Vitality T20 Blast: Can unbeaten Lancashire stop Notts’ batting arsenal?
Nottinghamshire favoured to bag a win
The top-two sides in the points table at present will lock horns in this fixture. The Notts are presently at the top owing to a vastly superior net run rate, thereby keeping the Lancs at second spot. In terms of form, both teams are evenly matched but resources-wise, the Notts seem the best side in the group by a distance.
The sheer weight of their batting riches makes them a formidable outfit, similar to England’s ODI side in terms of firepower and depth. Chasing scores of any magnitude seems like a walk in the park for the Notts and the Lancs will be wary of the threat they are set to face, more so given the fact that they haven’t beaten them in the recent past.
The Lancs have a top-heavy batting line-up and some all-rounders who give depth to the batting and balance to the XI. But it’s obvious that it’s their top order that will have to do the bulk of the scoring if they are to post scores big enough to challenge a batting unit like Nottinghamshire.
There will be curiousity around the pitch, given that this will be the first game that will be played at this venue in the tournament. If it turns out to be a batting-friendly deck, the Lancs will have their task cut out. Otherwise, we could see a closely-fought game.
The Lancs survived a real scare in their previous game before ending up on the right side of the result. With 19 needed for Derbyshire in the final over, Tom Bailey conceded 12 off the first three balls before holding his nerve in the final three, thereby getting his side across, just! Alex Davies’ form at the top of the order continues to be the main positive for the side and his opening partner Keaton Jennings also in fine nick, as seen from this fabulous ton in the opening contest.
Skipper Dane Vilas as always is a reliable customer and he’ll take control of the middle order if needed. His presence will be all the more vital the surface isn’t as straightforward for strokemaking, as that would demand more flexibility in approach and reassessment of the possible targets. Steven Croft and Danny Lamb are two other key cogs, given the balance they provide with bat and ball.
Their form will be pivotal for the Lancs, more so with the ball as that’s where the challenge is bound to come in this fixture. They might have got away against Derbyshire despite being a tad sloppy but the Notts won’t give them that leeway.
A Davies(wk), K Jennings, S Croft, D Vilas(c), J Bohannon, R Jones, D Lamb, T Bailey, T Hartley, L Hurt, M Parkinson
So dominant have they been in the two wins that there is already talks of Nottinghamshire possibly lifting the title this season. That’s still a long way away though, and they would for now want to focus on the priority, which is to make it to the knockouts.
The batting has been explosive, executing like a well-oiled machine and ripping apart bowling attacks. The fact that Alex Hales is yet to score big tells you that the Notts aren’t overdependent on any one player to get the job done. If Chris Nash and Joe Clarke did the damage in their first win, Ben Duckett came out all guns blazing in their previous fixture. Safe to say that Hales is due.
That powerpacked lower middle order is the reason the top order can play with such freedom. Skipper Dan Christian, Tom Moores, Samit Patel and Steven Mullaney are all proven powerhitters, and this depth is scary. The approach in both the run chases was clinical and the job was completed without much fuss. The way they are going, the only way they could lose is if they are batting first as chasing seems too mainstream for the Notts. They would want to sharpen their bowling which hasn’t been exposed yet due to the batting might.
A Hales, C Nash, J Clarke, B Duckett, D Christian(c), T Moores(wk), S Mullaney, S Patel, L Fletcher, J Ball, M Carter.
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||13||0 mm.||2.24 k/h||From: S||86%|
|03h||13||0 mm.||2.9 k/h||From: S||96%|
|06h||13||0 mm.||3.8 k/h||From: S||96%|
|09h||16||0 mm.||4.53 k/h||From: S||80%|
|12h||17||0 mm.||4.95 k/h||From: S||87%|
|15h||14||5.96 mm.||5.83 k/h||From: SSE||100%|
|18h||14||5.02 mm.||6.98 k/h||From: SSE||99%|
|21h||15||0 mm.||5.1 k/h||From: SSE||92%|
Rain is forecast for matchday and given the showers we’ve had over the last week or so, getting a game could be hard once the rains start. As for the pitch, a fresh surface awaits us as this is the first game of the season at the venue. There should be a fair amount of pace and bounce although there is a curiousity around how it may behave.
This Liverpool venue isn’t a very common place for cricket even in domestic cricket and hasnt really seen much international cricket at all.
With rain expected to fall, both teams would want to chase to have a greater chance of winning. The Notts anyway love to chase.
It could be a closely-contested game if the Notts bat first but otherwise, it could easily be a cruise for them. We’re expecting them to notch up another win.
Nottinghamshire favoured to bag a win