About the Match
Northamptonshire Steelbacks are not well placed in the tournament having collected only 5 points from 7 matches played so far and will go up against Durham, which is also struggling with only 4 points from 6 matches on 27th June at Northampton. While the Northants played against Warwickshire in the last league match on 20th June and lost it miserably, Durham also endured similar fortunes when they lost the match against Leicestershire on the same day. Both sides will try to revive their campaign by using their respective resources to their tactical advantage here.
Northants lost the toss against Warwicks and were put into bat first; but they could not bring out their firepower and put up a miserable show failing to place a reasonable target on board. But for a courageous knock of 51 by Crooke off 36 balls, most of the batsmen could not face the challenge and bat well, thus losing wickets at regular intervals, against a disciplined bowling by Warwicks’ bowlers of which Wright was the most successful with 3 wickets, with other bowlers lending good support. The Northants’ effort ended at 133 for 7, which the Warwicks reached comfortably without any hurdle using only 16 overs, retaining 8 wickets. The openers stood ground and the hapless attack by Northants led by Willey Crook could not make any impact on the openers who remained till the 10th over adding 95 runs to the board. 7 bowlers from the Northants team tried to give their best but without much success and exposed their weaknesses in bowling, which they need to analyse and improve upon; the Durham team is not that unsurmountable provided the Northants work hard and exploit the weak links in the opposing side.
Their loss in the recent league match against Leicestershire must have come as a shock because after being put into bat first, they put up a healthy score of 177 for 7 on board, with good performance by all top and middle order batsmen. They built strong partnerships for each wicket after the openers Mustard and Stoneman put up 53 for the 1st wicket in 6.1 overs, and a well made 43 off 22 balls by Muchall took the Durham total to 177 by the end of 20 overs, with the opponent bowlers gifting 10 wides. When Cobb and Boyce started the chase and the Durham attack was making inroads into their batting line up, Eckersley and Smith saved the day and helped the team reach closer to the target; and the win was made possible with 5 balls to spare and 4 wickets in hand. In spite of the good show by the Durham batsmen, the bowlers, seven in total, failed to defend the score, thus showing the gaps in their bowling attack. Durham also needs to improve its bowling performance just like their opponents in the upcoming match and try to contain the Northants by maintaining good line and length.
A tussle between the two near equals is going to be always unpredictable and promises to provide a lot of entertainment to the audience on Friday; though the match will be well-fought by the two sides, we feel that Durham will emerge successful in this encounter.
, 1.80 @ Bet365