Rangpur Riders will be locking horns with Barisal Bulls in the Qualifier 2 of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2015 at the Sher-e-Bangla International Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka on Sunday.
Barisal Bulls clinched an oustanding victory against Dhaka Dynamites on Saturday. The Bulls could only manage 135 runs in their alotted 20 overs after a brisk start from Chris Gayle. They could not capitalise on that start and threw their wickets away, or rather the Dynamites bowlers bowled in the right areas to prevent their opponents from scoring at a healthy rate.
A star-studded batting lineup consisting of Kumar Sangakkkara and Mohammad Hafeez crumbled for 117 runs. Al-Amin Hossain and Kevon Cooper led the bowling charge and picked up six wickets in tandem to power their side to Qualifier 2. They knocked Dhaka Dynamites out of the BPL 2015 by winning the eliminator.
Barisal Bulls will be high on confidence ahead of their encounter against Rangpur Riders. Riders, on the other hand, were handed a crushing defeat by Comilla Victorians in Qualifier 1 by 72 runs. That was indeed a humiliating defeat.
Imrul Kayes and Pakistan-born Sussex cricketer Ashar Zaidi batted brilliantly to post a target of 163 runs on the scoreboard. They batted extremely well under the circumstances, where the ball was doing more of the talking and the other batsmen could not withstand the pressure.
In reply, Riders, who had the likes of Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan and Thisara Perera, were bundled out for a meagre 91 runs. Ashar Zaidi came in handy with the ball yet again, picking up four wickets in his spell of four overs by giving away just 11 runs. Zaidi also bowled a maiden over during his spell. Abu Hider also picked up four wickets and strangled their opposition further.
Riders will be looking to leave that crushing defeat behind before they take the field against Bulls, who are charged with confidence and a lot more stability. Both teams are equally poised on paper, but one never knows what will happen on the field.
First things first, Shakib Al Hasan has to find a way out to stop Gayle or else the match will be done and dusted in no time. Secondly, as we all know, cricket is a team game and therefore Riders will have to play good all-round cricket against Bulls in order to take a shy at the BPL 2015 final against Comilla Victorians.
Bulls cannot afford to relax and take things lightly on Sunday. They will have to be on their toes as this will be good opportunity for them to make it to the BPL finals on Sunday by beating the low-on-morale Riders.
Where to watch live:
The Qualifier 2 of the Bangladesh Premier League 2015 between Rangpur Riders and Barisal Bulls is scheduled for a 6:30 pm local time (6 pm IST, 12:30 pm GMT, 7:30 EST) start. There will be no coverage for the cricket fans in India. Live streaming option is also not available.
There will be no live coverage for the audiences in UK.
Viewers in USA can switch to ESPN 3 to watch Rangpur Riders vs Barisal Bulls. The live streaming option will be available on Watch ESPN.