Northamptonshire Steelbacks’ battle to end losing spree against Birmingham Bears
Birmingham Bears to win
As Birmingham Bears takes on Northamptonshire Steelbacks in the last round of league games in the Central Group this will be a very important contest for both the sides. Birmingham Bears come into this game after a win against Worcestershire Rapids and win here would guarantee them a spot in the quarterfinals. Northamptonshire Steelbacks lost to Somerset in the previous game and need to win here to keep their hopes alive.
The Northamptonshire Steelbacks are having a terrible run in the tournament and have lost their last four games. The team is struggling to play well as a unit and this game would be a test of their character. Birmingham Bears currently look the better side in terms of form and this will make the game interesting given the stakes that are involved for both the sides.
This is a must win game for Will Rhodes’ side in their bid to seal a place in the quarterfinals. They are currently sitting on the second place in the points table and shall hope to win the next game at home. The side would be confident after its 16-run win over Worcestershire Rapids in the last game. Rhodes would know that his opponents are struggling at the moment and shall look to exploit this weakness.
Batting looks good at the moment with openers Robert Yates and Adam Hose in good form and both these players have scored runs this season. Rhodes, Sam Hain and Michael Burgess make this middle order very strong going into the game. Down the order Dan Mousley scored runs in the last game and this will add to his confidence. Henry Brookes and Tim Bresnan also bring in hitting abilities to the game.
It hasn’t been a great season for their bowlers and the side would be expecting a good start with the new ball from Dan Mousley and Tim Bresnan in this game. Jeetan Patel’s return to form in the last game is welcome news for the side. In Olly Stone, Jacob Lintott and Brookes the side has good depth in its bowling attack.
Will Rhodes (c), Robert Yates, Adam Hose, Sam Hain, Michael Burgess (wk), Dan Mousley, Tim Bresnan, Henry Brookes, Olly Stone, Jacob Lintott, Jeetan Patel
Michael Burgess, Tim Bresnan, Liam Norwell, Sam Hain, Adam Hose, Robert Yates, Jacob Lintott, Dan Mousley, Will Rhodes, Jeetan Patel, Henry Brookes
It’s been a sorry state of affairs for Joshua Cobb’s side in the tournament. They had started well with four consecutive wins but have lost their last four games and the side looks low on confidence at the moment. They went down against Somerset by 7 wickets in the last game. They need to win this game by a big margin to keep their hopes alive for a berth in the quarterfinals. They had defeated Birmingham Bears earlier in the season and shall take confidence from it.
Most of their top order players aren’t in good form at the moment which is creating pressure on the side. They will need a good start in the next game from Paul Stirling and Richard Levi. Cobb has been among the runs and needs to steer the middle order alongside Luke Procter and Adam Rossington. The side will also expect runs from Alex Wakely and Saif Zaib who have been quite in the last few games.
Given the form of their batsmen, the bowling attack will need to take additional responsibility in this game. Ben Sanderson will need to pick wickets with the new ball along with Cobb. Nathan Buck and Graeme White have done well with the ball in the last few games and this will add to the confidence in the camp.
Joshua Cobb (c), Richard Levi, Paul Stirling, Adam Rossington (wk), Alex Wakely, Luke Procter, Saif Zaib, Graeme White, Nathan Buck, Ben Sanderson, Brandon Glover
Rob Keogh, Adam Rossington, Richard Levi, Tom Taylor, Josh Cobb, Ben Sanderson, Paul Stirling, Luke Procter, Saif Zaib, Graeme White, Nathan Buck
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||22||0 mm.||2.96 k/h||From: E||95%|
|03h||21||0 mm.||3.25 k/h||From: E||98%|
|06h||19||0 mm.||3.74 k/h||From: E||99%|
|09h||18||0 mm.||4.09 k/h||From: E||96%|
|12h||16||0 mm.||4.35 k/h||From: E||96%|
|15h||20||0 mm.||4.55 k/h||From: E||99%|
|18h||24||0 mm.||4.1 k/h||From: ENE||92%|
|21h||25||0 mm.||4.02 k/h||From: ENE||83%|
The skies over Birmingham would be relatively clear with odds clouds on September 20 and we should have nice batting conditions. This pitch has always offered assistance to the bowlers with the new ball but the true bounce and pace on the surface also allows batsmen to play their strokes. The side batting first would be happy to get to a score of 160 runs on this track.
Fast bowlers have always enjoyed bowling at Edgbaston, Birmingham as they can extract good bounce and movement off the surface. The larger dimensions of the ground also allow batsmen to score many twos and threes here. Spinners have enjoyed a good record as there is lot for them on this surface.
All the three games that have seen results so far at this venue have been won by sides that have batted first. The pitch has been a good one to bat on and we have seen big scores so far. Thus the captains shouldn’t have much of hesitation in their minds and chose to bat first upon winning the toss.
Northamptonshire Steelbacks after the wonderful start have seen massive dip in their form. Four consecutive losses have hurt their confidence levels and this is likely to be a big handicap for them as they play against a side that is looking in good form at the moment. Birmingham Bears have peaked at the right time and have a good batting line-up. Playing at home they would start favorites in this game.
Birmingham Bears to win