Can Gloucestershire break the jinx and finally win a game against Surrey?
Our prediction is that Surrey will begin the tournament with a win in the first encounter against Gloucestershire at Bristol.
The Royal London One Day Cup is a 50 over competition played between England and Wales first-class county teams. This tournament began in 2014 and is played yearly since then in a round-robin fashion between 18 teams which are geographically divided into two groups – North and South. Top three teams from each group advance to the knockout stage. Hampshire are the defending champions.
The tournament begins on 17th of April 2019 and ends on 25th May 2019. Gloucestershire, who have won the tournament in 2015, and Surrey, who are yet to win the tournament, will be up against each other in a South Group encounter at Bristols.
Gloucestershire have been one of the five teams to win the Royal London one day cup in 2015 edition of the tournament. And they would be shooting for the glory for the second time during this season that starts on 17th April.
Interestingly they will be up against Surrey whom they had beaten narrowly in the 2015 finals to clinch the title. However, that has been the only success Gloucestershire had against Surrey in the short history of this tournament losing rest of the three matches.
Gloucestershire have reached quarters in 2014 and won in 2015. Apart from that, they have been lying in the lower bottom half of the table. Captain Chris Dent would want to rectify that and bring some consistency in the team's performance as they look to take on a strong Surrey team in their opening encounter of the Royal London One Day cup.
CDJ Dent (c), GT Hankins, BAC Howell, GH Roderick (wk), IA Cockbain, JMR Taylor, RF Higgins, TMJ Smith, CN Miles, MD Taylor, CJ Liddle
Except for the first edition Royal London One Day Cup, Surrey have been phenomenal yet an unlucky team in the tournament’s history so far. They have reached finals three times out of the five editions of the tournament but failed to get the hands on the coveted trophy.
In 2015, Gloucestershire beat them in a heartbreaking loss by just 6 runs. Surrey have won every completed game before that final and after in various seasons of this tournament against Gloucestershire except for the one that mattered the most. In 2016, despite being the last one to qualify for quarters, Surrey heroically reached the finals where they lost by a huge margin against Warwickshire. Similarly in 2017, despite being the last to qualify, Surrey reached and lost the finals against Nottinghamshire despite putting a huge score on the board.
Rory Burns who took over the captainship from Batty last season will be keen to take his team all the way. They will miss Sam Curran who is busy playing in the IPL. Ollie Pope, Ben Foakes and Jason Roy are the key players in the surrey team.
RJ Burns (c), BT Foakes (wk), JJ Roy, WG Jacks, D Elgar, OJ Pope, M Morkel, SG Borthwick, R Clarke, GJ Batty, JW Dernbach
The venue for this match is county ground, Bristol. Of the 16 ODIs played at this venue, 8 have been won by the team batting second and 7 by the team batting first whereas one match did not yield any result. The pitch at Bristol seems to be a true batting wicket not favoring any team.
On such grounds, the team winning the toss should look to bowl first and then plan the batting as per the target set by the opposition.
This is a match between a team that has traditionally done well to reach the final only to not win it even once against a team that, although not as consistent, had its moments in the Royal London One Day cup. However, looking at the history between two sides Surrey seem to have an upper hand despite playing away from home.
Thus, our prediction is that Surrey would continue to keep their good record against Gloucestershire by winning the first match at Bristol on 17th April 2019.
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