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|RE Van Der Merwe||4.0||0||26||2||6.50|
|RE Van Der Merwe||3||3||0||0||100.00|
Middlesex and Somerset are in very similar positions on the league table right now. They have won only one match out of the three that they have played and are sliding towards the bottom of the table. A loss here would by no means the end of the campaign for either team but both teams would doubtlessly be very keen to avoid another defeat.
Which team will be able to shake off the rust and get its combinations right quicker?
An excellent win against Surrey in the first match has given way to two losses in the last two matches. Considering the fact that one of those losses came against Essex, another struggling team, Middlesex would not be too pleased.
Middlesex’s problem has been its batting. The team has recorded just one fifty in total up until now, and even though players like Cartwright, Stirling, Eskenazi, Simpson, and Bravo have got off to starts, no one has really gone to score the big one.
As a result, Middlesex seems to be reaching just about par scores and is then failing to defend them. Maybe bowling first should be the preferred strategy for the team. Dawid Malan has been released from the England squad and should be available for selection until the start of tests against India.
His presence will add some much needed depth to the batting.
The Middlesex bowing has not been bad at all. All of its bowlers have an economy rate of within 10 and the wickets have been shared pretty evenly as well. Paul Stirling is the surprising leader of the wickets tally right now but Bravo, Helm, and Sowter seemed to have got their act together as well.
Dwayne Bravo, in particular, is the one payer that can lift the entire side. We are sure his influence over the results of the games will increase and he will become a central figure in the near future.
Middlesex needs to sort its batting out and then the results will start to follow.
PR Stirling, Max Holden, Stephen Eskinazi, Eoin Morgan, John Simpson, Ashton Agar, Dwayne Bravo, James Fuller, Thomas Helm, ST Finn, Nathan Sowter.
A close loss in a rain-affected match against Gloucestershire would have sapped the confidence of the Somerset team somewhat. The team is proud of its T20 record and fancies itself in pressure situations like these.
Still, we think the form that Corey Anderson showed has to be a huge positive for Somerset going forward. Faced with no option but to attack, Anderson played his natural game and smashed 40 runs from 17 deliveries.
His importance to the side’s middle order is immense and it will be a huge boost to the side if he can continue to play in this same manner. Somerset’s batting has been doing well in the tournament but the results have not been following.
Trego, Hildreth, and Davies have all hit fifties in the games concluded so far and now Anderson has hit batting form as well. If Myburgh can get his act together quickly enough then Somerset should find itself moving back up towards the top of the table.
Holding back Somerset has been its bowling. Apart from van der Merwe and Waller, both of whom who have been fantastic, the others are all struggling to make an impact. Gregory hs four wickets to his name but is giving away runs at 10.70 runs per over. Jamie Overton to has been expensive and his wickets are coming later in the innings when the batsmen are accelerating rather than at the beginning.
The tournament has been difficult for the bowlers so far with the dry weather and pitches that are absolutely flat but an improved effort from the entire bowling unit has to be seen. We think van der Merwe and Waller will be tested against a decent Middlesex batting lineup as well.
This contest between the Somerset spinners and Middlesex batsmen could decide the fate of the match.
JG Myburgh, SM Davies, PD Trego, JC Hildreth, Corey Anderson, TB Abell, Lewis Gregory, RE Van Der Merwe, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton, MTC Waller.
The team winning the toss is likely to bat first
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Lord’s is going to host this match just a couple of days the India vs England match. The pitch is expected to be dry, weather clear, and something on offer for the spinners. The batsmen may have to adjust their targets downwards because the ball will come on the bat a little slower than usual.
A score of around 170 should be considered par.
Middlesex has lost the last two matches it has played against Somerset in T20 cricket. They will be playing at home and are likely to be reinforced by the presence of Dawid Malan. We, however, like the chances of Somerset better in this match. The Somerset batting has hit form at the right time and the team has better spinners to make use of some dry conditions.
Back Somerset to win.