Teams hope for better weather with time running out
English weather from mid-August has been in shambles with heavy rain lashing various parts of the country. The T20 Blast has also been hit by it, and two teams who have been most affected will face-off in this clash with their chances of knockout qualification hanging by the thread. Yorkshire are relatively better placed but it’s not a great margin. Leicestershire have been hit badly by the rains and while that has given them some free points, too much of anything can always backfire. Both teams need to start registering wins and for that, they’ll hope that they get a better weather forecast for their upcoming matches, starting from this one. Leicestershire are coming into this game after being beaten by the Notts while the Yorks registered a comfortable win against Durham to keep their chances of progression in check. Yorkshire’s batting, especially their top order has been on fire and that’s been the backbone of their wins thus far. Their bowling has backed that up, and this has ensured that the Yorks haven’t missed the big guns that much. Leicestershire isn’t highly resourceful on paper and given the minimal game time that they’ve got so far, they would still be an unsettled unit which doesn’t help. Both teams will need to buck up, given that this is the business end of the tournament.
On paper, Leicestershire aren’t an intimidating outfit in terms of resources and given the constant rain-forced abandonments, they have struggled to get continuity which is crucial in these tournaments. Their last game against the Notts was a poor effort from the batsmen and against a batting-heavy opposition, that is never ideal. They still did manage to make the chase tough although the result was never in doubt. Skipper Colin Ackermann needs to come to the party as it’s the business end of the tournament and Leicestershire will hope that their skipper leads from the front. The bowling doesn’t quite have the big names but can be efficient if the batting can get its act right. There is a decent amount of variety in the attack which can be effective especially on sluggish decks. But without the batsmen performing, it would be in vain. Some of their dark horse talents would be George Delaney who offers value with both bat and ball and has been promoted to open the batting to lengthen the order. The Irishman and Aaron Lilley would need to provide the support that Ackermann needs to shepherd this young outfit.
G Delaney, H Dearden, A Lilley, C Ackermann(c), G Rhodes, L Hill(wk), T Taylor, B Mike, C Parkinson, W Davis, G Griffiths
William Davis, Harry Swindells, Gavin Griffiths, Tom Taylor, Callum Parkinson, Lewis Hill, Colin Ackermann, Arron Lilley, Ben Mike, Gareth Delany, Harry Dearden
Despite missing a host of key players to national duties, Yorkshire has fared reasonably well and the availability of Joe Root has been a big boost with England’s Test captain proving to be in the groove. His stability has allowed the power-hitters to express themselves more freely and it has allowed Yorkshire’s batting to operate at a brisk tempo. However, Root will be unavailable for the next few games with the Australia ODIs starting on 11th September. That would be generally a big hole to fill, particularly mid-tournament but the good news is the possible return of in-form Dawid Malan who isn’t part of England’s ODI squad for the series. It should be a straight swap with the southpaw expected to bat at number three. Rest of the side should be the same that played the previous fixture against Durham. Another huge addition has been the return of David Willey (in the previous game) who is also not part of the national ODI side. Given his all-round abilities in the blast, this is a fantastic double whammy for the Yorks at just the right time in the tournament. The duo will add more firepower, balance and experience to the side. The bowling gets strengthened by Willey’s inclusion and also adds some variety to the squad. Yorks will be high on confidence going into this game.
A Lyth, T Kohler-Cadmore, D Malan, D Willey(c), H Brook, W Fraine, J Tattersall(wk), J Thompson, M Fisher, M Pillans, J Poysden
Ben Coad, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Adam Lyth, Will Fraine, David Willey, Jack Shutt, Jonathan Tattersall, Jordan Thompson, Josh Poysden, Harry Brook, Matthew Fisher
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||10||0 mm.||2.16 k/h||From: WSW||98%|
|03h||10||0 mm.||2.63 k/h||From: SW||94%|
|06h||10||0 mm.||3.3 k/h||From: SW||94%|
|09h||14||0 mm.||6.13 k/h||From: SW||90%|
|12h||16||0 mm.||7.35 k/h||From: WSW||85%|
|15h||16||0 mm.||6.47 k/h||From: WSW||74%|
|18h||14||0 mm.||4.32 k/h||From: SW||61%|
|21h||13||0 mm.||4.9 k/h||From: SW||56%|
It’s expected to be a mildly cool day in Leicester with no forecast of rain and that should be welcome news for both teams. The pitches here generally are good for batting but could get a tad slower as the game progresses.
Grace Road has been a scenic venue for English cricket and has been host to plenty of international games, including World Cups.
Given the tacky nature of the surface, it could be good to bat but perhaps difficult to chase. So teams will opt to bat