Man of the Match: Liam Livingstone
Sturdy Sussex up against Lancashire’s guile
Sussex to win!
The tension builds in the Vitality T20 Blast 2020 as the quarter-finals are upon us. One of the inter-group clashes of the knockouts features Sussex and Lancashire, both second-placed teams in their respective groups, squaring off for a spot in the semifinals.
Sussex have relied a lot on collective performances, especially with the bat while Lancashire’s batting fortunes have mostly been dependent on select individuals. The visitors’ bowling has been more rounded and has been mighty effective especially on two-paced decks. Hove should suit them in that regard, although it’s not been extremely tough to beat. Sussex has endured a mixed season at home, and that makes this contest a well-balanced one. They are still favourites in this clash though due to the sheer volume of white-ball specialists that they have in their side.
On paper, they are definitely the stronger side, with Lancashire being the underdogs due to their lack of firepower in the squad.
Like most T20 sides he has been part of, skipper Luke Wright has been an impact player for Sussex once more this season. He’s been their leading run-scorer and has found good support from opening partner Philip Salt. The duo has been explosive and aided by David Wiese, given Sussex the cutting edge in the batting department.
Bowling has been their strength in T20 over the years and this season too, Sussex’s bowlers have been on the money more often than not. They have worked as a unit to choke opposition batsmen. While the home record may not be intimidating enough with mixed results, the familiarity of Hove should be a morale booster for Sussex as they head into this knockout clash on the back of a two-match winning streak.
They look a well-balanced side with no apparent chinks in their armour. If they can cope with the pressure of a must-win game, they look primed for another semifinal appearance. Sussex haven’t batted first at Hove all season and that’s probably the only thing that could maybe throw them off-guard a bit if and when it happens.
L Wright(c), P Salt(wk), D Rawlins, R Bopara, D Wiese, C MacLeod, G Garton, O Robinson, D Briggs, M Claydon, T Mills
Luke Wright, RS Bopara, Tymal Mills, Danny Briggs, Ollie Robinson, Delray Rawlins, George Garton, Calum MacLeod, Will Beer, Philip Salt, D Wiese
It’s been a topsy-turvy ride for the Lancs this season as they have never really found momentum in their favour. Even as they head into this quarterfinal clash, a two-match losing streak is playing on the minds of the players. However, they have still had a reasonable season and from the knockouts, it’s anybody’s game really.
Alex Davies has been the team’s leading run-scorer with the others playing around the dashing opener. Surprisingly, the other notable performer Keaton Jennings found himself out of the XI once the regulars came in. Liam Livingstone is yet to really produce the kind of knock he is known for and the knockouts might just be his time.
The bowlers have been efficient for the Lancs, and have relished the two-paced decks that they have got, especially at home. The lower middle order isn’t as potent and that could be an area of concern for them in this clash. They have papered the cracks reasonably thus far but whether they can continue to do that remains to be seen.
A Davies(wk), L Livingstone, S Croft, D Vilas(c), J Bohannon, R Jones, D Lamb, L Wood, T Hartley, S Mahmood, M Parkinson
Matt Parkinson, Steven Croft, Luke Wood, Tom Hartley, Saqib Mahmood, Alex Davies, Rob Jones, Dane Vilas, Danny Lamb, Keaton Jennings, Liam Livingstone
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||14||1.87 mm.||6.07 k/h||From: SW||100%|
|03h||13||0.41 mm.||5.25 k/h||From: W||100%|
|06h||12||0.13 mm.||5.38 k/h||From: WNW||95%|
|09h||12||0 mm.||4.24 k/h||From: NW||13%|
|12h||13||0.82 mm.||6.99 k/h||From: WSW||41%|
|15h||14||0 mm.||7.46 k/h||From: WSW||12%|
|18h||13||0 mm.||4.97 k/h||From: SSW||31%|
|21h||13||1.07 mm.||6.61 k/h||From: S||100%|
The forecast is for a rainy day, as is the case with most of England this week. Hopefully, we get an uninterrupted game. Decks at Hove have been good for batting but also kept the bowlers in the game. A balanced playing surface that should provide for a competitive game.
Hove hasn’t been a frequent international venue and has only hosted white-ball games till date. In domestic cricket, it’s been a popular venue across formats
With the amount of cricket that’s being played, the tracks have started to get tired and should get slower. In such a scenario, it makes sense for the team winning the toss to bat first, especially in a crunch game.