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|RE Van Der Merwe||2.0||0||15||1||7.50|
|RE Van Der Merwe||11||7||2||0||157.14|
The vagaries of the schedule in the Vitality Blast 2018 are such that Gloucestershire and Somerset are about to face off for the second time in this tournament already. The first game saw Somerset get over the line in a tense encounter but since then things have changed. Gloucestershire recorded two victories in its last two matches and Somerset has lost the only other match it has played.
Will Somerset be able to record a second victory over Gloucestershire this season or will the hosts have learned something from their first encounter?
Michael Klinger and his men can be very proud of the victory that they recorded against Kent in their last match. They were up against one of the stronger teams in the group and were able to withstand the pressure with both bat and ball. A poor start to their batting saw four top-order batsmen get out after getting starts within the first 10 overs.
This allowed the middle order for Gloucestershire time in the middle and Noema-Barnett, Higgins, and Taylor all scored vital runs to showcase their importance to the side.
A very disciplined bowling performance led by Higgins, van Buuren, and Payne then saw Gloucestershire withstand the assault from a strong Kent batting. It bodes well for Gloucestershire that they will be up against many of the same challenges against Somerset.
If Klinger, Hammond, and Cockbain are able to get off to a good start then it looks like the middle order will be able to support them but we still feel that this side is missing a couple of genuine power hitters in the lineup.
Higgins has been the one player that has stood out for Gloucestershire. He contributes with both the bat and ball to ensure the team is well balanced. His bowling is going to be very important in this match against a strong Somerset lineup along with van Buuren, Payne, and Howell.
Keeping the Somerset side quiet will be the biggest challenge for this team.
M Klinger, MAH Hammond, IA Cockbain, Ryan Higgins, GH Roderick, JW Taylor, KN Barnett, GLV Buuren, AJ Tye, Tom Smith, DA Payne.
A strong batting display was followed by a poor one against Kent. Now, for the second time in three matches, Somerset will be expected to overcome Gloucestershire. Somerset has a very strong batting lineup that has done well in T20 cricket for quite some time now.
Led by Myburgh, Davies, and Trego at the top, the middle order of Hildreth and Anderson is very capable as well. Somerset like to go hard at the opposition bowling and then backs its batting lineup to be able to continue to score rapidly until the end of the inning.
As can be expected, this batting approach is fraught with danger. Last season, Somerset was getting away with this style of batting and winning matches consistently but it remains to be seen if they can repeat the same this season.
Crucial to their plans will be Corey Anderson who is currently playing as a batsman in the team. The burly left-hander from New Zealand has shown good touch in the opening two matches and can be expected to go big if given an opportunity up the order.
As far as the bowling goes, Roelof van der Merwe and Malcolm Waller are the two leading bowlers for Somerset so far. They have been very economical and allowed the pressure to build upon the batsmen. Overton and Gregory are good bowlers but they are not the kinds to give opposition batsmen sleepless nights.
Somerset has a very clear plan when it comes to T20 cricket. Score enough runs to put the opposition under pressure or chase down whatever the target is. The bowling is complementary to their playing style.
JG Myburgh, SM Davies, PD Trego, JC Hildreth, Corey Anderson, TB Abell, Lewis Gregory, RE Van Der Merwe, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton, MTC Waller.
The team winning the toss is likely to field first
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Some rain early in the day has been predicted but the forecast around the scheduled start of the match is much better. The rain could mean some movement for the bowlers and a little bit of sluggishness in the outfield. These will help the bowlers make a match of things at Bristol, where the pitch is usually flat and boundaries criminally small.
A score of around 160 should be considered as par.
The loss in the last match was the first for Gloucestershire in five matches against Somerset. We think that home advantage and good form put Gloucestershire in a prime advantage to be able to continue their winning streak in the tournament.
Back Gloucestershire to win.