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Northamptonshire finally won its first game of the season and even though it has no chance of playing the quarter-finals this year, it would like to end on a high with a few more victories to its credit. Northamptonshire will be taking on the form team of Vitality Blast 2018, Durham. The Durham team continues to outperform expectations and has seven victories in its last eight matches.
The loss of some key players has not stopped Durham from chugging along the team is in an excellent position to confirm its place in the quarterfinals very soon. Can Northamptonshire find a way to stop Durham?
Cobb played another excellent inning for Northamptonshire and helped them finally break their duck this season. The team got over the line against an in-form Derbyshire side and will fancy itself against Durham as well.
The Northamptonshire side is not a bad one by any stretch of the imagination but it just somehow kept on finding ways to lose this season. Runs from Cobb, Wakely, Duckett, and Levi mean that the batting is in pretty decent condition.
One of the problems for Northamptonshire has been stitching together complete performances. They either bat well and then don’t follow it up with the bowling or suffer a collapse on the odd days that its bowling actually did a decent job.
On the whole, it is easier to expect a good batting performance from Northamptonshire than a good bowling one. It has been a struggle for the side to put together a good bowling side. Prasanna has been ineffective in his role as an attacking leg spinner and his economy rate has also slipped below 9.0 in the last few matches.
Gleeson, Buck, and Sanderson have been decent in patches but on the whole, this is a side that has to bat well to win matches. Against Durham, Northamptonshire’s bowling will be well aware of the fact that they are a top-heavy side and a few early wickets could set them massively backward.
Ricardo Vasconcelos, Ben Duckett, Josh Cobb, Ben Curran, Alex Wakely, Charlie Thurston, S Prasanna, Rory Kleinveldt, Brett Hutton, Ben Sanderson, Nathan Buck.
There is no real reason that Durham should be in the position that it is right now but a couple of its players are having the season of their lives and they keep propelling Durham forward.
Tom Latham has scored 421 runs in the tournament so far and is among the top-5 scorers overall right now. His consistency at the top has meant that Durham gets a good start in most matches. His partnership with Graham Clark has been phenomenal.
Clark has also scored 374 runs to his name to keep Durham from being too dependent on just one man. These two are followed by Paul Collingwood, a 42-year-old man who is still playing some brilliant cricket. Collingwood also has 227 runs to his name but there is nothing much after.
A bevy of players that can swing the bat with enthusiasm follows and they help get Durham to respectable scores in a lot of the matches. The bowling for Durham has been doing its job very well and even though they no longer have Imran Tahir in the side, the likes of Rimmington, Weighell, Collingwood, and Rushworth form a very decent attack.
The question though needs to be asked as to how long can Durham keep pulling off these escapes? Can a team survive at the top with just a few players pulling it along in each match?
We believe that Durham is due to lose a match in spectacular fashion where it will be bowled out for a very low score. The current form of the side, though, makes it very difficult to go against them.
TWM Latham, Graham Clark, PD Collingwood, Will Smith, Ryan Davies, Stuart Poynter, Ryan Pringle, Chris Rushworth, Nathan Rimmington, Ben whitehead, M Wood.
The team winning the toss is likely to field first
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Rain has been forecast in the morning but hopefully, it should clear by the time the match is scheduled to start. Northamptonshire will get a good batting track on which its batsmen can play their shots and put pressure on the Durham side. A high scoring match looks to be on the cards.
A score of around 180 can be seen a par for the course.
Northamptonshire is a strong side that has performed badly while Durham is a weak side that has performed very well. We believe there is an excellent case of backing the underdogs in this game because they have home advantage and a couple of players in good form.
Back Northamptonshire to win.
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