About the Match
The Gloucs topped the South Group with 21 points and have been on a winning roll; they will face the 3rd Quarter Final of the NatWest T20 challenge against Durham, who came in fourth in the North Group with 14 points, on 10th August at Bristol. Gloucestershre defeated Middlesex and Essex in the last two league games, chasing targets and defending totals with ease and they will be eager to continue with their winning momentum here; Durham on the other hand defeated Derbyshire to make it to the top four but have had a mixed run during the league and will try to better their performance. The contest could go down to the wire and whichever side keeps a cool head above its shoulder under crunch situations will be better placed to emerge victorious on Wednesday.
Ian Cockbain and Jack Taylor posted 40+ runs each to help chase down 157 against Middlesex; earlier, the bowlers led by Howell’s 3-18 haul restricted the opposition to a low total with help from Andrew Tye’s 2 wickets. The top order batsmen have been consistent in getting the big runs and can surely prove to be a tough nut to crack in the upcoming game.
Against Essex, captain Michael Klinger posted a superb 95 off 57 to build the foundation for 212 with good support from Marshall and Cockbain, who scored 43 and 69 runs respectively. The batting line-up is deep with players like Dent, Roderick , Mustard and Howell, who can stabilize the middle-order.
The bowling squad has spinners Graeme van Buuren and Tom Smith, who can stifle the opponents with their tactics while speedsters like Howell, Tye, Norwell and Matt Taylor can provide quick breakthroughs. They have a good mix of spin and pace and are in good form to take on the Durham batsmen here.
Mark Stoneman played the anchor’s role, contributing with an unbeaten 82 from 56 deliveries against Derbyshire to help them post a competitive total of 193; Calum MacLeod also supported with his skills and experience, posting 83 from 50 balls and can play a vital role here. Spinner Scott Borthwick then came to claim 3-33 helping the team defend the total; Rushworth, Jennings, Arshad and Coughlin combined well to provide a steady flurry of wickets and help win the match by 13 runs.
Against Lancashire however, they couldn’t chase down 177 runs, missing the mark by a narrow 4 runs despite a strong middle-order batting display by MacLeod and Muchall. Stoneman started the chase well with a 30-ball 36 but others down the line couldn’t keep the partnerships going. Coughlin and Jennings fought hard to cross the finish line with 20+ runs each but their efforts went in vain.
The batting strength is good with in-form players like Stoneman, MacLeod, Muchall and all-rounders like Jennings and Coughlin while the bowling unit has good variety and depth. They definitely have the resources to challenge the Gloucs here in their own backyard.
Durham are the underdogs here but Gloucs will not take them lightly; the contest will be well-fought by both teams but we feel that Gloucs with the home advantage can come out with flying colours