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|Jofra Chioke Archer||4.0||0||26||3||6.50|
|Mujib Ur Rahman||4.0||0||26||0||6.50|
The team which was one of the favorites to go the distance succumbed to an embarrassing defeat in their first match of the season. Yes, it is Hampshire. Hampshire lost to Glamorgan by 63 runs while chasing a modest total of 168. They're now set to take on Sussex, who are at the top of the table, on 12th July 2018. There are as many as five teams with two points in South Group table and Hampshire will like to get into the mix with a win in this upcoming game.
Sussex have arguably the most talented bowling attack in the competition. Yet their last match was won more by their batting. Luke Wright played a skipper's knock and led by example at Cardiff against Glamorgan as he smashed 88 runs off just 53 deliveries. He not only took his team to two wins in two games but also strengthened their top of the table spot. They now lead the South Group table and would like to continue to do so by posting a win against out-of-form yet dangerous Hampshire.
Bowling first, Sussex bowlers could not apply brakes to the Glamorgan's scoring rate as their skipper, Colin Ingram looked in full flow. Matching Ingram shot to shot, the Sussex captain outscored the Glamorgan captain by 7 runs as he led his team to victory. He was ably assisted by Laurie Evans in a match-defining partnership of 123 runs which came in just 12.4 overs.
Bowling will be a cause of concern for Sussex as they head into their next match. Both their express bowlers were dispatched to all parts of the ground with no respite even after the powerplay. Jofra Archer got hit for 43 runs in his four overs and picked up only one wicket. Ollie Robinson was even more expensive as he conceded 34 in his 3 overs. Although Wiese helped to put a check on scoring rate, it was Rashid Khan who picked up important wickets of Aneurin Donald and David Lloyd. He conceded only 27 runs in his 4 overs and picked up two wickets. The spells from Will Beer and Danny Briggs were equally important to keep Glamorgan from flying away. The duo gave away 35 runs off their five overs combined and picked up a wicket.
Colin Munro, RR Rossouw, J Vince, Sam Northeast, Tom Alsop, LA Dawson, Lewis McManus, Gareth Berg, KY Abbott, CP Wood, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Hampshire are so consistent in making to the playoffs that they can be called as Chennai Super Kings of T20 Blast. They've played in the final as many as seven times which is a record in T20 Blast. They signed up Colin Munro and Mujeeb Ur Rahman as the replacements of George Bailey and Shahid Afridi respectively.
Hampshire perhaps became the victim of over-confidence in their opening game against Glamorgan. James Vince had been in sublime form in the Royal London One Day Cup and a poor game should be an eye-opener for the entire team. Vince could muster only a couple of runs before getting caught and bowled off van der Gugten. The batting lineup consisting of T20 stalwarts like Colin Munro, Rilee Rossouw, James Vince, Sam Northeast could not only score 105 runs in total with a majority of contribution coming from the tailenders.
Unlike their batting, their bowling didn't fare as poorly. Chris Wood and Gareth Berg were brilliant upfront and Mujeeb picked up Khawaja in only the fourth over of the match with just 14 on the board. Although a touch expensive with 34 runs in his four overs, Mujeeb Ur Rahman would be fairly happy with the performance in his first match ever of T20 Blast. Liam Dawson was the pick of their bowlers as he picked up two scalps and gave away only 25 runs. Kyle Abbott looked listless and he might well be dropped in the upcoming game.
Philip Salt, LJ Wright, Laurie Evans, Tom Bruce, Michael Burgess , D Wiese, Jofra Chioke Archer, Chris Jordan, Rashid Khan, Ollie Robinson, Danny Briggs.
Chasing has been a trend in T20 games in the recent times and we don't expect captains to stray away from this trend. Expect the team winning the toss to bowl first.
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A dry and cool day is the forecast for the match day with pitch likely to be a batting paradise. It's a ground with small boundaries where defending won't be easy. The team batting first should be looking to score at least 180 which will be the par score for the day.
Hampshire were one of the most well-balanced squad in the season, but the injury to Mason Crane and Steyn's departure for South Africa's series against Sri Lanka hasn't helped. We will see two Afghan spinners playing against each other for the first time in this T20 Blast and a lot will depend on the outcome of this battle. Although Sussex are not playing at their home turf, they'll be pretty confident while going into this game. Considering the recent performances of the sides, Sussex are better placed to beat Hampshire and strengthen their position at the top of the table.