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After an exciting start to the Caribbean Premier League 2020, the Cricket fans are in for yet another gripping tournament in Vitality T20 Blast. The tournament, which was postponed due to Covid-19 is all set to begin on 27th August. Although this year's competition will be played without the overseas players, it could prove to be a blessing in disguise for English Cricket as more youngsters will get an opportunity to shine on the big stage.
The tournament starts with Middlesex taking on Essex in a South Group tie. At the same time, in another South Group contest, we will have Kent taking on Hampshire at St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury. Both sides did not have a tournament to remember last year and will be itching to turn around their fortunes. We expect a cracker of a contest between the two sides to mark the beginning of Vitality T20 Blast 2020.
With six wins and six losses from 14 matches, Kent Spitfires had a middling campaign last year as they finished at the fifth spot on the ladder. Their batting proved to be a cause of concern as not many players managed to score consistently. Daniel Bell Drummond, who is one of their most experienced players, was their highest scorer with a total of 317 runs from 12 matches.
It wasn't that Kent Spitfires did not have a strong team last year. They had a decent team, but failure to perform consistently proved fatal to their chances of qualification. With many experienced overseas players no longer there to look up to, performing consistently could be a challenge this year as well.
On paper, the Spitfires have a pretty good lineup. The likes of Daniel Bell Drummond and Zak Crawley lend experience at the top. Skipper Sam Billings is known for his attractive strokeplay and can shift gears pretty quickly. Alex Blake and Oliver Robinson can hit the ball hard right from the would go and their big-hitting abilities could come in handy in the death overs.
Imran Qayyum had a pretty good season last year and he will be looking to build on it. Along with Qayyum, the likes of Fred Klassen, Mitchell Claydon, and Calum Haggett are expected to shoulder the bowling department. The absence of Hardus Viljoen, whose participation is uncertain, is likely to be felt. Viljoen was the Spitfires' best bowlers last year as he picked 18 wickets from just 12 matches.
Daniel Bell-Drummond, Zak Crawley, Oliver Robinson, Jack Leaning, Alex Blake, JM Cox, Grant Stewart, Calum Haggett, Matt Milnes, Imran Qayyum, Fred Klaassen.
Just like the Spitfires, the Hants would like to forget their last year's campaign as well. They not only failed to qualify for the knockouts but also escaped grabbing the wooden spoon by a narrow margin. With five wins and six losses, they finished at the seventh position on the ladder.
With James Vince available for the tournament for them, the Hants will be relieved. Vince was the star batsman for Hampshire as he scored 407 runs in total at an average of 40. Not only did he score consistently, but he also scored the runs at a pretty brisk pace as evident by his healthy strike-rate of 132. With Aneurin Donald, Sam Northeast, and George Munsey expected to be in the playing eleven alongside Vince, Hampshire has a well-settled batting lineup.
The absence of Liam Dawson, who injured himself in the Bob Willis Trophy match against Middlesex, could be telling. Mason Crane will take the charge of Hampshire's spin bowling and given his form in the ongoing Bob Willis Trophy, a lot will be expected of him. With Kyle Abbott absent, however, Hampshire's pace attack appears to be a bit light on experience and that could be a concern in the slog overs.
Overall, Hampshire has a few areas of concern, which they will want to sort as early as possible. The absence of Rilee Rossouw and Liam Dawson leaves a gap in their middle-order and that gap will be tough to fill. In addition to that, they lack a strike bowler, who can pick up wickets in the powerplay and death overs. They'd need their top-order as well as their bowlers to step up their game, and if they can do that, Hampshire will be well and truly in contention.
George Munsey, Tom Alsop, Sam Northeast, Joe Weatherley, Lewis McManus, James Fuller, Ian Holland, Scott Currie, CP Wood, RA Stevenson, Mason Crane.
With T20 Cricket returning after a long time, there will a lot of uncertainties revolving around the conditions. Considering that coupled with the fact that the teams generally prefer to chase in T20 Cricket could tempt captains to bowl first and we don't think it should be any different. Winning the toss and fielding first should be the way to go here.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
Its been raining over the previous month all over England and it has been no different at Canterbury as well. With negligible chances of rain and a partly cloudy sky expected, the weather couldn't have been better for Cricket. There can be early assistance for the fast bowlers on the surface, which otherwise is likely to be a pretty good surface. Historically, the ground has produced matches with middling totals and we do not expect any significant deviations from that. The team batting first should be looking to put a total of at least 160 runs on the board.
Check out the Dream11 Fantasy Prediction for the Vitality T20 match between Kent Spitfires and Hampshire. Don't forget to check back the latest updated team right after the toss.
With most of the overseas players absent, most teams are left with many gaps to fill. Kent and Hampshire both have some gaps to fill in their lineups and this match could play an important role to get their respective combinations right. Having said that, they both would want the points up for grabs by winning the upcoming encounter. Kent Spitfires are playing this match at their home turf and have a better-balanced and more experienced side. For those reasons, Kent Spitfires is more likely to emerge on top, and is, therefore, the team that you should place your money on.
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