Durham look to upset Leicestershire’s juggernaut
Considered down and out, Durham have risen up from the ashes with a massive win over Derbyshire. Meanwhile, Leicestershire’s win over Yorkshire means that the table has really opened up and if Durham can emerge victorious in this particular fixture, things will get really interesting. The fact that they are playing at home should be a boost, given that they know the conditions here pretty well. But Leicestershire showed in their last game that they aren’t afraid of chasing down big totals, even if the Riverside may not be as favourable to chase on. The Leics still have a top-heavy batting line-up and that isn’t ideal on high-scoring pitches where the batting depth becomes pivotal. In this regard, Durham have been greatly aided by the presence of their two overseas stars in Ben Raine and Farhaan Behardien who add balance as well as experience to the batting. Another high-scoring game is expected at Riverside and both teams will be hoping to out-bat each other, although the contest will eventually be decided by the side that bowls relatively better.
Although beating a low-on-confidence Derbyshire outfit wasn’t an extraordinary achievement, a win is a win no matter how they come. And the manner in which Durham dominated the fixture will have boosted the morale of the side. It was only a matter of time before Ben Raine showed his prowess and his power-hitting display was incredible. It allowed Alex Lees to go at his own pace as the others rallied around him to make optimum use of the batting conditions. While 220-plus totals can’t be achieved everyday, Durham certainly got a template on how to go about things in the upcoming games. There is a bit more depth in their batting now and that should allow the men at the top to play with gay abandon. Brydon Carse as the floater has done a remarkable job and his hitting form is something that’s been a constant right through this season. The bowlers were also tidy against Derbyshire although a lot of that was due to the massive scoreboard pressure. Nevertheless, doing the basics right will have pleased the think tank as they get ready for a tougher opponent in Leicestershire. It won’t be an easy contest but Durham will know that a win here can throw the tournament wide open. Skipper Rimmington might probably need to use himself a bit more smartly, given that he is an experienced customer.
A Lees, G Clark, B Raine, D Bedingham(wk), S Steel, B Carse, F Behardien, P Coughlin, L Trevaskis, M Potts, N Rimmington(c)
Matthew Potts, Brydon Carse, Scott Steel, Paul Coughlin, Farhaan Behardien, Alex Lees, Nathan Rimmington, Ben Raine, Graham Clark, Liam Trevaskis, David Bedingham
Despite their strong start to the tournament, Leicestershire’s win over Yorkshire is definitely an upset of sorts. Particularly when you take into account that big run chase which they aced. That win has fuelled the camp big time and they’ll be eager to extend this new-found momentum. Skipper Colin Ackermann was due for a big score and when he fires, Leicestershire win matches more often than not. The other potential gun player Gareth Delany also played to his potential, registering a fifty-plus score opening the batting and also having a couple of wickets with his handy leggies. These two are the team’s vital components at present along with Aaron Lilley’s power hitting skills. The trio were in full flow against Yorkshire who ran out of ideas after a point of time. Given the batting-friendly conditions at Riverside, they will once again be the centre of attraction in this big game. The bowling does remain a concern though, as not always can such targets be chased down. Given the mercy-less conditions expected for this game, Ackermann will need to marshall his bowling resources tactfully as things can get out of hand really quickly.
H Dearden, G Delany, A Lilley, C Ackermann(c), T Taylor, L Hill(wk), H Swindells, B Mike, C Parkinson, G Griffiths, W Davis
Gavin Griffiths, Tom Taylor, Lewis Hill, Colin Ackermann, Nick Welch, Ben Mike, Arron Lilley, William Davis, Callum Parkinson, Harry Dearden, Gareth Delany
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||14||0 mm.||9.26 k/h||From: SW||100%|
|03h||15||0 mm.||8.42 k/h||From: SW||100%|
|06h||15||0 mm.||7.88 k/h||From: WSW||100%|
|09h||17||0 mm.||8.55 k/h||From: WSW||100%|
|12h||20||0 mm.||8.12 k/h||From: WSW||98%|
|15h||20||0 mm.||7.45 k/h||From: WSW||60%|
|18h||17||0 mm.||4.72 k/h||From: SW||30%|
|21h||15||0 mm.||3.42 k/h||From: SSW||0%|
Matchday is expected to be pleasant with temperatures in the early 20s for the first time in a while, after those chilly and rainy days of late. There should be intermittent passages of sun and the pitch as always is expected to be a belter. Should slow down a bit in the second half.
Chester-le-Street is a popular white-ball venue in England for the extremely batting-friendly conditions that it doles out, as well as the scenic views that are on display.
Teams generally love to chase on flat pitches in this era but at Riverside, the deck does slow down a bit and that means it’s better to put runs on the board.