About the Match
The South Group in Friends Life T20 is considered to be the toughest group and it if we go by the results and standing, the title of group of death is certainly justified. Hampshire Royals and Surrey Lions meet on 19th July in a day-night fixture at Kennington Oval, London in an important clash. The Royals have been flawless in their campaign so far and have won all but one games played so far. Lions haven’t been as bad as their position in the table suggest, but due to so tough competition in the group, they are placed at the 4th position. Both teams have been excellent and a thrilling contest is definitely on the cards.
Surrey Lions :
The Lions have played six and lost four in this competition thus far and a win might make a drastic change in their ranking, taking them first position. Ricky Ponting got back form as he scored a fifty, but in a losing cause. Glenn Maxwell flew out to play his game against Zimbabweans and his attacking skills surely be missed by Surrey. The availability of all-rounders like Azhar Mahmood adds to the strength and balance of the squad. Jade Dernbach can prove a little costly at times, but his wicket taking and death bowling abilities can be pretty helpful. The Lions have a strong and a balanced unit, and of they improve their batting as compared to last game, Hampshire might be in for a surprise.
The Royals are perhaps the most successful side of this competition if we consider last three editions of it. They’ve won the title twice and made it to semifinal in the edition falling between those title victories. Hampshire squad is full of match winners from one to eleven. Michael Carberry and James Vince open the batting with flair and aggression, and more often than not, they’ve been able to put their team in a strong position. Sohail Tanvir adds a bit of unorthodox touch with his unique action and brilliant bowling skills. With Dimitri Mascarenhas as their captain, this team is probably one team that’s suited best for this format of the game and the Lions are going to have a hard time if the Royals continue to perform as they’ve been doing in this tournament.
The winner of this match would come out of the mid-table mess of tough competition and will rise to the first position. With both teams looking well-balanced on paper, it is expected to be an engrossing game of Cricket. Can Hampshire Royals continue their winning run and get closer to yet another knockout spot? Surrey has performed well in this tournament, but the absence of Glenn Maxwell might have a big impact on their combination. The Royals have been in phenomenal form in almost all matches they’ve played this year with both batting and bowling firing well. Considering above mentioned factors, I expect Hampshire Royals to regain that top spot in the group with a win in this match.
Sussex Sharks, 1.91 @ William Hill