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Languishing at the second and the third spot from the bottom respectively, Leicestershire and Durham are all set to meet at Grace Road, Leicester on Friday, 26th July in a Vitality T20 Blast clash. Durham have a win to their name and are seventh on the ladder with two points whereas the only point to the name of Leicester is because of their washout-out match. It's been a tough path for both the sides so far in the tournament, but a win here could very well prove to the tonic both the sides desperately need. Considering the importance of two points in the context of the tournament, both the teams are expected to come out all guns blazing, and we expect a scintillating contest on Friday.
Leicestershire Lightning have exhibited contrasting performances in their two matches, albeit both resulting in a defeat for them. In their first match, it were their batsmen who failed to fire as Leicestershire collapsed for a sub-par score on a decent batting surface. All three of their top-order batsmen were dismissed for the single-digit scores as Leicestershire ended up putting just 115 runs on the board.
In their second match, against Yorkshire, their bowlers conceded a mammoth total of 255, highest in the tournament so far, as none of their bowlers were able to make an impression. Even though Parkinson and Klein picked up a wicket each, they conceded too many runs in their four overs.
Their batsmen, however, fared a lot better in this encounter but were a tad slow to get started with. Mark Cosgrove and Neil Nexter scored 31 and 25 runs respectively but their strike rate of 107 and 132 was way below what was required. Lilley and Hill provided them with impetus towards the end of their innings, but with their bowlers conceding 255 earlier and then thanks to a slow start at the top, they were left to do too much in too little time. They eventually lost the match by 54 runs.
Mark Cosgrove, Neil Dexter, Arron Lilley, Colin Ackermann, Lewis Hill, Harry Dearden, Aadil Ali, Ben Mike, Dieter Klein, Callum Parkinson, Chris Wright.
After winning the first match with considerable ease, Durham lost to Lancashire while chasing a relatively big total of 190. In their first match, they scored 148 while batting first and ended up defending the total as their bowlers wreaked havoc on Northants' batsmen.
Their bowlers, who did brilliantly against the Northants, failed to get them off to a similar start against Lancashire as Alex Davies and SJ Croft established a stable platform for the Lancashire. The pair of Glenn Maxwell and Croft proved to be too tough to handle for the Durham bowlers as the Lightning ended up scoring at least twenty more than the par score on the surface.
Durham needed a strong start to hunt this total down, and with D'Arcy Short in such fine form, they'd have been fancying their chances. D'Arcy Short, however, was dismissed early in the fourth over which triggered a mini-collapse. Durham could not recover from that collapse and were eventually dismantled for just 117.
D'Arcy Short, Scott Steel, Ben Raine, Stuart Poynter, Graham Clark, Jack Burnham, Liam Trevaskis, Brydon Carse, Matthew Potts, Nathan Rimmington, Chris Rushworth.
Both the sides have had a difficult in the competition thus far and will be looking for a win to get some momentum back. While the two sides are matched almost evenly on paper, Leicestershire showed better composure under-pressure in their first two matches and go in as firm favorites to win the upcoming match and move to a higher position in the points table.
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