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|James Robert Bracey||30||26||4||0||115.38|
Just when the South Group table-toppers in the Vitality T20 Blast were looking dangerous and invincible, they lost their match to Sussex rather quickly. Despite that, they are still at the top of the table with five wins in six games amounting to ten points and will be looking to shrug off their loss and continue to march ahead in the competition. In another encounter, we have Sussex, who handed Kent their first defeat of the season, taking on Gloucestershire at The Bristol County Ground, Bristol on Sunday, 4th August. Gloucestershire are coming off an unexpected loss in their match and will be looking to bounce back into the playoff contention with a win here.
Up until the last match, Gloucestershire hadn't lost a game. However, that changed with a rather poor performance against Essex, who were not the favorites to win that match. Gloucestershire are still in a decent position as far as qualification for the playoffs is concerned and will be looking to get back into the scheme of things with a win here.
Despite just one win to their name, Gloucestershire are at the sixth position at the ladder with five points. A win here will push them to the fourth spot provided a couple of other results go accordingly. Also, up until their match against the Eagles, their bowling had been their forte. However, their bowlers failed to leave a similar impression in their previous encounter as they conceded a massive total of 206, which they later found too difficult to achieve.
Chasing a total of such a tall order, Gloucs needed a spectacular start from their openers, but instead, they were undone by the loss of quick early wickets. Ryan Higgins and Jack Taylor tried hard with a terrific fifth-wicket stand of 93, which consumed just 42 deliveries, but they still fell short by 25 runs.
MAH Hammond, M Klinger, JR Bracey, IA Cockbain, Ryan Higgins, JW Taylor, Benny Howell, AJ Tye, Tom Smith, DA Payne, CJ Liddle.
The top of the table clashes can sometimes be full of climax, but Sussex's contest against Kent Spitfires resulted in a rather anti-climactic finish. A win over the table-toppers moved Sussex to the second spot with eight points in five matches, courtesy three wins. Another win here will push them to the top of the table, clear of Kent, based on the net run-rate.
Just as the Kent were, Sussex Sharks are yet to be beaten in the tournament and are coming on the back of three wins and a couple of washouts to their name. In their previous match, it were their bowlers who put up a stern fight against the potent batting lineup of Kent. Jofra Archer couldn't do much damage upfront, but he was brilliant in the death overs as he conceded just three runs in his first over of the second spell, in the death overs. It was Tymal Mills sensational effort in the middle-overs which stopped Spitfires in its tracks as he returned with the figures of 3 for 23 in his four overs.
Sussex got off to a flying start in their chase of 155 as the opening pair of Phil Salt, and Luke Wright combined to smash 38 runs off the first four overs. At the midway stage of their innings, Kent Spitfires had an outside chance to get back into the match, but Laurie Evan's destructive knock left them wondering about what went wrong. Evans scored 65 runs off just 35 deliveries, and Phil Salt contributed with 63 runs from 44 balls as the Sharks won comprehensively with nine wickets in hand and plenty of balls to spare.
Philip Salt, LJ Wright, Laurie Evans, Alex Carey, D Wiese, Delray Rawlins, Chris Jordan, Rashid Khan, Ollie Robinson, Danny Briggs, R Topley.
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Gloucestershire fought hard in the last game despite being down for most of the game, which undoubtedly shows their perseverance, determination, and grit. However, they will need a lot more contribution from their batting lineup which appeared to struggle in against the Eagles. Their bowling struggled to contain a potent bowling lineup of the Eagles which may well happen again in their upcoming fixture. The Sharks have a powerful batting lineup, a well-balanced team, and are coming on the back of a superb performance against the table-toppers. They have the momentum and are firm favorites to win the upcoming fixture.
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