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|AB de Villiers||88||35||1||9||251.43|
|RE Van Der Merwe||3.0||0||27||0||9.00|
|RE Van Der Merwe||6||8||1||0||75.00|
|Mujib Ur Rahman||4.0||0||36||2||9.00|
A win for Somerset over Surrey has set up the Group B points table beautifully in the ongoing Vitality T20 Blast. They are now at the seventh spot with four points in five points in their kitty and will be looking to surge ahead in the competition from here on. Although Middlesex are three places above them, at the fourth place, do not have much of an advantage as far as the points are concerned. They have six points to their name in the same number of matches like Somerset and will be keen to solidify their position in the top four with a win here. Middlesex and Somerset are set to lock horns in the next Vitality T20 Blast match which is to be played at Old Deer Park in Richmond on Sunday, 4th August.
Middlesex have had a middling sort of tournament so far primarily because of AB de Villiers absence from the squad due to injury. The presence of AB de Villiers had had an astonishing impact on their performance as Middlesex have won more matches with him in the team than when he was out.
In addition to AB de Villiers, Dawid Malan has been instrumental in all of their wins, scoring at an average of 54 in the competition so far. He has scored 216 runs in five innings with a top score of 117.
Middlesex had a terrific start to the tournament as they won back to back matches against Essex and Surrey, but haven't looked the same team since then. They've lost two of their last three matches with their only win coming against Glamorgan who have been the first team of the tournament thus far.
Middlesex's bowlers failed to produce the desired results in the last match as they gave away plenty of runs in all phases of innings. Barring Mujeeb Ur Rahman who was their only economical bowlers, all their bowlers conceded at an economy rate of more than ten as Kent racked up over 200 runs on the board.
It required a herculean effort from their top-order to chase down this target, but all of Dawid Malan, S Eskinazi, and AB de Villiers departed early to leave the chase at a critical stage. Eoin Morgan, JA Simpson, and Toby Roland-Jones tried hard with their cameos, but thanks to early loss of wickets, they were left with too much to do.
The return of Eoin Morgan to the squad has undoubtedly made their batting lineup a lot more potent. With a middle-order consisting of AB de Villiers and Eoin Morgan, Middlesex are always going to be in the match and if their bowlers can match the standards of their batting, beating Middlesex is going to be extremely hard.
PR Stirling, Dawid Malan, Stephen Eskinazi, AB de Villiers, Eoin Morgan, John Simpson, Toby Roland-Jones, Thomas Helm, Nathan Sowter, ST Finn, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
One of the favorites to win the title, Somerset didn't get off to the kind of start they were looking for. Even though they won their first encounter of the season, they lagged as the tournament progressed due to mediocre performances in their subsequent matches.
In their most recent encounter, against Surrey, they replicated their on-paper class as they thumped their opponents by a massive margin. Bowling first, Somerset didn't get the target from Surrey they were hoping for, but their batsmen oozed class during the chase as they overhauled a massive total with more than an over to spare and eight wickets in hand.
Babar Azam and Tom Banton have been in spectacular form for them and have virtually been impossible to stop for most of the sides. However, it's their middle-order batting which has cost them, but with likes of James Hildreth and Peter Trego beginning to find form, they can be a force to deal with in the upcoming fixture.
Tom Banton, Babar Azam, JC Hildreth, EJ Byrom, TB Abell, RE Van Der Merwe, Tom Lammonby, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton, Jerome Taylor, MTC Waller.
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Middlesex and Somerset are arguably the only two teams in the South Group with batting lineups as heavy as they have. They both have a spectacular batting lineup which is capable of overhauling any total on its day. Up in the tournament so far, however, Somerset's batting has relied only on their top three which has resulted in a couple of losses despite in a position to dictate terms at one stage. Middlesex, on the other hand, have plenty of match-winners available at their disposal. In addition to that, the return of Eoin Morgan has boosted their middle order and strength in general and are therefore better placed to win the upcoming contest.
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