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|James Robert Bracey||64||48||9||0||133.33|
The race to the final eight is getting tighter and tighter with every passing match in Vitality T20 Blast. The competition in the South Group of the competition is even more fierce with Gloucestershire breathing down the neck of Somerset. Gloucestershire are currently placed at the fifth spot on the ladder, and another win here should push them amongst the top-four teams. They are set to be up against Hampshire in their upcoming fixture which is to be played on 13th August at The Bristol County Ground in Bristol. Hampshire are right below Gloucestershire at the ladder, and a win for them will make things, even more, tighter in context of qualification scenarios. While Somerset will breathe a sigh of relief with a Hants' win, things will get a bit tough for Gloucs. With both the sides desperate to get the two crucial points from the upcoming fixture, a hard-fought contest is undoubtedly on the cards.
Although Gloucestershire have had a slightly better tournament than Hampshire, they too have some concerns of their own. Injury to their primary all-rounder, Benny Howell, disrupted their plans against Middlesex as their bowling looked single-dimensional. Dawid Malan smashed their bowlers all around the park before their batsmen failed to chase down the required total by nine runs.
Despite the loss, Gloucestershire had plenty of positives to take from that fixture. Miles Hammond, who had been in terrific form coming into the match, was brilliant once again as he smashed a quick-fire 42 off just 26 deliveries.
Up until now, it's been Gloucestershire's bowling which has reaped the rewards for them. Their pace bowling department had been excellent up until the tournament so far with Benny Howell doing most of the damage for them, and it will be interesting to see how they do in his absence. With Miles Hammond in fine form, who is ably supported by other batsmen and bowling doing reasonably well, it could be tough to get past this Gloucs lineup.
M Klinger, MAH Hammond, IA Cockbain, Ryan Higgins, JR Bracey, JW Taylor, Tom Smith, Zak Chappell, AJ Tye, DA Payne, CJ Liddle.
Languishing in the bottom half of the table, a win is imperative for Hampshire to have a real say as far as contention for the qualification to the next round is concerned. They are at the sixth spot at the points table with three wins in eight matches amounting to 7 points.
While their bowling has been phenomenal in the tournament so far, they have paid hefty prices for their under-performing batting unit. Barring James Vince and Rilee Rossouw, none of their batsmen has even scored a half-century in a total of eight matches. Even Rossouw and Vince haven't been as consistent, totaling just three fifties between them.
After a poor start to the tournament, Hampshire had a terrific middle-part where they won three matches on the trot. However, two consecutive defeats in their last two games have left them hanging in the middle with a difficult road ahead.
Injury to Mason Crane, who was brilliant for them, has left their side a little weak on the spin-bowling front, which was arguably the biggest weapon in their three wins. Having said that, it's their batting which has been the Achilles heel for them in the tournament so far, and unless their batting can get its act together, things are not going to get easier for them.
Aneurin Donald, J Vince, Sam Northeast, LA Dawson, Chris Morris, James Fuller, Lewis McManus, Ian Holland, RA Stevenson, CP Wood, KY Abbott.
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It's a crucial contest for both the sides in the context of the qualification for the playoffs. Gloucestershire have played better than Hampshire in the tournament so far and are consequently placed a spot higher than them. Hampshire have looked out of sorts in their last couple of matches with their batting being heavily dependent on James Vince and Rilee Rossouw. Gloucestershire, on the other hand, have a better-balanced unit with both bowlers and batsmen contributing, and are, therefore, out pick to emerge on top in the upcoming fixture.
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