BSL 4: A weekend that will decide the Champions of BSL 4

The fourth edition of Bangalore Cricket Guild’s BSL tournament reaches a crescendo this weekend at Gopalan Sports Academy. 5 teams, namely, The Centaurs (TC); Ravana Sena (RS) and Assault Ayyannars (AA) from the Master’s Group and Thundering Typhoons (TT) and Villainous Vampires (VV) from the Do-or-Die group have survived to make it to the tournament’s last weekend. The two survivors from the Do-or-Die group – TT and VV will face off in an Eliminator match on Saturday with the winner playing against RS in the second semi-final on Sunday. Full match preview is below:

Match I -  TT vs VV (8.30 am on 9th December 2017)

·  Form: These two teams’ BSL campaigns could not have been more contrasting. TT have been confident, aggressive and apart from a critical loss against Drakon Force have been in control for a majority of the tournament. They were also the first team to qualify from the Do-or-Die group. On the other hand, VV has had a stop-start tournament, losing both shoot-out matches to RS, winning against Griffin Warriors (GW) then losing back to back against Zombie Killers (ZK) and TT and eventually scraping through on net run-rate with a win against Rising Phoenix (RP) in the last game. The last time they won a game, VV ended up losing the next two.

Match
Thundering Typhoons
Villainous Vampires
Round 1
Won against DF by 30 runs
Lost to RS by 3 runs
Round 1
Lost to DF by 7 wickets
Lost to RS by 2 wickets
Round 2 – DoD
Won against RP by 10 wickets
Won against GW by 6 wickets
Round 2 – DoD
Won against VV by 21 runs
Lost to ZK by 3 runs
Round 2 – DoD
Won by 4 wickets
Lost to TT by 21 runs
Round 2 – DoD
Lost to ZK by 25 runs
Won against RP by 7 wickets

·  Players to watch out: TT have an exceptionally strong batting line-up boasting the likes of Rishab Krishna (102 runs), Ravin Nath (87 runs) and the evergreen Fahed Abousher (174 runs – leading run-scorer) among others. Fahed is also TT’s most dangerous bowler with 10 wickets already to his name at an average of 9.4 and economy rate of 4.78. Thus, it is no guess that VV will try and restrict Fahed both with the bat and with the ball. If Fahed has a bad day, VV will find themselves in a position from which they can dictate the play. Front-line bowler Praney Thapa (8 wickets) and off-spinner Praveen Subramaniam (12 wickets) will be entrusted with the task of stopping Fahed with the ball while Tarun (97 runs) and Gopi Chinnapa (97 runs) will look to play him out and attack the others when batting.



·  Issues for the teamsWhen put under pressure, TT’s bowling has not responded well and this is something that TT’s thinktank will be worried about. Barring Fahed, none of TT’s bowlers have an economy rate of less than 6 runs an over. The likes of Shashi, Rana Sukhveer and Soyeb need to start taking some responsibility off the shoulders of Fahed. For VV, the problems are manifold. Their batting has crossed 120 only once so far and captain Shankar Ram has looked out of form. Apart from Tarun, none of the other batsmen have a strike rate of more than 100. The constant shuffling of the batting order also hasn’t helped and VV are still unsure of what their batting order should look like. Having said that, both of VV’s wins have come chasing.

·   Battle within the War:

Rishab Krishna vs Praney Thapa – A swashbuckling stroke maker against a disciplined bowler. The winner of this battle will lay the foundation for their team’s performance in the match and give his team control.

Fahed Abousher vs Praveen Subramaniam – Praveen has a knack of taking crucial wickets in the middle-overs and strangling the flow of runs. On the other hand, the calm and composed Fahed has targeted opposition bowlers well and picked up runs at will. This will be the battle of the middle-overs.


Tarun vs Shashi – Shashi hasn’t been at his best and will have no margin for error against the attacking Tarun. If Tarun stays for long, TT might find themselves in trouble. However, get him out early and you expose VV’s fragile middle-order.

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