Northamptonshire Steelbacks’ first battle against Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire to win!
It is the first game of the Central Group in the T20 Blast 2020 and the Gloucestershire would be up against the Northamptonshire Steelbacks. Both the sides haven’t had poor run in the Bob Willis Trophy and shall be looking to make a positive start in this tournament. It is a different ball game that requires different skills and mindset and both sides would be eager to earn their first points of the season.
Northamptonshire Steelbacks will look to erase the memories of the last season where they failed to grab their chances. They will be aiming to play well as a unit this season and not repeat the mistakes of the past. Gloucestershire on the other hand would miss their experienced skipper Klinger which is a big setback for them. They are still a very competitive side and given the balance on both the sides this game should be interesting.
Michael Klinger’s retirement has pushed Jack Taylor into the hot seat and he would be looking to repeat the success of the last season where they had done extremely well in the league stage. Taylor would know that he has a good side going into this contest and look to get the very best out of his players.
Miles Hammond and his new opening partner George Scott will be expected to provide a good start to the side. It is their batting that won them games last season. James Bracey, Ryan Higgins and Ian Cockbain have batted together in several games and form a good middle order. Graeme van Buuren and Jack Taylor are decent hitters and side would expect good finish from them.
They will miss the experience of Andrew Tye this season but Josh Shaw and Matt Taylor will be looking to provide them with the early breakthroughs in the game. Tom Smith and Higgins possess good skills with the ball and the presence of Graeme van Buuren adds variety to their bowling.
Jack Taylor (c), Roderick (wk), Miles Hammond, Ian Cockbain, Graeme van Buuren, James Bracey, Ryan Higgins, Gareth Roderick, George Scott, Tom Smith, Josh Shaw, Matt Taylor
The Steelbacks had a miserable season last year finishing 7th in the group. Josh Cobb would look to make a positive start this year in the first game. They have got good a good mix of players who will be looking to make an impact in this game. They are up against a good team and Cobb will look up to his players to put up a good show in the season opener.
The side will be expecting a good start from Paul Stirling and Richard Levi at the top. Both these players bring in lot of experience to the table. Adam Rossington, Josh Cobb and Alex Wakely strengthen the middle order and they will aim at pushing the scoring rate up in this game. With Nathan Buck and Blessing Muzarabani batting down the side has good depth in its batting.
The side will need a good start with the new ball from Ben Sanderson and Nathan Buck. Both these bowlers have been shaping up well leading to this tournament. In Muzarabani and Tom Sole they have bowlers who can bowl tight spells. Graeme White and Rob Keogh add depth to this bowling attack.
Josh Cobb (c), Adam Rossington (wk), Alex Wakely, Paul Stirling, Graeme White, Richard Levi, Rob Keogh, Blessing Muzarabani, Nathan Buck, Tom Sole, Ben Sanderson
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||19||0 mm.||2.44 k/h||From: NW||6%|
|03h||17||0 mm.||3.27 k/h||From: NW||66%|
|06h||14||0 mm.||2.51 k/h||From: NW||86%|
|09h||13||0 mm.||1.48 k/h||From: WSW||10%|
|12h||16||0 mm.||1.48 k/h||From: SSW||51%|
|15h||19||0 mm.||3.32 k/h||From: S||100%|
|18h||25||0.61 mm.||3.61 k/h||From: W||100%|
|21h||18||2.83 mm.||2.12 k/h||From: NE||100%|
There are rains on the cards on August 27 at Bristol and both the sides would be eager to get a game of cricket. The pitch would be a fresh one offering assistance to the fast bowlers with the new ball. Batsmen will have to be watchful in the initial overs of the game and the side that bats first would be happy to get to a score of 160 runs or more.
The Bristol County Ground has been a good one for T20 cricket where there is good support for the batsmen as well as the bowlers. Batsmen can play on the up as the pace and bounce on this wicket is true. This also offers lot of support for fast bowlers who bend their backs. The wicket hasn’t been a great one for the spinners through as they have to work hard to get wickets here.
Over the last two years we have seen teams preferring to bowl first upon winning the toss and it has become a success recipe of sorts. Given that the weather prediction isn’t encouraging captains on both the sides won’t have much of hesitation in choosing to bowl first on this surface.
It will be the first game of the season for both the sides and hence they would start on a fresh slate. Gloucestershire had done well last season and the team has a nice core of players which adds to their advantage. The Steelbacks would like to get over the miserable season that had last year and look to make an impact in the very first game. It is expected to be a close game but Gloucestershire seem like a better team on paper and this will put them slightly ahead of the Northamptonshire Steelbacks in this game.
Gloucestershire to win!