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|Matthew David Taylor||4.0||0||36||2||9.00|
Middlesex has always been one of the most successful counties when it comes to T20 cricket and the presence of some very experienced players will make them contenders in every game that they play. Their start to the campaign has been mixed as they have won one and lost one before this one. Their opponents, Gloucestershire is still looking for its first win after being blown away y Peter Trego in its first encounter.
A convincing win against Surrey and then a close loss against the Essex Eagles is not a particularly bad start for Middlesex. No one player has really hogged the limelight for Middlesex apart from maybe Paul Stirling but plenty of the players have made useful contributions.
Stirling started the first match with a blistering fifty and then followed it up with three wickets as well. The second game did not go too well for Stirling but Middlesex will not be too worried. They want players like Stirling to be able to express themselves and have the maximum impact rather than aiming for consistency.
Hilton Cartwright is with the Middlesex team only for a short while but keeping him around for the first few matches is proving to be a shrewd move. He has scored 65 runs in the first two matches while scoring at an impressive strike rate of 132.65.
With big hits coming from the bat of Simpson, Eskenazi, and Gubbins, the Middlesex batting is looking in pretty good shape.
Dwayne Bravo was supposed to be the trump card for Middlesex this season thanks to his death bowling. That has not quite panned out so far as he has only one wicket to show for his efforts and is giving away runs at the highest economy rate as well.
Sowter, Fuller, Helm, and Bravo make for a decent bowling attack. One feels though that Bravo must hit top gear soon for Middlesex to be able to really start doing well in the Vitality Blast 2018.
PR Stirling, Dawid Malan, Nick Gubbins, Stephen Eskinazi, John Simpson, Dwayne Bravo, Hilton Cartwright, George Scott, James Fuller, Thomas Helm, Nathan Sowter.
A good batting performance from Gloucestershire saw them make 188 runs in their first match but watch helplessly as Somerset chased it down easily. There were a couple of very positive signs for Gloucestershire in the last match. Higgins started the tournament well and is going to be one of the main batsmen for the team in this tournament for sure. Taylor made a very attractive 35, and Klinger spent some time in the middle as well.
Klinger may have scored at just under a run a ball but he is the kind of player that can score runs in every single match once he is in form. He is the one player that we are backing to come good in this game.
Thisara Perera could have perhaps batted a little higher up the order for Gloucestershire especially considering the fact that Gloucestershire is a little short on six-hitting power. Runs for Cockbain and Howell in the first game are all good signs for Gloucestershire’s batting and they should look to build on that in this game.
While the batting was impressive, it was the bowling that lost Gloucestershire the game. Not a single bowler went for less than 8 an over and they had no answer once Trego started motoring along. Howell, Perera, and Smith were very expensive putting pressure on Gloucestershire to turn to their part-timers.
There is no player with genuine pace and while Howell has proven himself with his change-ups over the years, could it be that he has no more surprises left in him?
M Klinger, MAH Hammond, IA Cockbain, Benny Howell, Ryan Higgins, JW Taylor, Thisara Perera, GH Roderick, Tom Smith, DA Payne, MD Taylor.
The team winning the toss is likely to field first
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A sunny day with no chance of rain has been forecast for the match. The Uxbridge Cricket Club Ground has some very short boundaries that can be peppered by the batsmen easily. The pitch is usually a little slow and holds up on the batsmen.
Change of pace is going to be very important for the bowlers to get away unscathed in this match. We expect a score of around 170 to be par.
Middlesex has lost three of out the last five matches against Gloucestershire, tied one and only won one. They are going to have home advantage and will go into this match with their batsmen in good form. Gloucestershire, though, has a pretty good batting lineup itself and its bowlers should learn from the last match as well.
We think the visitors can pull off an upset in this one.
Back Gloucestershire to win.
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