Who will win Rangpur Riders vs Rajshahi Kings, BPL 2019?
The 13th match of the 2019 Bangladesh Premier League sees Rangpur Riders look to get back to winning ways against Rajshahi Kings at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. The match is scheduled for January 13 and the live action begins at 13:30 local time.
Rangpur vs Rajshahi, BPL 2019: Where to watch/Live streaming
TV channels: Sony Six, Geo TV, Gazi TV, Maasranga Television, SportsMax, FreeSports
Live streaming: Rabbitholebd Sports
Both sides have elected to field first whenever they have won the toss though the earlier fixtures have tended to favour the batsmen in recent days.
Read on for team previews, betting tips, latest odds and match prediction for Rangpur Riders vs Rajshahi Kings, Bangladesh Premier League.
Rangpur Riders Team News & Playing 11
Rangpur Team News
While he is yet to impose himself after two matches so far - after his NOC was received late - Chris Gayle is likely to continue at the top of the order in place of England's Alex Hales. In fact, despite the narrow defeat last time out and Nazmul Islam's expensive bowling, they could be unchanged for a third consecutive game.
Rangpur Key Players
Mashrafe Mortaza's eighth victim of the tournament so far was a big one, dismissing Sunil Narine in the match against Dhaka Dynamites on his way to figures of 1-22 from four overs. He previously claimed 4-11 as he ran through the Comilla Victorians' top order.
Shafiul Islam took 2-8 in that game and now has eight wickets in the tournament after his 3-35 against Dhaka, while Benny Howell was tidy again as he claimed 2-25.
Rilee Rossouw has been their batting star, meanwhile. His last three innings have brought two big half-centuries and an unbeaten 20 in the nine-wicket win against Comilla Victorians. Rossouw is the top-scorer in the competition so far with 186 from four innings.
Chris Gayle, who scored 146 not out from 69 balls as the Riders won last season's final, will hope to start finding his best form too - the 39-year-old West Indian is perhaps the shortest format's greatest ever batsman.
Rangpur Team Form
Defending champions Rangpur Riders' title defence got off to an inauspicious start when they were skittled for just 98 in the opening game - Ravi Bopara having scored 44 of them. A three-wicket loss ensued, but they bounced back as Rilee Rossouw hammered an unbeaten 76 from 52 balls as 169/3 proved eight runs too many for Khulna Titans.
Mashrafe Mortaza's superb bowling sent the tone last time out, claiming 4-11 from four overs against Comilla Victorians as they were dismissed for just 63. In reply, the Riders barely broke sweat in a nine-wicket win with eight overs remaining. After Rilee Rossouw's 44-ball 83, replying to Dhaka Dynamites' 183/9 last time out, the Riders were well-placed again but late wickets saw them fall to a two-run defeat.
Rangpur Riders Predicted Playing 11
Rilee Rossouw, Chris Gayle, Mehedi Maruf, Mohammad Mithun, Ravi Bopara, Nazmul Islam, Shafiul Islam, Farhad Reza, Benny Howell, Sohag Gazi, Mashrafe Mortaza
Rajshahi Kings Team News & Playing 11
Rajshahi Team News
Rajshahi Kings were unchanged last time out but are still awaiting runs from the likes of Soumya Sarkar and Laurie Evans. Both men are capable of so much more, however, and may be given another chance to prove as much before any knee-jerk reactions.
Rajshahi Key Players
Captain Mehidy Hasan Miraz scored 51 in the win against Khulna Titans and added 30 last time out against Comilla Victorians. He also has two wickets from the first three matches.
What he needs now is support in the middle order, and Laurie Evans could be the man to provide that given the explosive form he showed in the T20 Blast and Afghanistan Premier League in 2018.
With the ball, Mustafizur Rahman took his 100th T20 wicket in the win against the Titans, and added his 101st against Comilla last time out, from 79 matches.
Isuru Udana went wicketless - saving his best form for his lower-order batting - but his 3-15 in the win against Khulna Titans showed what he is capable of. He also excelled in the Afghanistan Premier League late in 2018.
Rajshahi Team Form
Rajshahi Kings were dismissed for just 106 in their first match, replying to Dhaka Dynamites' 189/5, but things picked up in their second game when Isuru Udana claimed 3-15 with the ball to restrict Khulna Titans to 117/9 and Mehedi Hasan's half-century led them to a seven-wicket win.
Last time out, however, the batting let them down again. Udana's late hitting helped them recover from 63/7 to 124 all out, but they fell to a five-wicket defeat against Comilla Victorians.
Rajshahi Kings Predicted Playing 11
Mohammad Hafeez, Mominul Haque, Laurie Evans, Soumya Sarkar, Zakir Hasan, Mehedi Hasan, Arafat Sunny, Qais Ahmad, Fazle Mahmud, Isuru Udana, Mustafizur Rahman
Team Form in Last Five Matches (most recent first)
RGR : L W W L W
RK : L W L L L
RGR vs RK Head to Head
Rajshahi Kings have won four of their six previous matches against Rangpur Riders but both sides enjoyed a win apiece in the 2017 competition. In the first game, Rajshahi Kings posted 154/8 from their 20 overs and the Riders chased it down for the loss of four wickets with seven balls to spare.
Ravi Bopara hit an unbeaten half-century for the Riders in the second game, but their total of 134/5 was far below par as Mominul Haque's 63 from 44 balls and 122-run opening partnership with Lendl Simmons ensured the result - an eight-wicket Kings win - was never in doubt.
Rangpur Riders vs Rajshahi Kings Betting Odds
Having pushed in-form Dhaka Dynamites close, Rangpur Riders are big favourites to beat a Rajshahi Kings team lacking runs so far. Betfair have priced them at 1.50 to win, compared to 2.62 for the Kings.
Rangpur's batting strength starts from the very top of the order, where Chris Gayle would love to find some form. With Rajshahi lacking runs, as mentioned, Rangpur are 1.73 with Betfair to post the highest opening partnership.
Likewise, with Gayle in there and Rilee Rossouw at number three in superb form, they are a best price of 1.67 to post the highest score in the first six overs.
Rossouw has been the stand-out batsman of the tournament so far, and the South African is 6.50 to be the top batsman in the game against Rajshahi Kings, again with Betfair.
Rangpur Riders vs Rajshahi Kings Prediction
Rangpur Riders are big favourites to beat Rajshahi Kings and, with Rilee Rossouw in top form, they are perfectly capable of living up to that.
Final Verdict: Back Rangpur Riders to beat Rajshahi Kings at 1.50 with Betfair.