The European Cricket Series caravan moves from Hungary to Bulgaria as the ECS T10 Bulgaria is all set to kick off on July 5th. The top five Bulgarian sides - Academic MU Sofia, Indo Bulgarian, VTU-MU Pleven, BSCU-MU Plovdiv and Barbarians - will be competing in the tournament. A total of 24 T10 games will be played over the next six days, with the final scheduled for the 10th of July. BSCU-MU Plovdiv will start Monday's match as favorites against the Barbarians.
BSCU-MU Plovdiv, formerly known as MU Dons, were adjudged the champions of the inaugural edition of ECS T10 Bulgaria last year. They finished third in the league stage with five wins from their eight matches prior to lifting the trophy by registering a thumping 30-run victory over Indo Bulgarian CC in the final.
They will miss the services of a couple of their key players who were part of their title triumph last season this time around. However, the defending champions have their core squad intact with Saim Hussain, who was named ECN Player of the Tournament, and Sulaiman Ali, the Man of the Match from last season's final. With some of the top quality Bulgarian players in their arsenal, BSCU-MU Plovdiv will once again start as strong contenders to win the ECS T10 Bulgaria 2021.
The Barbarians, on the other hand, had a dismal tournament run last time around. They finished bottom of the ECS T10 Bulgaria standings with a solitary win and seven losses from their eight league stage matches. The Barbarians didn't just lose their games, they lost them by margins as huge as 129 runs. Nonetheless, they have managed to acquire the services of a couple of Bulgarian players who featured in the ECS T10 Bulgaria 2020, including top quality all-rounder Mohammad Fayaz. With prior European Cricket Series experience at their disposal, the Barbarians will be hoping for a change in fortunes this time around.
All in all, with both teams looking to headstart their ECS T10 Bulgaria campaign on a high note, an enticingly fast-paced cricketing action beckons at the Vassil Levski National Sports Academy on Monday.
Squads to choose from
BSCU - MU Plovdiv
Ali Hussain, Alwain Paul, Nabeen Javed, Vishnu Sureshbabu, Waqas Gondal, Esah Altaf, Faizan Rehman, Haamid Hussain, Muhammad Uzair, Parth Acharya, Adithya Patnam, Ali Lucman, Jalal Asif, Junaid Farooq, Sulaiman Ali, Aamir Nakhuda and Saim Hussain (C & WK).
Adrei Lilov, Ivan Ivanov, Ivaylo Andreev, Krasimir Kamenov, Nikolay Nankov, Vasilen Kamburov, Boyko Ivanov, Deyan Shipkov, Ivaylo Katzarski, Julian Hristov, Mario Berberyan, Alexander Stoychev, Dimo Nikolov (C), Ivan Kamburov, Mohammad Fayaz, Tom Omolo, Hristo Ivanov (WK) and Vasil Hristov.
Probable Playing XIs
BSCU - MU Plovdiv
Ali Hussain, Nabeen Javed, Waqas Gondal, Muhammad Uzair, Parth Acharya, Adithya Patnam, Jalal Asif, Junaid Farooq, Sulaiman Ali, Aamir Nakhuda, Saim Hussain (C & WK).
Adrei Lilov, Ivan Ivanov, Krasimir Kamenov, Nikolay Nankov, Boyko Ivanov, Deyan Shipkov, Ivaylo Katzarski, Dimo Nikolov (C), Mohammad Fayaz, Tom Omolo, Hristo Ivanov (WK).
Matches: BSCU-MU Plovdiv vs Barbarians, Matches 3 & 4, ECS T10 Bulgaria
Date & Time: 5th July 2021, 06:00 PM & 08:00 PM IST
Venue: Vassil Levski National Sports Academy, Sofia.
The track at the Vassil Levski National Sports Academy is a batting paradise, with the average first innings score at the venue being 132 runs. The batsmen will enjoy playing on this ground with relatively shorter boundaries combined with a fast outfield. There is little to no help on offer for the bowlers, who will have to maintain tight lines and lengths to survive the onslaught.
ECS T10 Bulgaria Dream11 Fantasy Suggestions (PLO vs BAR)
Fantasy Suggestion#1: Saim Hussain, Hristo Ivanov, Ali Hussain, Tom Omolo, Nikolay Nankov, Adithya Patnam, Sulaiman Ali, Dimo Nikolov, Parth Acharya, Boyko Ivanov, Ivaylo Katzarski.
Captain: Sulaiman Ali. Vice-captain: Saim Hussain.
Fantasy Suggestion#2: Saim Hussain, Hristo Ivanov, Ali Hussain, Nabeen Javed, Nikolay Nankov, Sulaiman Ali, Mohammad Fayaz, Dimo Nikolov, Parth Acharya, Boyko Ivanov, Ivaylo Katzarski.
Captain: Saim Hussain. Vice-captain: Sulaiman Ali.