The Bangladesh Premier League restarts today after a day’s break with the Chattogram leg of the tournament and unless something untoward happens, Mushfiqur Rahim’s Chittagong Vikings, currently topping the table and with the home crowd behind them for four matches, are expected to make it to the playoffs by the time the show leaves Chattogram.
The Vikings, led by the ever-reliable Mushfiqur, have seen impressive performances from local stars like Yasir Ali, Mosaddek Hossain and Nayeem Hasan get them to the top of the table. While Chittagong have banked on their local stars, today they will come across a team that boasts foreign stars feared for their T20 prowess all over the world in Mashrafe Bin Mortaza’s Rangpur Riders in the second match of the day.
The Riders’ top-order, powered by the likes of Chris Gayle, Alex Hales, AB de Villiers and Rilee Roussow is looking ominous, especially with Gayle getting back to his steady authority while Hales and de Villiers showed their class during big run chases in their last two group matches.
Roussow has not missed a beat this tournament so far. It could be a scorching matchup between local talents and foreign maestros, but Chattogram have their own foreign star in Robbie Frylinck, who has shown his ability to finish tight matches over and over again in this tournament.
While an interesting battle is set to ensue between these two teams, it is Rajshahi Kings -- set to play Sylhet in the first match of the day today and all their remaining group matches at Chattogram – who will like to cement their place among the top four by the end of the fourth phase. The Mehedi Hasan Miraz-led side has four wins from four matches and will face the Vikings and Rangpur in Chattogram while they also have two matches against Sylhet Sixers, who are languishing at the bottom of the table.
Sylhet, level on points with Khulna, will be hoping to win all three of their games to give themselves a realistic chance of qualifying for the playoffs.