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After a long tussle between eighteen teams, we are finally close to getting the final eight teams who are going to progress to the quarter-finals. Some of the teams have their berth confirmed in the playoffs, and some will have their fate decided in the last game day, that is, on Friday. Essex will take on Kent in one of the many games which are to be played on the last day of the league games in T20 Blast. Essex are languishing in the bottom half of the table with six points to their name and this game won't be as much of significance as for Kent. Kent six teams capable of getting up to 18 points, the scoreline for Kent here could be a difference between a playoff spot and early spot in the tournament.
Although Kent have played 12 games in this tournament on paper, only eight of those were completed. They've won six out of those eight games which is quite a commendable feat in a tournament where competition has been cut-throat.
Kent are set to face Somerset prior to this game which too will be an important encounter for them. If they're able to win that, they'll be in a sweet position while coming into this game whereas a loss there will make things a little tough for Kent, as far as qualification for the playoffs is concerned.
They registered a close win against Middlesex in their last completed match while chasing a colossal total of 191 on a decent batting wicket. Tom Kohler-Cadmore was well supported by Alex Blake in the middle overs where all the other batsmen failed to stay at the crease. Blake scored 57 off 27 deliveries to finally take his team over the line.
Varun Chopra, Adam Wheater, Paul Walter, Dan Lawrence, Ashar Zaidi, Micheal Pepper, SR Harmer, Matt Coles, Aron Nijjar, RS Bopara, Shane Snater.
Despite having one of the most experienced squad in the competition, Essex's failure to perform was surprising to many. They are struggling at the third-spot from the bottom of the table and a loss here can potentially take them to the bottom spot if Essex and Middlesex win their last match.
Essex's last couple of games were washed out due to rain and due to the virtue of two points obtained from them, they rose from the bottom-most spot to the third from the bottom. They were in a delicate spot when the rain arrived in their game against Hampshire with 72 for four down in 7.5 overs. Their match against Gloucestershire was washed off without any ball bowled.
Their last completed match was against Essex which they lost by a small margin of six runs. Their bowlers started off well by picking up Donald and Meschede in the first two overs of the innings, but poor middle-order bowling couple with some excellent strokeplay by Colin Ingram meant that they had to chase a total of a tall order. They were well in the chase after the powerplay overs, but losing wickets at regular intervals cost them the game.
Joe Denly, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Heino Kuhn, Sam Billings, Alex Blake, Grant Stewart, Sean Dickson, Calum Haggett, Adam Milne, Mitchell Claydon, Imran Qayyum.
Two teams are placed at almost equal places from the center of the table, albeit in the different directions. For Kent, a win could be a stepping stone to a victory, whereas for Essex, it wouldn't be of any significance as far as progressing to the next round is concerned. Kent have been the better of the two sides in the tournament, in fact, one of the best, and are favorites to win the upcoming match.