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|Jacob Daniel Libby||9||5||0||1||180.00|
It is very difficult to find anyone who could have predicted Durham winning four out of its first five matches in the Vitality Blast 2018. Beset by player’s leaving, financial troubles, points being docked, and other issues, Durham has put its best foot forward in the T20 format. They come into this match with four wins on the trot and looking to go joint top of the table with a win in this game. Their opponents, Nottinghamshire are squarely in the middle of the group right now with three wins from six games.
Can Durham continue its dream run or is it just too good to last?
An incredible run with the bat by a couple of their players has helped Durham pull off upset after upset at the start of the Vitality Blast 2018. Tom Latham and Graham Clark have been the standout players for Durham with the bat so far. Both the players have over 200 runs to their name and have scored two fifties each in the competition.
Unlike a lot of other players, the two have been continuing after getting to fifty and converting their innings into real match winning ones.
The availability of Ben Stokes for a couple of matches has been a boon because he has come in and provided the side with plenty of runs as well. With the test summer for England starting, Stokes is not going to be available for Durham and that will leave a big hole for the side to fill.
Paul Collingwood continues to be evergreen and is still a force with the bat.
Just like Latham has helped Durham reach an all new level with the bat, Imran Tahir is doing the same with the ball. He has 10 wickets to his name from six matches and is giving away runs at an economy rate of just 6.70.
These are incredible figures. Add the performances of Weighell with 9 wickets and Rimmington with 7 wickets and we have a side with an in-form bowling lineup.
Durham will continue to ask individual brilliance from the players to win but so far they have not been disappointed.
TWM Latham, BA Stokes, Graham Clark, PD Collingwood, Ryan Davies, Stuart Poynter, Ryan Pringle, James Weighell, Nathan Rimmington, Chris Rushworth, Imran Tahir.
Three wins from the first four matches for the defending champions showed that the team is still in excellent shape. They have since lost two consecutive matches, including one to Durham, their opponent in this match.
Nottinghamshire’s fortunes seem to rise and fall with its batting. Dan Christian set the pace early on in the tournament by smashing runs in almost every game. He also scored a blistering century and hit 15 sixes to bolster the Nottinghamshire middle order.
Since then, his form has dipped a little and other players have stepped up.
Rikki Wessels, Tom Moores, and Samit Patel have contributed with the bat at different times to showcase the batting depth in this team. Nottinghamshire will be hoping that a couple of these players can perform in the same match so that they can counter a red-hot Durham batting side.
Nottinghamshire’s weaker suit has been its bowling. Samit Patel and Ish Sodhi were absolutely central to the success of the team last year but they have not quite got into the same rhythm this year. With Hurney, Ball, and Christian also a part of the attack, Nottinghamshire has an excellent bowling side.
It just needs its spinners to start doing the job more regularly.
In this match, Sodhi and Patel are going to be tested by Latham who is exceptional with the sweep shot.
How the spinners face up to the Durham batsmen could well be the decisive portion of the match.
Riki Wessels, will fraine, Tom Moores, SR Patel, Billy Root, Jake Libby, DT Christian, Steven Mullaney, Jake Ball, IS Sodhi, Harry Gurney.
The team winning the toss is likely to bat first
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
Intermittent showers and possible thunderstorms have been forecast for the morning of the match day but the weather is expected to improve dramatically as the day progresses. We think we should be able to get a full game in without any interruptions.
The pitch at Chester-le-Street is expected to be good for batting, albeit a little slow. The batsmen will have to spend a few minutes to get used to the pace before teeing off. The spinners could play a big role but will have to contend with some small boundaries.
Durham is playing at home and is in excellent form. It has a good batting side and one of the best T20 leg spinners leading its side. They are being labeled as the underdogs by punters and are currently available at an excellent price. We think this is a good betting opportunity to take advantage of.
Back Durham to win.