About the Match
As the competition in the NatWest T20 Blast 2017 gets heated up, we expect teams to go full throttle from here on, with a little over a month left to go before the title clash. Two of the South Group teams, Essex and Gloucestershire, will meet each other on 29th July at County Ground, Chelmsford to try and improve their rankings; currently Essex is at the eighth position with 5 points whereas the Gloucs are one better at No.7 with 7 points. Both teams lost their last game after failing to chase down competitive totals and would be eager to perform better here.
Chasing 203 runs against Middlesex proved to be a difficult task for Wheater, Chopra, Ravi Bopara and Ryan ten Doeschate, who were all out on single digits with the scoreboard at 60. Wicketkeeper Foster put up a fine performance with 50 off 25 balls while Lawrence fought hard with a 16-ball 29; however, with the tail-enders exposed prematurely, they were all out for just 131 by the 17th over.
Earlier, Lawrence had taken 3-21 with his legbreak but others like Mohammad Amir, Zaidi and Harmer were left wicket-less. Dixon dismissed 2 batsmen with his fast-bowling while Bopara claimed one wicket, but it was hardly enough to contain Middlesex. In the match against Hampshire though, it was Bopara’s 4-wicket haul for just 19 runs that helped restrict the opposition to 124 runs; he got good support from medium-pacer Walter, Dixon, Amir and Zaidi. The batsmen then led by a superb innings from Wheater and Lawrence, who scored 40+ runs each, led the team to a fine win.
The team has experienced bowlers and batsmen, who could come out all guns blazing on Saturday to help the team stay afloat. It needs to be seen if they can bring their talents together to emerge victorious again.
Against Glamorgan, captain Michael Klinger fought a lone battle in the chase for 177 runs; his 52 off 34 showed a lot of hope but with others down the line unable to do well, they lost the match by 25 runs. Middle-order batsmen Cockbain and Howell pitched in 25 runs each while Taylor and Noema-Barnett kept the scoreboard ticking but in the end, it was Glamorgan’s victory.
Fast-bowlers Payne and Perera claimed 2 wickets apiece while Noema-Barnett took a wicket to restrict the opposition. They have fast-bowlers like Benny Howell and MD Taylor while Jack Taylor provides the spin option. In the match against Kent, the bowlers successfully defended a lowly 138 runs in a thrilling last-ball finish; fast-bowlers Perera, Howell and Payne took 6 wickets between them while spinner Tom Smith impressed with a fine 3-28. Earlier, Klinger, Cockbain, Howell and Jack Taylor kept the innings steady but they could amass only 138 runs.
The victory against Kent surely boosted their morale but they have much more to conquer if they want to stay alive. On Saturday, they will try to do better with both bat and ball under Klinger’s leadership, who himself is looking good with the bat along with others like Cockbain and Howell.
Both teams are struggling at the bottom of the table and are eager to bounce back; they are meeting each other for the first time on Saturday and will try to come out with all the firepower. It could be a battle between the bowlers, and we feel that the Gloucs have better armoury to win this match