Our "Prediction Wizard" will calculate, based on the current available betting odds, the implicit winning percentages for the possible outcomes in a match. This will be updated as soon as we fetch the odds from the betting sites and keep updating until the match is finished.
The fans of domestic cricket in England finally had something to cheer about as Vitality T20 Blast finally got underway. While a few matches got abandoned without a ball being bowled, some teams did get a chance to get on the field.
Middlesex and Kent both had their respective matches started on time and didn't look jittery at all. Kent and Middlesex are two of the better teams in the South Group of T20 Blast and are expected to be hard to defeat. They are set to meet each other in the next contest in Vitality T20 Blast and it would not be wrong to call this match as the clash of the titans. The match is scheduled to be played at County Ground, Canterbury.
Middlesex was one of the better sides of the competition last year and going by the way things have gone for them off-field, repeating the may not be as easy for them. Thanks to their well-experienced batting unit, they finished third in the South Group last year. The won seven matches and lost seven before they were knocked out in the quarter-final by Nottinghamshire.
With AB de Villiers not traveling due to the pandemic, Eoin Morgan on national duty, and Dawid Malan no longer with the club, their batting has certainly taken a hit - a huge one. The trio scored over a thousand runs combined last year and the void left by their exit is going to take some effort to fill.
While their batting has taken a huge hit, it still looks a lot better than that of a lot of other sides in the competition. Stevie Eskinazi is one of the most experienced players in Middlesex's lineup and his role would be crucial to Middlesex's fortunes. His opening partner, Max Holden, is known for his exquisite timing, and given the way he performed in the first match, he could be the dark horse that Middlesex is so desperately looking for.
Batting first against Essex in the first match, Stevie Eskinazi and Max Holden got them off to a flying start, but once Eskinazi was dismissed, Holden took the charge and single-handedly dragged Middlesex's total to 184. Nick Gubbins supported him with a brief cameo of 23, but it was Holden's innings that proved to be the difference between a par score and the total they posted on that surface.
While the absence of their stalwarts is likely to affect them in the batting, their bowling looks as strong as it was last year. Nathan Sowter is a decent leg-spinner and could be a trump-card once pitches start getting slower. With he and Tom Helm bowling in tandem, Middlesex will have an option to strangle the opposition in the middle-overs. They have the services of experienced Toby Roland Jones as well. Jones was the most successful bowler for Middlesex last year, picking 19 wickets at an astonishing strike-rate of 13.9. With the kind of experience he has, facing him on any sort of surface will be a challenge for almost all sides in the competition.
All in all, while Middlesex still appears to be a pretty good team, there is definitely a shift in their balance. Their batting is likely to take the back-seat now with more onus lying with their bowling. Having said that and as we saw in their match against Essex, they still are a pretty good sides and will not be an easy team to get past.
Max Holden, Stephen Eskinazi, Martin Andersson, Nick Gubbins, John Simpson, Dan Lincoln, James Harris, Thomas Helm, Nathan Sowter, ST Finn, Miguel Cummins.
Kent Spitfires didn't qualify for the playoffs last year, but they got off to a pretty solid start this time around. In their first match against Hampshire, they were in a pretty solid position before rain stopped play. One thing that hasn't change for them is the equation between them and the weather. Last year, they would have qualified had it not been for the inclement weather conditions. As many as four of their matches were washed out and thanks to that, Kent were winless even after their first seven matches.
Their campaign this year appears to have started on a similar note as the rain made an impact in their first match as well. Choosing to field first after winning the toss, Kent bowlers made brilliant use of the moisture on the surface as they got rid of three Hants' batsmen inside the first six overs. With tight bowling in the middle stages as well, Kent kept a check on Hants' scoring-rate. Hampshire eventually finished with a total of 139 runs on the board.
Kent did not have most of their regular players take part in the first match and that could be the case in the second match as well. With Sam Billings, their batting looks a bit weak. However, in Zak Crawley and Daniel Bell Drummond, they still have some brilliant white-ball players, who can win single-handedly turn the course of the match on their day.
As apparent from the first match, it is the bowling that the Spitfires will rely heavily upon. They have an excellent pace attack and with conditions likely stay damp, facing Kent bowlers when the ball is hard and new could prove to be a big challenge.
Daniel Bell-Drummond, Zak Crawley, Oliver Robinson, Jack Leaning, Alex Blake, JM Cox, Grant Stewart, Calum Haggett, Matt Milnes, Imran Qayyum, Fred Klaassen.
Although the surface is likely to be good for batting and the pressure of chasing can be immense, there are certain things that favor batting second. There are high chances of rain affecting the match and DLS method coming into the picture. Also, the batting is going to get easier as the day progresses. For those reasons, we think that the captain winning the toss is likely to field first.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
It's been raining all around England and in the next week, there's hardly going to be a day that doesn't get affected by showers. The conditions are expected to stay damp and there is expected to be some assistance for quicker bowlers. Having said that, the match will be played on the same surface as was the one between Middlesex and Essex and batting will get easier as the day progresses. Keeping the chances of DLS having an impact easier conditions to bat in the second innings, the team batting first will want to put a total of at least 180 runs on the board.
Check out the Dream11 Fantasy Lineup for the upcoming Vitality T20 Blast between Kent Spitfires and Middlesex Panthers. Don't forget to check back right before the toss for the latest updated team.
Both sides had a pretty good outing on the first day of the tournament and will be looking to win this upcoming match and get to the top of the table. Both sides have strong bowling attacks and a well-fought match is on the cards. Considering the performance of the two sides in the first match as well as the on-paper combination, Kent Spitfires walk in as favorites to win the upcoming contest.
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