Sammy
Darrem Sammy will look to get back to winning ways Getty Images

The 25th contest of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2016 will be played between Rangpur Riders and Rajshahi Kings at Dhaka. It is a contest between the table-toppers and the team who is stuttering at the penultimate position. Both teams will face each other for the first time in this year’s extravaganza. While the Riders will look to maintain the top position, Kings will leave no stone unturned to bag a win and rise up the rankings. All the same, given the kind of form Riders have been in of late, it will be an uphill climb for the Kings to get the better of them. BPL 2016: Points table and team standings; RR go on top

Riders, for that matter, are studded with T20 superstars: Mohammad Shahzad, Soumya Sarkar, Liam Dawson, Shahid Afridi, Arafat Sunny, to name a few. On the other hand, Rajshahi appears stronger on paper but have failed to display their dominance on consistent basis. Now let us walk through their journey so far. In their very first contest, they lost to Khulna Titans by 3 runs. Despite Mominul Haque scoring 64 at the top, no other batsman could step up and reach the paltry total. In the next match, however, they played well as a cohesive unit and beat Dhaka Dynamites by 6 wickets.

But they were again back to losing the plot, for they fell short by 4 runs against Barisal Bulls in 193-run chase. So far they have looked clueless on the field. Losing wickets in quick succession, leaking runs, failing to build pressure: the Kings have been slave to poor show.

All the same, their previous contest was a last-over thriller. They won by 3 wickets with one ball to spare. For that matter, they needed 183 to win. Opener Mominul Haque added 100 with Samit Patel for the third wicket to get back to winning ways.

Only 2 wins out of 6 matches surely do no make them the favourites, but they have enough calibre to outplay any given team.

On the other hand, Riders have been an unstoppable force to reckon with. And only one defeat in 6 matches makes the picture clear.

All in all, it promises to be a belter of a contest.

Squads:

Rangpur Riders : Elias Sunny, Rubel Hossain, Arafat Sunny, Richard Gleeson, Naeem Islam, Mehrab Hossain, Mohammad Mithun, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Muktar Ali, Nasir Jamshed, Pinak Ghosh, Gidron Pope, Gihan Rupasinghe, Sachithra Senanayake, Shahbaz Chouhan, Shahid Afridi (c), Sohag Gazi, Soumya Sarkar, Ziaur Rahman, Liam Dawson, Jupiter Ghosh, Anwar Ali

Rajshahi Kings: Abul Hasan, Ebadat Hossain, Farhad Reza, Mehedi Hasan, Mohammad Sami, Darren Sammy (c), Mominul Haque, Nazmul Islam, Nurul Hasan(wk), Samit Patel, Raqibul Hasan, Rony Talukdar, Sabbir Rahman, Salman Hossain, Milinda Siriwardana, Upul Tharanga, Umar Akmal, Delwar Hossain, Kesrick Williams, Junaid Siddique