Rangpur Riders and Khulna Titans have been impressive teams in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2016 so far, scripting quality wins in their first match. With both teams brimming with confidence, their head-to-head contest in Mirpur on Thursday is expected to be a close contest. The Riders and Titans will hope to get things right to script their second win, which will put the winning team in strong position for future matches.
The Riders have a strong and well-balanced unit, but their strength lies in the top order, which includes the dangerous Afghanistan opener Mohammad Shahzad and Bangladesh players like Soumya Sarkar and Mohammad Mithun. The Afghan star played an important role in their last win over Chittagong Vikings, as the opener scored a 52-ball 80, stamping his authority on the bowlers.
Rangpur fans will hope to see the player once again give his team a flying start, and provide a base for batsmen to follow. With an all-rounder like Shahid Afridi, they have a solid team to deliver the goods in the BPL 2016.
Afridi, who is also a key bowlers for the Riders, Arafat Sunny and Rubel Hossain will shoulder the bowling responsibility. If one looks at the batting order of the Titans, these Riders bowlers can trouble them, but they will have to look out for the brilliance of Titans' skipper Mahmudullah, who belongs to a league of his own. He can win matches on his own with his willow.
One look at the Titans batting order reveals that they do not have big names like the other teams. They will have to bank on the experienced Australian domestic player Riki Wessels. However, their bowling line-up looks strong. But one wonders if bowling alone can win you T20 matches.
Bowlers such as Junaid Khan, who started the BPL with four wickets, Mohammad Asghar and Shafiul Islam have an important role to play against the top-heavy Riders batting line-up. The match could be decided on how the Titans' bowlers target the Riders batsmen.
Where to watch live
Rangpur Riders vs Khulna Titans match is scheduled for 7 pm local time (6:30 pm IST). TV and live streaming options can be found below for the matches.
India: TV: Sony Six and Sony Six HD. Live Streaming: Sonyliv.
Bangladesh: TV: Channel Nine BD
Pakistan: TV: Geo Super