POST TIME: 11 January, 2019 11:40:10 AM
Comilla look to local players to outdo Rajshahi
A huge blow for Victorians as injured Smith heads home
Sports Reporter

Comilla look to local players to outdo Rajshahi

A dejected Comilla Victorians captain Steven Smith leaves the BCB Academy ground yesterday as he could not continue practice session due to an injury in the previous match. BCB Photo

Comilla Victorians will take on Rajshahi Kings to exceed each other on the second match of the fifth day of the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium (SBNCS) in Mirpur today.

The match-a night affair-will start at 7:00pm.

The Victorians and the Kings both played two matches each, in where they have still an equal record of win-loss but the 2015 BPL champions are ahead of the Kings due to the net run-rate. Comilla have -1.217 points, while Rajshai have -1.882 points in their kitty.

Following their victory in the opening match against Sylhet Sixers, Comilla Victorians conceded a comprehensive nine-wicket loss to Rangpur Riders, the reigning champions of the BPL, in their second outing.

The Victorians were skittled out for 63- the lowest total of the current edition so far despite having their rich stock with the big-names players the likes of Australian ex-captain Steven Smith and West Indies stroke-maker Evin Lewis.

 But Comilla received a massive blow ahead of today’s match when their skipper Smith won’t be able to play the match due to an injury which he received in the previous match. He joined the practice session yesterday but could not continue for a long as he left the ground for hotel.

Steven Smith will miss Comilla Victorians' next two matches in the BPL, after a previous elbow injury flared up in the last couple of days. He flew back to Sydney yesterday for a check-up but is expected to be back in Bangladesh sometime next week.

"He is quite positive about returning, possibly during the Sylhet phase of the competition," Victorians media manager Sohanuzzaman Khan said. "He will undergo an MRI in Australia, which isn't available in Bangladesh, and will inform us about it."

They now hinge on the performance of their local players as they believes, it is tough to move forward and claw back in winning mood without the shine of their local resources that trimmed with Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Anamul Haque Bijoy, Shamsur Rahman Shuvo, Mosharraf Hossain Rubel, Abu Haider Rony and Mohammad Salauddin.  

The team held their pre-match day training session at the national academy of the SBNCS, where their coach Mohamamd Salahuddin spoke to media and said that he believes no negative impact will be fallen on their morale.

“I don’t think the confidence of our team has heavily been devastated. Actually last match we played where we didn’t assess the wicket properly. For this, we lost the match,” said Mohammad Salauddin.

“If we think that we are an experienced side and have an experienced batting order, we will then bounce back in right way,” Salauddin told media.

“But I don’t think that the defeat will put any adverse impact on our confidence,” he added.  

Salahuddin said that they are aware of Kings’ strength especially their strong bowling unit, comprising of cutter master Mustafizur Rahman, in-form Mehidy Hasan and Isurru Udana.

“I think the Kings have a good bowling unit because it’s not easy to halt a team like Titans stature below-par score. But the way they batted was appropriate in chasing down such total on the board,’’ Salahuddin said.      

“The local cricketers need to perform because they are more accustomed with the condition rather than the foreign,’’ he also said.

“Due to winter, there is movement on the Mirpur surface, where they now need to adjust with it as there are breeze at some point while the other thing is that the ball does not come to the bat so they need to make that required adjustment and play,’’ he added.

While Victorians will be hoping to stage a comeback in winning ways, their today’s rival Kings will be eyeing to make sure so that they don’t get derailed after earning a morale boosting victory over Khulna Titans following their defeat in their tournament opener.

Despite playing the match last night the most of the players of the team under Lance Kulsener appeared in Mirpur to hone their other players ahead of the third match.

“The win, I think, was very important. We wanted to make sure so that we don’t mess it up again. We were a bit cautious and did not try to play in T20 temperament because we needed to just win the match what was necessary for us after losing the opener against Dhaka Dynamites,” said Mizanur Rahman, assistant coach of the Rajshahi Kings.