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Both Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire lost their opening encounters of Vitality T20 Blast and will be looking to get back with a win in their second match respectively. However, only one team between those two will be able to garner a couple of points as they are taking on each other in their second match at County Ground, Northampton on 6th July 2018.
Ben Duckett's excellent knock of 96 was reduced to a losing cause as Northamptonshire bowlers failed to defend a whopping total of 218 and that too at home. Duckett continued from where he left at Cardiff as he got 10 runs of Raine's over. He then took 12 from Parkinson's first over. Richard Levi could not get going in the first match and departed for a personal score of 6.
Almost all of Northants' batsmen did well with Joshua Cobb and Alex Wakely contributing with the scores of 56 and 51 in 33 and 24 deliveries respectively. At one stage Northants' looked all set to defend their mammoth total before Colin Ackermann took the matter in his own hands to power Leicestershire to a win.
Although he bowled only a couple of overs, Joshua Cobb was particularly impressive with his bowling his well. He went for just 13 in his two overs and picked up an important wicket of Cameron Delport. Rory Kleinveldt bowled well until the last over where the five wides bowled by him proved to be the match for Leicestershire. Overall, Northamptonshire were good for the majority of the match, but some poor bowling in the death overs hurt them and they'd have to fix that going into the next game.
Richard Levi, Ben Duckett, Josh Cobb, Alex Wakely, Steven Crook, Ricardo Vasconcelos, S Prasanna, Rory Kleinveldt, Graeme White, Nathan Buck, Ben Sanderson.
In front of the crowd of over 12000 people, Nottinghamshire put up a disappointing performance where both their bowlers and batsmen failed to deliver. To add insult to injury, Chris Nash, one of their important batsmen, got himself injured while trying to take a catch. He is expected to miss out at least a couple of games.
Batting first, the absence of Alex Hales was clearly felt as Nottinghamshire could not really gather any momentum right through their innings. Barring Riki Wessels, who lived up to his expectation and scored quick-fire 41, no batsman could really get going for the Notts. Had it not been the quick cameos of 22 and 27 from Mullaney and Fletcher respectively, they'd struggled to get to a total of even 150.
Ish Sodhi used his experience to weave a miserly spell, but apart from him no bowler who bowled with a decent economy rate. With Chris Nash out due to the shoulder injury and Alex Hales set to miss another match, Nottinghamshire are in all sorts of troubles and would need to get their combination before time runs out.
Steven Mullaney, Riki Wessels, Tom Moores, SR Patel, Billy Root, DT Christian, will fraine, Paul Coughlin, Luke Fletcher, IS Sodhi, Harry Gurney.
Defending went wrong for both the sides in the first game and given that it will be a perfect surface to bat at Northampton, expect the captain winning the toss to bowl first.
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A total of over 400 runs were scored in the first match of the season at Northampton. That sums up the kind of surface and value of shots the ground offers. Because of small boundaries and hard surface, expect another run-scoring fest on the cards.
Although both teams lost their respective first match, the manner of the losses differed significantly. Northamptonshire did well for the most part of the game, but Colin Ackermann stole the game away from them albeit helped by some mediocre bowling. Notts, on the other hand, never looked in contention to win the match. With a strong performance by their batsmen in the first match, expect Northamptonshire to hand reigning-champions their second defeat of the season.