Disquiet at the bottom
Reports have emerged of the Rangpur sponsors meddling in pre-match selection and captaincy talks. BCB director Enayet Hossain Siraj, who shifted from Rajshahi Royals to the Rangpur side after his company, Incepta Pharmaceuticals, became Rangpur’s sponsors, has admitted that he has taken charge of team affairs. Whispers of Siraj disregarding coach Mark O’Donnell’s suggestions for the playing XI are also gathering strength.
Rangpur have changed captains three times already, a sign of things not really going well. They began the season with Mohammad Nabi in charge before appointing Tom Abell, and then turning to Shane Watson, under whom they have won their last two games.
Sylhet, meanwhile, have put the Krishmar Santokie controversy out of their way after the West Indian bowler was cleared by the BCB’s anti-corruption and security unit following an investigation into the massive no-ball he bowled on the opening day. Sylhet’s on-field troubles, however, seem unending as they remain at the bottom of the table with only one win in eight games.
Cumilla Warriors, who have won three games so far, also have tough times ahead. Some of their overseas recruits never turned up for the tournament despite the draft list giving them a “fully available” status. If they do make it to the playoffs, their best bowler, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, is likely to miss that part of the tournament.
Youthful stars turn a corner
Soumya Sarkar struck his first half-century in the BPL after more than four years, when he made an unbeaten 88 for Cumilla, albeit in a losing cause. Sarkar’s 48-ball innings, full of his trademark flair, also exuded a promising degree of patience. He struck six sixes and five fours.
Taskin Ahmed, who had only played three of Rangpur’s first seven matches, also hinted at a revival with a four-wicket haul. Liton Das and Mohammad Mithun have also been among runs while Mustafizur Rahman, who had a poor T20I series against India in November, has now taken six wickets in his last two games and also looks set to move on from a tough point in his career.
Batsman of the week
Tamim Iqbal has scored three fifties in the tournament so far, providing Dhaka Platoon with the stability expected of a T20 opener. The 30-year-old sets himself up with early boundaries and builds partnerships in the middle overs, before gaining pace in the latter half of the innings. For the Dhaka side to progress further in the tournament, they would want Tamim to bat at the same pace, with the same diligence and responsibility, and perhaps save his best knocks for the playoffs.
Bowler of the week
After taking just one wicket in his first five games for Dhaka, Wahab Riaz took 5 for 8 against Rajshahi Royals. He took three wickets in his first over, before helping the Dhaka attack run through the tail in their 74-run win. Riaz’s 16 wickets, at an average of 15.75, were pivotal to Comilla Victorians’ title victory last season. Dhaka will want to see more such bursts from their vastly experienced left-arm quick if they are to push to a good finish in the league phase.