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Nottingham and Middlesex lock horns for the top spot in Group A
Our prediction is for Middlesex to win
Tournament: Royal London One-Day Cup | Format: ODI | Venue: Gorse Lane | Toss: To BowlBet Now
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Up until the last match, Nottinghamshire were superb in their bowling efforts. Their failure to defend 294 runs against Gloucestershire will impact their momentum. It was a huge loss as the opposition chased down a competitive target of 295 in just 39.4 overs with 5 wickets in hand. Skipper Haseeb Hameed will be expecting a quick turnaround from his bowlers before it's too late.
Middlesex have been mighty impressive since the get-go. While they lost their opening match of the season chasing a massive target of 360 runs, the margin was narrow. A 9-wicket win over Durham in the next game on the back of a captain’s knock from Eskinazi got Middlesex their first points of the season. Now, both teams are in the top 3 and will fight to grab the top spot in Group A.
Haseeb Hameed led Notts to a 65-run win in their season opener against Sussex while defending 290 runs. They failed to repeat it in their recent outing and suffered a huge loss. While there is great variety in the Nottinghamshire bowling attack, the key bowlers to win the game for the hosts are Zak Chappell, Brett Hutton, and Dane Paterson.
Not only were they crucial with the ball, but they also contributed with the bat in the lower order. Patterson-White, a left-arm orthodox bowler, who finished with 2 for 24 from 9 overs against Somerset can be a game changer against Middlesex. The pitch at Gorse Lane, Grantham can aid slow bowlers considering the previous Royal One Day Cup match played at this venue. Not just that, but the 23-year-old also scored an unbeaten 62 off 46 balls against Sussex in the opening match.
Lyndon James and Montgomery will be the key middle-order batsmen with scoring responsibilities for Nottinghamshire. While opener S Budinger has shown promise at the top, skipper Haseeb Hameed is yet to make a mark at number 3. It has been the middle and lower order that made the biggest impact so far.
Haseeb Hameed (c), Ben Slater, B Budinger, Montgomery, Lyndon James, Patterson-White, Fateh Singh, Dane Schadendorf, B Hutton, Zak Chappell, Dane Paterson
After losing a close-fought game against Leicestershire, Middlesex bounced back and asserted their dominance quite well. Umesh Yadav bagged 5 for 33 against Durham as Middlesex clinched their first win of the season. Another highlight performance was that of Stephen Eskinazi who led the team in that game and scored an unbeaten 146 runs at the top.
Eskinazi continued his brilliant form scoring 182 in the next match while Umesh was supported by Ethan Bamber and Martin Andersson as Middlesex defended 351 runs. The margin in the recent wins has been huge and that would give the side great confidence going ahead in the season.
Another bowler worth noticing is Luke Hollman. The right-arm leg-break bowler picked 4 wickets in that match where Umesh bagged a fifer. These two can once again work wonders for the team and will be ones to watch out for.
The batting strength of Middlesex lies in their middle order. Pieter Malan, Max Holden, and Joe Cracknell can take the game away from the opposition on their best day. They have been in good touch and given the depth in this lineup and the form of the top-order batters, they can be expected to come good in this match.
S Eskinazi (c), Mark Stoneman, Sam Robson, Pieter Malan, Max Holden, Joe Cracknell (wk), Luke Hollman, Martin Andersson, Umesh Yadav, Ethan Bamber, Toby Greatwood
The weather is expected to be sunny on Friday in Grantham. The match would go on without any rain interruptions. The pitch has something to offer for the slow bowlers. In the only Royal One-Day Cup match played at this venue, 7 wickets were taken by left-arm slow bowlers while right-arm fast-medium bowlers bagged 5 wickets.
Gorse Lane in Grantham, home to Lincolnshire CCC will be the venue for this match. There hasn’t been a lot of domestic cricket at this venue.
Considering the only Royal One-Day Cup match played here and the Lincolnshire CCC games, it is clear that the venue hasn’t witnessed many high-scoring matches. Both Notts and Middlesex would be comfortable chasing a total at this venue.
Analyzing the squad strengths of both sides and considering their recent performances, we predict a Middlesex win. While Nottinghamshire have also been impressive with 2 wins from 3 matches, and are the table toppers, we can see cracks in their batting order and it is only a matter of time until a strong unit like Middlesex comes in and knocks them out. Middlesex, on the other hand, have been in great form and have a great variety of match-winners in their side.
Our prediction is for Middlesex to win
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