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For a long time, Gloucestershire were numero uno in the points table, but they've slowly but steadily slid down and are now placed at the third spot. Although they've played a game less than the two teams placed above them, it will be really important for them to perform well in their upcoming home game against Middlesex on 9th August 2018. Middlesex are the second spot from bottom in the points table and with four points in ten games, they need to win all their games to even have an outside chance to qualify for the next round.
After a close defeat at the hands of Glamorgan, Gloucestershire bounced back to the winning ways with a superb win against Kent Spitfires. Gloucestershire restricted Kent to a modest total despite Joe Denly's impressive innings of 99 not-out and eventually chased it down with eight wickets in hand.
Their chase was guided by their top-three batsmen with Michael Klinger playing a composed inning of 46. Their task was made easier by excellent batting by Ian Cockbain and Miles Hammond. With Klinger taking his time at the other hand, Hammond owned the responsibility as he scored 51 runs off 31 deliveries allowing Gloucs to get into a position to dictate terms. It was just a matter of formality after that which Benny Howell and Ian Cockbain did to perfection.
Gloucestershire have done well until now and a win here will take them to the top of the table. A loss, however, won't really affect their rankings to a great extent, but it could have an impact during the latter stages in the tournament. Given the way they've been going in the tournament, it's certainly going to be a tough ask for Middlesex to beat them.
M Klinger, MAH Hammond, IA Cockbain, Ryan Higgins, Benny Howell, JW Taylor, KN Barnett, GH Roderick, Tom Smith, DA Payne, AJ Tye.
Middlesex continued to shoot for the wooden spoon as they lost yet again in the competition, this time to Glamorgan. After being put into bat first, Middlesex lost their way as Ruaidhri Smith picked up four for six to demolish their batting lineup. Despite Fuller's 46 not-out, Middlesex ended up with just 131 runs on the board which was eventually chased down in just 12.5 overs.
Nick Gubbins, Stevie Eskinazi, Eoin Morgan, and Paul Stirling failed to put any pressure whatsoever as they were all back in the hut pretty cheaply. Middlesex were found sinking rapidly when Smith bowled Paul Stirling with team's score at 20 for 4. James Franklin and Robbie White could not be part of any fightback as Timm van der Gugten dismissed both of them in the space of three deliveries.
James Fuller and George Scott batted well to reconstruct their innings as the duo put on a mini partnership of 40-runs which was massive at that stage. Bowling wise, Middlesex picked up two early wickets which was imperative if they defended such a low score, but Colin Ingram, Kiran Carlson, and Chris Cooke took the matter into their own hands and sealed the deal with ample amount of time and overs still remaining to be played.
Dawid Malan, PR Stirling, Stephen Eskinazi, Eoin Morgan, Robbie White, James Franklin, George Scott, James Fuller, ST Finn, Tom Barber, Ravi Patel.
Both the teams have had an opposite campaign so far. Middlesex have managed to win just two of their ten games whereas Gloucestershire have won five. With better form and momentum with them, Gloucestershire go into this game as firm favorites.
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