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Toss Winner - Gloucestershire won the toss and chose to bowl first
Middlesex beat Gloucestershire by 30 runs
Middlesex to start their Vitality Blast campaign against Gloucestershire.
We predict that Middlesex will defeat Gloucestershire.
Tournament: VITALITY T20 BLAST 2022 | Format: T20 | Venue: Radlett Cricket Club, Radlett, England | Toss: To BowlBet Now
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After a disastrous campaign last season, Middlesex is making a comeback against Gloucestershire in the 20th edition of the Vitality Blast. Middlesex’s first game will be at Radlett Cricket Club from 9 pm. Both teams ended up in the bottom half of the South Group points table in the last season with Middlesex finishing in 8th place while Gloucestershire in 6th. It's been 14 years since Middlesex won their only Vitality Blast trophy. Since then they have only played 2 quarterfinals and have been knocked out in the group stage 11 times. Middlesex’s last season started pretty badly. Steven Finn led side lost their 6 games in the first seven outings. It was Stephen Eskinazi's batting form in the late season that helped Middlesex win 3 matches in the second half. Eskinazi was Midllesex’s leading run-scorer with 399 runs in 11 matches at a strike rate of 140.49. England’s U19 pacer Blake Cullen led the bowling attack with 20 wickets with an economy of 8.79.
On the other hand, It will be Gloucestershire’s 20th attempt to get their hand on the trophy for the first time. In the last six seasons, they have reached the playoff stages 4 times. Gloucs were unlucky last season after winning 5 of their first 8 games. With 2 of their matches got abandoned due to rain they finished 6th in the points table and lost the playoff birth by a single point. Kiwi batter Glenn Phillips scored 500 runs in 11 games for Gloucestershire in the last campaign at an average of 55.55. While Benny Howell took 15 wickets at an economy of 8.10 to top the wicket’s table for Gloucs.
Gloucestershire won both their games against Middlesex in the last season. At Radlett, Ian Cockbain’s 62 in 39 deliveries helped them win the game by just 2 runs (D/L method). At Cheltenham, Middlesex lost again by 10 runs after Gloucs’ Ryan Higgins made a brief cameo of 43 runs in 25 deliveries and Benny Howell’s 3 for 23 in the end. This was Middlesex’s 4th loss against Gloucestershire in their last 5 outings. With so many faces coming in and going out this season, it will be interesting to see if Middlesex change their fortune against the Gloucestershire.
Middlesex will be roping up to continue their form in this year's County Championship. But the format is different. The number team in the County Championship Division 2 has struggled a lot in the last 10 seasons. Sam Robson and Stephen Eskinazi are set to continue the role of opening batters for Middlesex. Robson played only 3 games last season but scored a match-winning knock of 60 in the final game. Eskinazi will have a big task to continue his form from the last season where he scored a century and 3 half-centuries to finish with 399 runs.
Wicket-keeper batter Joe Cracknell, Luke Hallman, and Nathan Sowter will be batting in the middle order. Cracknell had a decent season last year with the bat scoring 281 runs at a strike rate of 137.07. Aussie bowling allrounder Chris Green will make a comeback for Middlesex this season. Green scored at a strike rate of 140.78 last season in 7 games that he played and also took 10 wickets including a fifer. Plus his experience in lifting the Big Bash with Sydney Thunder will come in handy for Middlesex.
Green’s countrymate Jason Behrendorff will also be pitching in as a replacement for Shaheen Shah Afridi. He also has lifted the Big Bash with Perth Scorchers three times and five times overall. This means Behrendorff will lead the bowling attack with young seamer Ben Cullen who took 20 wickets last season. Mujeeb Ur Rehman will be Middlesex’s lead spinner for this game. He was their most economical bowler with an economy of 6.91 while taking 10 wickets in 6 games.
Key Players: Stephen Eskinazi, Chris Green, Ben Cullen
Sam Robson, Joe Cracknell, Chris Green, Max Holden, John Simpson (wk), Luke Hollman, Blake Cullen, Nathan Sowter, Jason Behrendorff, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Steven Finn (c)
Toby Roland-Jones, Christopher Green, Max Holden, Luke Hollman, Martin Andersson, Joe Cracknell, Blake Cullen, Eoin Morgan, Stephen Eskinazi, John Simpson, Thilan Walallawita
The Gloucs are happy with last season’s leading run-scorer Glenn Phillips’ return. The Kiwi wicket-keeper scored 500 runs last season. More to that he hit 36 sixes in the campaign - most by any batter and 12 more than the next in the line. Miles Hammond And Benny Howell will open the innings for Gloucestershire. Howell was Gloucs' standout player last season with 246 runs by the bat and 15 wickets by the ball. Ian Cockbain will be taking the third spot in the batting lineup. The left-hander was the man of the match against Middlesex last season.
Marcus Harris will be another overseas player added to the Gloucs roaster. He along with skipper Jack Taylor and Ryan Higgins should be playing in the middle-order. Higgins will play the all-rounders role with Benny Howell after finishing last season with 113 runs at a strike rate of 143.03 and 11 wickets. Josh Shaw and David Payne have a new friend in the bowling department - Pakistani pacer Naseem Shah. Both Shaw and Smith collectively took 25 wickets last season. Pakistani left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar can be seen in the playing eleven. The 27-year-old bowler has 67 wickets in his T20 career so far at an economy of 7.72. Plus, he has been regular now with the Gloucs after playing their last four first-class games.
Key Players: Glenn Phillips, Benny Howell, Naseem Shah
Miles Hammond, Benny Howell, Ian Cockbain, Glenn Phillips (wk), Jack Taylor (c), Ryan Higgins, George Scott, Tom Smith, Naseem Shah, David Payne, Josh Shaw
David Payne, Naseem Shah, Ian Cockbain, James Bracey, Benny Howell, Jack Taylor, Paul Van Meekeren, Glenn Phillips, Ryan Higgins, Tom Smith, Miles Hammond
The T20 is expected to play under the clouds with no chances of rain. The temperature will range between 10°C and 20°C. The wind will be flowing from the southwest at 26-29 kmh. The rain is expected on the eve of 25th. The pitch is ideal for batters. Especially in the second innings, the ball comes nicely on the bat.
The sixth match of the Vitality Blast between Middlesex and Gloucestershire will be played at The Radlett Cricket Club, So far Three first-class games, 11 List A, and four Twenty20 games have been played at the Brunton Memorial Ground, Radlett. Middlesex has registered the highest total of 217 runs against Hampshire in the last season at this venue.
In 4 T20s, Team batting second has a 100% win ratio. It will be an ideal solution for the team winning the toss to bowl first.
Yes! Middlesex’s history against Gloucestershire is very poor. They have won just 2 out of 16 games against the Gloucs. Besides that, they have seen victory just once in the last five games against Gloucestershire.
But, the Radlett favors Middlesex more than any other ground. Middlesex have won three of their 4 games played at this venue. One of the victories came against the Gloucs too. Their only loss here was by a narrow 2 runs that too due to the D/L method. Besides this Middlesex is having a great run in the County Championship. They are leading the points table with 4 victories, 2 draws, and 0 losses. Whereas Gloucestershire is at the bottom of the County Championship with 4 losses and 2 draws. Though the format is different we expect Middlesex to come heavy on the Gloucestershire team.
We predict that Middlesex will defeat Gloucestershire.
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