About the Match
Most teams are about their final one or two matches in the competition and only two teams out of 18 have qualified with certainty for the final four. Only one team has been definitely ruled out and that leaves yet 15 teams fighting it to the final four. No team in the South Group has been ruled out including the bottom placed Middlesex who will be featuring in this match against Gloucestershire.
Events have conspired to leave Middlesex with a complex mathematical chance of qualifying for the final four but all of those calculations will only come into play if Middlesex wins both of its final two matches.
Their last match loss against Essex was very crucial and leaves them no more room for any mistakes.
It is a tough ask for a team that has been performing inconsistently this entire season but one look at some of the quality players in the side will prove to anyone that their season is far from over.
Runs have been tough to come for Middlesex this entire season. Their highest scorer is Eoin Morgan with 318 runs to his name from 12 innings. Only one fifty in the entire campaign and an average of 26.50 is indicative of the poor tournament he has had.
Morgan though is known for performing when it really counts and will be the danger man against Gloucestershire. Eskinazi has started off well in the competition getting a chance of Brendon McCullum was no longer available and Paul Stirling is always dangerous at the top of the order as well.
Tim Southee and Nathan Sowter have been excellent in the tournament but need the cushion of runs behind them to be most effective.
T20 is a format that can change within the space of a few balls and as Finch showed for Surrey the other day, a quality player just needs a couple hits before getting into the groove of things. Middlesex will be hoping desperately that its big name players have a similar two good games ahead.
Michael Klinger spoke about the fact that his team needed to put the recent run of low scores behind them and get back to making the big runs. Klinger himself will be keen to lead the way against a county that Gloucestershire has had a lot of success in the recent past.
Four of the last five games between the two counties have ended in a win for Gloucestershire. Klinger and Cockbain were instrumental in securing a victory for Gloucestershire the last time they traveled to Uxbridge and they will look to channel those same thoughts in this game as well.
Gloucestershire is also in a similar position to Middlesex, needing a couple of wins in the upcoming matches and then hoping for a few favorable results to qualify. A loss though and all their dreams of making the final four will be shattered.
Three no-results due to rain for Gloucestershire have interfered with the rhythm of their tournament but even taking that into account it is perplexing to see not one single batsman even reach 300 runs in the tournament.
Klinger, Cockbain, Mustard, and Howell need to put in their best performances in order to get past the tricky Middlesex challenge. Payne and Howell will be the ones leading the charge on the bowling front and hope to nick out the big Middlesex batsmen early.
Pitch and Conditions
A few showers in the morning should give way to a sunny day by the time the match gets underway. The batting conditions for this match will be absolutely pristine and give the big hitters on both sides a chance to showcase their skills.
This will be a match where you have to choose which ‘big’ player to back under pressure. We personally think Michael Klinger is the man to come good under this situation like he has so many time before.
Back Gloucestershire to win