafe is still consistent with the leather at this age as the prolific all-rounder notched 13 wickets in 11 innings at an economy rate of 6.58. Surprisingly, Mashrafe has played some brilliant innings with the willow in BPL 5, turning the tables for his team with little cameos. Rangpur have not produced any clinical performance in the tournament so far, yet they secured a top four spot. So a big test for Mashrafe awaits Friday as the captain.
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