Surrey will beat Sussex in the first match at Brighton
Our prediction is Surrey will beat Sussex in the first match at Brighton. Looking at overall performances of Sussex at the Royal London games, the result should be in favour of Surrey.
Surrey reached the Royal London tournaments finals thrice. In 2018, they were affected by an abandoned match against Sussex and ended up at the 8th position. On the other hand, Sussex never reached the play-offs till date.
It’s Surrey’s second match in the tournament after losing to Gloucestershire very badly, but against Surrey, they are expected to bounce back. Sussex carry pretty good experience from their Cape Town trip, focused on white-ball format but it will be a new story against three-time-finalist, Surrey.
Sussex never reached the knock-out stage of the Royal London games. In the opening year, Sussex were almost as bad as Surrey. While Surrey were 9th, Sussex ended up at the 8th place. Years 2015 and 2016 weren’t any better as they lingered at the 9th position. 2017 was much better for Sussex as they improved and ended the season at the 5th place. The abandoned match against Hampshire and a few closed matches spoiled their chances for the play-offs.
Their performance deteriorated again in 2018 managing just 2 wins out of 8 matches. Overall, Sussex have only 9 wins in all the seasons of Royal London games. It forced them to focus on their skills for the while-all format. In recent Cape Town trip, they got a fine experience and were unbeaten in five matches. The captain Ben Brown looks more determined and holds the crucial role at the top order. He is confident about his squad and worked hard on his power-hitting skills. Sussex’s target is to reach the play-offs, but Surrey may not be an easy target for them.
BC Brown (c), LWP Wells, LJ Wright, HZ Finch, LJ Evans, MGK Burgess, D Wiese, OE Robinson, DR Briggs, A Sakande, George Garton
In the first season of the One-Day Cup, Surrey won just one match and remained at the bottom of the points table. They had returned with the bang in 2015, winning 6 of their Group-A matches, and topped the points table. Later they had reached the finals but eventually lost to Gloucestershire, by a narrow margin of six runs. In 2016, they again reached the final, but this time Warwickshire snatched the Cup. It was their third consecutive final in 2017, and the third consecutive missed-chance as they were overwhelmed by Nottinghamshire. In 2018 too they had handsome chance to reach the knock out stage, however, they were separated from the point table's number two team by just one point.
This year, Gloucestershire crushed Surrey by 147 runs in the first match. Their top and middle order need to reconcile themselves if they want to avoid another such debacle. Though Surrey are not expecting any challenge from Sussex, they need to be more focused if they don’t want to lose another two points.
RJ Burns (C), JJ Roy, MD Stoneman, OJ Pope, BT Foakes (WK), WG Jacks, R Clarke, LE Plunkett, TK Curran, GJ Batty, M Morkel
The venue for this match is County Ground, Hove, Brighton. There is only one ODI played on this ground between India and South Africa in ICC World Cup 1999, in which South Africa beat India while batting second.
The team winning the toss might opt to bowl first as the surface is expected to remain unaffected throughout the match and chasing would help to set the pace as per the target.
It is not going to be an easy match for Sussex against three-time-finalist Surrey. Though Surrey lost their first match, Sussex look feeble in front of Surrey. Surrey will be desperate to open their account aiming at the play-offs.
Though Sussex captain has shown his intent and determination, it is likely that Surrey will defeat Sussex and gain their first two points of the tournament.
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