About the Match
Leicestershire is placed 3rd in the north group of the NatWest T20 series and will take on Durham, which is placed 6th on the points table, on 3rd July at Riverside Ground, Chester-Le-Street. Durham won four out of nine games to accumulate 8 points whereas the Leics earned 10 points from four victories and a game that produced no result. When the two teams met earlier, Leicestershire had defeated Durham by a big margin of 8 wickets and the forthcoming game is expected to be a thrilling one with Durham being eager to avenge the previous loss.
Their last match against Yorkshire resulted in a tie with both teams posting 142 runs; Andrea, Ned Eckersley and Niall O’Brien scored 40, 28 and 25 runs respectively to keep the scoreboard ticking. On the bowling front, Ben Raine took 3-23 while Ollie Freckingham took 2 wickets.
They also registered a win over Warwickshire by 7 wickets wherein Umar Akmal’s superb 52 off just 38 balls and Mark Cosgrove’s 44 off 23 deliveries built the foundation; Niall O’Brien contributed with 40 runs and helped the team reach the target of 160 with ease.
The team has a good mix of hard-hitting batsmen like Andrea, Ned Eckersley, Mark Cosgrove, Umar Akmal and Niall O’Brien while bowlers Clint McKay and Ben Raine have been taking wickets consistently with 10 wickets each. Ollie Freckingham, Kevin O’Brien, Jigar Naik and Grant Elliott provide variety to the attack. They have the fire-power and determination to win the match on Friday.
Durham suffered a six-wicket defeat over Lancashire in their last match after the batsmen got bowled out for just 141 runs, which they failed to defend although bowlers Chris Rushworth took 2 wickets and Usman Arshad and Ryan Pringle took a wicket each. Earlier, Mark Stoneman opened the innings with a 29-ball half century and Paul Collingwood scored 25 runs but the other batsmen got out for below 15 runs.
Against Warwickshire, they lost the match by 7 wickets after posting a good total of 163 runs on the board with the help of Calum McLeod’s 41 off 27, Ben Stokes’s 40 off 28 and Gordon Muchall who scored 30 runs. But the bowling department failed to impress again with the ball with Usman Arshad, John Hastings and Scott Borthwick taking a wicket each but being unable to restrict the opponent from reaching the target.
Overall, they are a well-balanced side with established batsmen like Mark Stoneman, Calum McLeod, Gordon Muchall and Paul Collingwood while John Hasting is a valuable all-rounder; Usman Arshad is their top wicket-taker with 15 scalps so far while Chris Rushworth, Collingwood, Ryan Pringle and Scott Borthwick are assisting him nicely. They will need to combine their resources and experiences to come out all guns blazing against Leicestershire and go back to their winning ways.
The Leics are on a roll with two consecutive wins and their confidence level is quite high for the upcoming match against Durham; however, Durham who lost their recent matches are hungry to bounce back and at their home ground, they could very well do so on Friday.