Middlesex’s big challenge against in-form Lancashire
Lancashire to win
We have reached the midpoint of the league games in the Royal London One-Day Cup, 2021 and Lancashire have dominated Group A proceedings and sit at the top of the points table. The side comes into this contest with a big win against Hampshire. Middlesex on the other hand also comes here with a win and they defeated Worcestershire in their last game, their first win of the season.
Lancashire has looked in brilliant form right through this tournament winning all the three games. They have strengthened their position on the points table and are nearly through to the next round. Middlesex need to play the catchup game here and need to win to keep their prospects alive. The side would need a good effort to defeat Lancashire in the latter’s territory.
Tom Bailey’s side has been brilliant through the season, and it was yet another confidence boosting win for the side against Hampshire in the last game. They won by 51 runs under the DLS method after rain interrupted play. Bailey would look to continue with the march and book a spot in the quarterfinals with a win in this game.
Keaton Jennings and Josh Bohannon missed out in the last game, and they would look to make a good start in this game. In the middle order Luke Wells and Rob Jones are in good form and the side would expect a good show from them. The side has a strong middle order with Steven Croft, George Balderson and George Lavelle, and the side would like to see big hits from them.
It is their bowling attack that has stood up in this tournament with Bailey and Danny Lamb looking in good form. The duo would be expected to grab early wickets in the game. Liam Hurt, Jack Morley and Balderson also did well on the last game, and they have the perfect balance in the attack to win this game.
Tom Bailey (c), Keaton Jennings, Josh Bohannon, Luke Wells, Rob Jones, Steven Croft, George Balderson, George Lavelle (wk), Danny Lamb, Liam Hurt, Jack Morley
Peter Handscomb’s side comes here with a massive win, and this would have restored their confidence after the poor show earlier. Their batsmen did well in the game to put up a big score in a rain reduced game against Worcestershire winning it by 13 runs in the end. They have a massive challenge going into this contest and Handscomb would want his players to be on their toes.
Stephen Eskinazi and Max Holden provided a good start in the last game with Eskinazi coming here with a big hundred and similar show would be needed from them here. Sam Robson is playing well, and he would be tasked with steering the middle order with Handscomb and Jack Davies. They would like to see big hits in this game from Luke Holman.
Their bowlers would have to bowl tighter lines in this game as Thilan Walallawita and Ethan Bamber were expensive with the new ball in the last game. Hollman and James Haris have done well in the middle overs, and they must play the containing role well. Martin Andersson and Robson shall have to fill the role of the 5th bowler well in this game.
Peter Handscomb (c), Stephen Eskinazi, Max Holden, Sam Robson, Robbie White (wk), Jack Davies, Martin Andersson, Luke Hollman, James Harris, Thilan Walallawita, Ethan Bamber
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||12||0 mm.||0.89 k/h||From: N||75%|
|03h||11||0 mm.||1.1 k/h||From: N||52%|
|06h||12||0 mm.||0.61 k/h||From: ENE||28%|
|09h||17||0 mm.||0.85 k/h||From: W||9%|
|12h||20||0 mm.||2.18 k/h||From: WSW||11%|
|15h||21||0 mm.||1.83 k/h||From: WNW||56%|
|18h||18||0 mm.||2.93 k/h||From: N||72%|
|21h||15||0 mm.||1.51 k/h||From: N||75%|
The skies over Manchester would see cloud cover on August 03 but that isn’t expected to affect the game. Batsmen would like batting on the flat surface that sees lots of runs. The side that bats first in this game would have to get more than 300 runs to feel safe on this wicket.
Old Trafford is known for being a flat surface where ball comes on to the bat nicely and allows batsmen to play their strokes easily. Fast bowlers have to bend their backs to get reward from this surface while spinners do get the odd ball to turn sharply creating problems for the batsmen.
It has looked a good batting surface earlier in the season and most teams have preferred to bat here upon winning the toss and set up a big score. Hence, we believe the side that wins the toss here shall have no hesitation in batting first.
Middlesex have won just one game and they are currently ranked 6th on the points table. The side needs to get a move on at this crucial phase of the season. Their bowlers have to strike form for the side to defeat the confident Lancashire in this game. Lancashire has ticked all the boxes and their batsmen and bowlers look in good form and this would make them favourites here.
Lancashire to win