About the Match
Having won the opening match of the NatWest T20 Blast 2014, Durham stands at 2 points from one lone match and goes up against Lancashire, which has 4 points from 3 matches, on 29th May at Chester-Le-Street. While Durham had defeated Worcestershire by 29 runs, defending a total of 173 runs, Lancashire has done well to score two wins so far the first against Worcestershire by 12 runs and the second against Derbyshire by 20 runs.
It was MacLeod’s unbeaten 80 off 56 balls that spearheaded the team’s attack against the Worces bowlers like Saeed Ajmal, Morris, Moeen Ali and Mitchell; Paul Collingwood partnered with MacLeod down the order to score a brilliant 62 runs thereby adding a 113-run partnership for the 4th wicket. It was a terrific effort by the batsmen and though it’s been almost 2 weeks since they have played a match, their skills will definitely be sharper and very likely to bring out their hard-hitting capabilities for the cause of the team. Defending a total of 173 runs, the bowlers led by an all-round effort by Collingwood, who took 3 wickets giving away only 29 runs, caused a total crashing of the Worces batting line-up getting them all-out for 144 runs with one over to spare. Gareth Breese and Usman Arshad also contributed with the wickets, taking 2 each while Scott Borthwick did well with the dismissal of the opposing captain, Mitchell. Overall, the team has a good composition of strong batsmen and bowlers who can deliver at any crunch situation; they just need more time in the middle and surely the upcoming contest will provide them with great opportunities to shine.
Having already played 3 matches, winning two of them, Lancashire definitely has a boosted morale going into this contest when compared to the opponents; they learnt their lessons from the first match defeat against the Notts on the opening day of the tournament and thereafter have grown from strength to strength. Against Worces, Smith and Brown posted an opening partnership of 55 with Smith going on to score a sturdy 74 runs off 53 deliveries; however, Smith couldn’t fire against Derbyshire in the next match at a time when Brown stood strong to score an unbeaten 67 off 50 balls. Along with Croft, who scored a brilliant 76 off 52 balls, Brown posted a 4th wicket stand of 131 runs to take the total to 169 that was well-defended by Kabir Ali’s 3 wickets and Smith’s dismissal of Marcus North. Captain Horton is also in great form as he showed off his batting skills against the Worces blistering away 9 fours and 2 sixes to score an unbeaten 71 off 43 deliveries taking his team to a magnificent 194 runs. Clark, Anderson, Croft and Lilley made regular in-roads to ensure a victory for the team early on in the series; the squad is a well-knit team of performers and is well set to keep its spirits high with more thunderous results in its favour.
Both teams have players who are performing well and gelling well as a team; with the competition heating up the contest is wide open for the two sides. While Lancashire has a better record so far and has played more number of matches as of now, Durham is eager to climb up the ladder and looks better placed to win this round.
Durham Jets, 1.90 @ Bet365