The clash of titans between Surrey and Gloucestershire
Surrey to win
It is the big semifinal clash as Surrey would take on Gloucestershire in the first semifinal of the T20 Blast 2020 at Edgbaston, Birmingham. The two sides have had a great season and topped the table for the South and Central groups respectively. In the quarterfinals the two sides registered easy wins. Surrey defeated the Kent Spitfires by a huge margin while Gloucestershire made it a one-sided contest against the Northamptonshire Steelbacks.
Surrey comes into this game with eight consecutive wins where the side has just bullied its opposition in most of the games. They have a batting line-up that is in superb form at the moment and includes some of the best players in this format of the game. Gloucestershire aren’t far behind and their bowlers are looking in great rhythm at the moment. Given the stakes and the pressure involved in this game, it is expected to good one.
Gareth Batty’s side has had a wonderful season so far and has stormed into the semi-final with a massive 56 run win over Kent Spitfires. It was an all-round show from their players that led to their victory. The side has been undefeated for the last eight games and Batty would want his side to continue with the same and aim at making it to the final for the first time since 2013.
Their batting line-up is formidable with Jason Roy and Hashim Amla opening the batting for the side. The pair put on a 114 run stand in the last game. Laurie Evans and Will Jacks have also had a great season and they solidify the middle order for the side. In Ben Foakes, Rory Burns and Jamie Overton the side has good firepower in the lower middle order and these guys would be looking to use the long handle towards the end of the innings.
Daniel Moriarty has had a great season with the ball and picked 15 wickets and he would be expected to strike early in the game with Will Jacks. Reece Topley and Liam Plunkett have been bowling economical spells which adds to their bowling strength. Overton and skipper Gareth Batty add balance to the attack and they will be looking to trouble the Gloucestershire line-up in this game.
Gareth Batty (c), Jason Roy, Hashim Amla, Will Jacks, Laurie Evans, Ben Foakes (wk), Rory Burns, Jamie Overton, Liam Plunkett, Daniel Moriarty, Reece Topley
It was a dominating performance from Jack Taylor’s side in their quarterfinal game against Northamptonshire Steelbacks where they registered a 7-wicket win after bowling out their opponents for 113 runs. This win would make the side very confident going into the semi-final. Taylor would however know that Surrey is a very well-balanced side and his team will need to play out of its skin to earn a berth in the final first time after 2007 season.
Openers Miles Hammond and Chris Dent have scored runs throughout the season and they will be expected to offer a strong start to the team. The middle order looks formidable with Ian Cockbain one of the leading run scorers this season. With James Bracey, Ryan Higgins and Jack Taylor to follow the side packs punch as far as its batting is concerned.
Their bowlers would be at the top of their confidence levels. Graeme van Buuren and David Payne are doing well with the new ball and the side would expect early wickets from them. Benny Howell bowled a great spell in the last game and along with Tom Smith and Josh Shaw adds good balance to this bowling attack.
Jack Taylor (c), Miles Hammond, Chris Dent, Ian Cockbain, Ryan Higgins, James Bracey (wk), Benny Howell, Graeme van Buuren, Tom Smith, David Payne, Josh Shaw
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||16||0 mm.||3.51 k/h||From: N||1%|
|03h||14||0 mm.||2.84 k/h||From: N||0%|
|06h||13||0 mm.||1.99 k/h||From: NNE||0%|
|09h||11||0 mm.||1.94 k/h||From: NNE||0%|
|12h||10||0 mm.||1.69 k/h||From: NE||0%|
|15h||17||0 mm.||1.76 k/h||From: NE||0%|
|18h||23||0 mm.||1.24 k/h||From: ENE||0%|
|21h||23||0 mm.||1.7 k/h||From: ENE||0%|
There is prediction for rains in Birmingham on October 03 and this will make the batting conditions difficult. Bowlers are likely to get lot of assistance from the surface and batsmen will have to play their strokes selectively. A score of 160 runs batting first would be a good one on this surface.
Edgbaston, Birmingham has always been a happy hunting ground for the fast bowlers. There is lot of bounce and movement off the surface and this makes it difficult for the batsmen to play their strokes as they have to be cautious in their approach. The large dimensions of the ground also help the spinners as they can toss the ball up.
It is the end of the season and the pitches have got slower and setting up a score on the board is always a challenge. The weather predictions for the day doesn’t look good either which will add to the challenge for the batsmen. Thus we believe the side winning the toss would chose to bowl first here.
It is expected to be a very close contest given the kind for form the two sides are coming into this game. Both the sides have done well to be in the semifinal and registered massive wins in their respective quarterfinal games. Gloucestershire has good strength in its batting and its bowlers have also done well in the last game. But Surrey has greater depth when it comes its bowling and a batting line-up that has lot of experience. This will give them slight edge going into this game.
Surrey to win