Our prediction is that Essex will secure a second consecutive win in the encounter against Middlesex at home.
England and Wales first-class county teams play the Royal London One Day Cup - a 50 over one-day competition. This yearly tournament began in 2014 and is played in a round-robin fashion between 18 teams which are geographically divided into two groups – North and South – of 9 teams each. The top three teams from each group advance to the knockout stage. Five different teams have won the championship in five seasons so far. Hampshire are the defending champions.
The tournament began on 17th of April 2019 and will go on till 25th May 2019. Essex have been one of the consistent teams in the history of the tournament. Middlesex, on the other hand, have been a mediocre team in the 5-year history of the Royal London One-Day Cup. It will be interesting to see how Middlesex cope with the challenge of Essex.
Essex have been one of the consistent but unlucky teams in the Royal London One Day Cup. They have reached the knockout stage of all the 5 seasons of this tournament but failed to go all the way even once.
Essex reached quarters in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018 season of Royal London One Day Cup. The closest Essex got to the title was in 2017 when they were beaten by Nottinghamshire in the last over thriller despite scoring huge 370 batting first.
Essex have started this season against Glamorgan with a thumping 180 runs win. They scored 327 batting first and restricted the Glams for a meagre 146. Opener Varun Chopra hit a scintillating century and Ravi Bopara took 3 wickets for Essex. If they continue to play like this a place in quarters looks certain this time as well.
RN ten Doeschate (c), RG White(wk), V Chopra, AN Cook, T Westley, DW Lawrence, RS Bopara, SR Harmer, PM Siddle, JA Porter, SJ Cook
Middlesex have not been very successful when it comes to Royal London One Day cup. Moreover, they have been traditionally poor against Essex in this tournament winning just one out of the 4 head-to-head encounters. Moreover, the defeats have been comprehensive – a couple by 6 wickets and another one by 7 wickets.
If we look at the history of Royal London One-Day Cup since 2014, the Middlesex have appeared in the bottom half of the group throughout. In the first two seasons in 2014 and 2015, they finished 7th out of a total of 9 teams. In 2016, they were sixth in the table but again slid down in the rankings in 2017 to finish second last out of 9 teams. Last year, they could finish 6th.
Middlesex did not qualify for the quarters even once in the last 5 years. They would want to change that under the captainship of Steven Finn. Ross Taylor has joined Middlesex to boost the batting but he will be available since 25th April. Eoin Morgan, James Franklin, and Paul Stirling are some other key members in the team.
ST Finn (c), JA Simpson(wk), SS Eskinazi, NRT Gubbins, PR Stirling, EJG Morgan, HWR Cartwright, JEC Franklin, TG Helm, RH Patel, TE Barber
A total of three ODIs have happened at County Ground, Chelmsford. The team batting first have won 2 of them. In Royal London One Day Cup, of the 15 matches played here, 8 have been won by the team batting first.
Thus, the team winning the toss should look to bat first here but should not be too worried if they have to bat second since the odds are closer to 50 percent
This encounter is a mismatch between a team - Essex - that regularly reaches the knockout stages of the tournament against a team – Middlesex - that never rose above 6th rank in the group. Essex look a better team on paper and on the field as well. After the daunting victory against Glamorgan, they must be keen to play against Middlesex against whom the Essex have traditionally enjoyed success in this tournament.
Thus, our prediction is that Essex would win their second match of the Royal London One Day Cup against Middlesex at Chelmsford.
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