AFP (File Photo)
Darren Sammy’s presence has been influential for Riders AFP (File Photo)

Rangpur Riders will clash against Rajshahi Kings in match No. 31 of the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League 2016 (BPL). The tie will be played at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka, which will witness its second Riders-Kings battle. Both teams played against each other in the 25th match, producing a close game. However, Kings came out as victors by a margin of 12 runs. Riders are currently placed No. 3 in with 10 points from 7 games, having won five matches and losing two. Kings, on the other hand, are placed No. 6 with 8 points. Kings have a track record of 4 wins and 4 losses. BPL 2016: Points table and team standings

Rangpur Riders have been ably led by Naeem Islam in a side that has international heavyweights like Sharjeel Khan and Mohammad Shahzad (no pun intended), along with Shahid Afridi and Babar Azam. Riders started their season with two wins from as many games. Riders have mostly been in upward surge with a couple of speed bumps in their way. Mohammad Mithun has been their best batsman so far, making 247 runs from 7 games at 123.50. Shazad is next with 224 runs at 44.80. Coming to their bowling unit, Afridi has been their star performer, picking 11 wickets from 6 matches at 11.36.

Kings, on the other hand, started off poorly losing back-to-back 3 matches, before winning 3 games on the trot. Kings should be thankful to their bowler for restricting teams from chasing down the total in the last two games. Kings’ best batsman has been Sabbir Rahman, who has accumulated 257 runs in 9 games at 32.12. Sabbir so far is the only batsman to score a century in BPL 2016.

Mominul Haque is their second best, scoring 232 runs in 9 matches. Abul Hasan has been their best bowler, picking 9 wickets, with best figures of 5 for 28. Samit Patel has been their second best bowler getting 6 wickets.

Both teams clashed just two days back, where Kings edged past Riders by 12 runs. It was former West Indies skipper Darren Sammy’s late-order blitz that helped his team towards a par total. An 18-ball 44 was just the change in momentum his side needed before their bowlers charged into the Kings batting line-up.

This game will be a crucial affair for both the sides, as a win for either side will ensure them one step nearer to the playoff stage.

Squads:

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

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