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Leicestershire came back from behind to script an epic victory on the first day of Vitality T20 Blast. They'd like to build on the momentum when they face Durham on 6th July at County Ground, at Grace Road, Leicester. Although Durham haven't played a game until now in this tournament, they do have a match against Yorkshire on 5th of July. Durham didn't have best of seasons last year and would love to start on a positive note this time around.
Chasing a majestic total against Northamptonshire, Leicestershire needed 112 runs off last 7 overs which they achieved with a couple of balls to spare. Ackermann blew away the Northants' bowling as he smashed 66 runs off just 31 deliveries. He struck four sixes and five fours in his belligerent knock.
Earlier, Leicestershire Foxes started off well as Mohammad Abbas got rid of dangerous Richard Levi for a personal score of 6. However, the carnage started by Northants' batsmen started thereafter didn't stop until the end of their innings. Barring Mohammad Abbass and Callum Parkinson, no bowler had an economy rate in single digit. Mohammad Abbas and Callum Parkinson returned with the figures of 4-0-31-1 and 3-0-25-1 respectively.
Chasing such a humungous total, it was imperative for the visitors to get a flying start and Cameron Delport and Neil Dexter did their job to perfection. Leics lost their first wicket with 55 runs on the board after six overs. Although other batsmen except Colin Ackermann could not spend a lot of time in the middle, they did well to not to waste any deliveries and keep the asking rate in check in the process. At one time, Leics required to score at around 16 runs an over when Ackermann went berserk and picked Prasanna for 19 runs and Mohammad Nabi helped the cause by hitting Nathan Buck for three consecutive boundaries.
Leicestershire did well to bounce back in their previous match which would have boosted the morale of the team. Colin Ackermann played a captain's knock and would love another victory on Friday. Their bowlers, however, would need to step up their game and if they can do that, it's going to be pretty hard time for Durham.
Neil Dexter, C Delport, Mark Cosgrove, Colin Ackermann, Mohammad Nabi, Tom Wells, Lewis Hill, Zak Chappell, Ben Raine, Callum Parkinson, Mohammad Abbas.
At the time of the writing, Durham were batting first against Yorkshire and had 6 for 3 in 11 overs in reply to Yorkshire's score of 200. Chasing a total as big as 200 required Durham to show some sort of urgency with the bat, but the regular loss of wickets has clearly hurt them. This, however, isn't new for them.
The Jets had the lowest strike rate in their group in 2017 edition. They achieved a run rate of eight runs per over, but were struck for a little under nine runs an over in their last season. Barring Paul Collingwood, they lack the services of an experienced power-hitter in the middle overs. With Ben Stokes, Paul Collingwood, and Tom Latham among the top four, their batting is a little too top-heavy.
As far as their bowling is concerned, they lack an experienced bowler up front. The fact that Ben Stokes didn't bowl in their opening game against Yorkshire further downsizes the bowling options they have. Although they have the services of experienced Imran Tahir, there's only a little he can do.
Durham Jets are a kind of team who can really annihilate their opposition on their day with the kind of batting they have at the top. However, with all the power concentrated towards the top, their batting looks to be a little out-of-balance.
Graham Clark, PD Collingwood, TWM Latham, Ryan Davies, Will Smith, Ryan Pringle, Stuart Poynter, James Weighell, Nathan Rimmington, Imran Tahir, Chris Rushworth.
This is going to be the first match of the season at Leicester and team won't be sure of what to expect from the surface. Expect the team winning the toss to bowl first.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
It's expected to be mostly sunny on Friday with maximum temperature around 24 degrees. There aren't any chances of rain and that coupled with small boundaries and even surface makes it an excellent ground to bat on.
Durham finished ninth in the points table last year and given the way they did in their first match, finishing any higher than that would need a lot of improvement from them. On the contrary, Leicestershire chased down a mammoth total in their opening game against Northamptonshire. Considering how the two teams performed in their opening matches, and the teams on paper, Leicestershire should win this upcoming fixture comfortably.