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With a splendid win over Derbyshire, Lancashire finally reserved a spot in the knockouts, but made things ever so difficult for Durham, the team right behind them on the points table. With Lancashire's win, Durham are no longer in the race to finish among the top two teams and will need to finish with a bang to be among the two best third-placed teams across all groups. Considering that one of their remaining two fixures is against Lancashire, things aren't going to be easy for Durham. Having said that, they are a capable team and have done it before as well. This all-important match for Durham Jets is to be played at Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Manchester, on 18th September 2020.
Apart from a defeat at the hands of Nottinghamshire, Lancashire have been flawless in the tournament so far. They have had their batsmen score runs and their bowlers pick wickets, resulting in dominating performance more often than not. As a result of their dominance, they have cemented their place in the knockouts with quite some time to go in the tournament. They currently have 14 points to their name in 8 matches with an excellent net run-rate of 0.497.
While the remaining two matches that they are set to play against Durham and Leicestershire are inconsequential from the qualification point of view, Lancashire would still want to register wins in both of those matches. They are coming off a superb show against Yorkshire in their most recent encounter and momentum gathered for them should help Lancashire to continue their march.
Batting first on a relatively dry surface, Lancashire got off to a terrific start with Liam Livingstone and Steven Croft both smashing half-centuries at the top of the order. The openers shared a record partnership of 130 that came in just 14.1 overs. While Lancashire's superb start was not surprising, their middle-order was rather surprising. Eyeing a total of around 200 at one time, Lancashire dramatically collapsed in the last quarter of their innings, losing 5 wickets for just 16 runs. They eventually finished with a total of 167 runs on the board.
Given the start Lancashire had, Yorkshire were certainly the happier of the two sides at the halfway mark. If reflected in the kind of start they got as Joe Root and Adam Lyth took Yorkshire to 115 with nine wickets still in the bank. With just 52 runs left in the bank to defend of Lancashire, their bowlers needed to be proactive and they were nothing less. Inspired effort in the field got rid of Adam Lyth and Joe Root both, which led to a collapse from which Yorkshire could never recover. Yorkshire finished with a total of 160 runs on the board, losing the match by 7 runs.
With the kind of win that Lancashire got, they would be jubilant. They came back from behind in a see-saw match and the experience gained from that could be vital in their upcoming matches. On paper, Lancashire have almost everything a T20 team can ask for and if they can continue playing like the way they have been doing in the tournament so far, stopping them is going to be next to impossible.
Alex Davies, Liam Livingstone, Steven Croft, DJ Vilas, Rob Jones, George Lavelle, Danny Lamb, Luke Wood, Saqib Mahmood, Tom Hartley, Matt Parkinson.
At one time, Durham was the worst-performing team in the competition and was staring at the bottom of the table. However, thanks to inspired bowling coupled with magnificent strategy, Durham Jets now find themselves at the third spot on the ladder with an eye on a quarter-final spot. They have 7 points from 8 matches, but with a decent net run-rate, they still have a chance to go through. They would have to win their remaining fixtures and hope for a couple of other results to go their way.
The primary reason for Durham to be back in the race is certainly their performance in their last three completed fixtures. After a terrible start, Durham pulled themselves up and registered back to back wins against Derbyshire, Leicestershire, and Yorkshire respectively to move up the ladder. With three back to back wins in their last three encounter, they should be brimming with confidence, which could be a factor against high-flying Lancashire Lightning.
It was a superb effort from Durham Jet in their previous match as they successfully defended a total of 147 to register a win. It was a strange batting effort from Durham as most of their batsmen got starts but none of them managed to fire. As many as six of their batsmen scored in double-figures, but none of them managed to get past 30. Graham Clark top-scored for them with a score of 28 off 22 deliveries.
Bowling against a depleted Yorkshire side, all Durham bowlers needed to do was to pick up a couple of early wickets to put Yorkshire under pressure. Liam Trevaskis and Matty Potts were brilliant throughout the innings as they ended up picking up five wickets between them. They got excellent support from Paul Coughlin, who posted excellent figures of 4-0-22-3. Durham eventually dismissed Yorkshire entirely for a total of 104, winning the match by 43 runs.
With batting and bowling both contributing in recent wins, no team can afford to take this Durham side lightly. Durham have scripted a perfect turnaround so far and it would be a fairytale comeback if they manage to qualify from here. They are certainly capable enough to do that and a lot will depend on how they fare in the upcoming contest.
Alex Lees, Graham Clark, Ben Raine, David Bedingham, Farhaan Behardien, Brydon Carse, Paul Coughlin, Scott Steel, Liam Trevaskis, Nathan Rimmington, Matthew Potts.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy team lineup for the upcoming Vitality T20 Blast match between Lancashire Lightning and Durham Jets. Don't forget to check back the latest updated team lineup right after the toss.
There's streets of difference between how the campaign of the two sides have been in the competition so far. While Lancashire posted flawless wins match after match, Durham started doing so only a week ago. With both teams having momentum behind them, a cracker of a contest is certainly on the cards. Lancashire Lightning have been an overall better side in the tournament and have home-advantage to work for them. Considering that and the other factors stated above, Lancashire Lightning appears to be better placed to emerge on top in this all-important encounter.
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