About the Match
Gloucestershire will be taking on Essex in a South Group clash that promises to be an absorbing contest. The South Group is extremely close right now and every match will result in massive changes to the group. The final four teams are unlikely to be clear till the last match and that is why every team will want to win its last 2-3 matches.
Michael Klinger and his men are coming into this match on the back of a strong win against Somerset that should leave them in a positive frame of mind. After a fantastic season, last time around Gloucestershire have 4 out of their 8 matches (three additional ones were washed out and there was one tie as well), not the best record for a fancied team but one that leaves them in a decent position to push for a finals place.
Gloucestershire has struggled to find the runs that seemed to come so easy for it last season. Michael Klinger is the current highest scorer for the team with 261 runs and that included 101 in one inning. He has not been his fluent self but Gloucestershire will be hoping to change that he can get back to his best in these last couple of matches.
There is plenty of talent in this team with Mustard, Cockbain, Noema-Barnett, Taylor, and Howell all capable of scoring runs. Thisara Perera has not quite delivered on the big hitting expected of him but his bowling has sort of made up for it.
The highest wicket taker for Gloucestershire has been David Payne with 14 wickets followed Benny Howell with 12 and Thisara Perera at 10.
Gloucestershire is a quality team with proven performers but one that has not hit top gear all season.
Essex still has an outside chance of qualifying for the finals after winning its last couple of matches, a fantastic advertisement for the closeness of this tournament considering that they are 8th
on the table right now!
A huge loss for Essex will be their spearhead, Mohammad Amir, who will be going back to Pakistan after the PCB revoked the NOC’s of all its players overnight. Amir had just hit form and that meant that Essex could have relied on him to really make a difference going into the most crucial leg of this tournament.
Essex’s other bowlers will now have to pull out something special and even though Bopara and Walter have been having a good tournament with 12 wickets each, their attack looks weak without Amir in it.
The batting has hit some good form of late with runs from Wheater, Chopra, Lawrence, and Bopara in the last couple of matches. Ryan Ten Doeschate and Ashar Zaidi have also been hitting the ball well giving Essex a long and dangerous batting lineup.
Essex has everything to play for but we worry about their temperament in the big matches and they just may have left themselves a little too much to do.
Pitch and Conditions
A clear and sunny day has been forecast for Bristol. The ground has some exceptionally short boundaries and is almost always excellent for batting. We could see some very high scores in this match.
Gloucestershire to wi