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Kent will be taking on Hampshire in a contest which promises to be a close on even if the current standings of the teams does not suggest it. Kent in on 2nd place in the group table while Hampshire is languishing at 8th. The difference between the team is not that great and we believe that any team can beat the other one. Kent has won four games out if it's eight but lost only one thanks to the rain intervening, while Hampshire has lost five out of its eight games.
Can Hampshire pull off an upset in this one?
Things are going to be very tough for Hampshire once Colin Munro departs for the CPL but they still have his services for a couple of more matches. Munro has played a couple of sparkling fifties but not really gone on to play a match-defining inning just yet. He could be one to watch in this match as he looks to end his time at Hampshire on a high.
The Hampshire batsmen have not done justice to their talent so far. Sam Northeast, James Vince, and Tim Alsop have all been disappointing. We had very high hopes from Vince coming into this tournament but a return of just 135 runs from seven innings, of which 74 came in one, while batting at the top of the order is not what we expected.
If Vince and Northeast can start scoring runs consistently then Hampshire still has a chance of making a comeback into the tournament.
Chris Wood has been the standout bowler for Hampshire so far. He has taken 12 wickets and is easily the most threatening bowler in their side. Mujeeb Ur Rahman has been very economical but his return of four wickets is much less than what Hampshire would have been hoping for.
Stevenson, Dawson, and the other part-timers have all struggled to pick up wickets putting the pressure on the Hampshire batsmen even more.
Hampshire is taking on an inform Kent side and will need something special from its players.
J Vince, Colin Munro, Sam Northeast, RR Rossouw, Tom Alsop, LA Dawson, Joe Weatherley, CP Wood, RA Stevenson, KY Abbott, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
A strong batting performance by Kent this season has been responsible for its success. The Sam Billings led unit has been very good with the bat whenever they have had the opportunity. Billings, Kuhn, Denly, and Bell-Drummond have all been good.
They also Marcus Stoinis with the squad now, a player whom we rate very highly. In fact, Carlos Braithwaite, the player whom Stonis is replacing, did a good job for the club but would hikself acknowledge Stonis’s superior batting ability.
We think it is a matter of time before he gets stuck into the one of the opposition attacks.
The only area where Kent seems to be lacking a little is the power hitting arena. Stoinis will help ion that regard as well but if he gets out then Sam Billing is the only player that can clear the boundary with any consistency.
Adam Milne and Joe Denly have been the best bowlers for Kent this season. Milne has bowled with pace and ensured quick wickets up front or control at the back end in most matches. Stoinis will be expected to shoulder some bowling responsibilities as well but we think his bowling has regressed a little in the last few months.
The Kent side is not the strongest of sides but is going through a good phase in the tournament right now. We think they could be overvalued by the bookmakers and allow for a betting opportunity for the punters.
Joe Denly, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Heino Kuhn, Sam Billings, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Blake, Sean Dickson, Calum Haggett, Adam Milne, Imran Qayyum, Ivan Thomas.
The team winning the toss is likely to field first
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A nice and sunny day has been forecast in Southampton for this match. We should get a full day of cricket without any trouble. The pitch has been excellent for batting in Hampshire up until now and we expect more of the same for this match. The bowlers will have to work hard and rely on their change of pace to be effective because the pitch is not going to provide them with anything.
A score of around 180 can be considered par for the surface.
We are leaning towards Hampshire in this match because we believe they have the batting to take on Kent and come out tops. Kent’s bowling is not the strongest and they could struggle to chase down a massive total or defend a decent one as well.
Back Hampshire to win.
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