About the Match
Northamptonshire Steelbacks has just 5 points from 8 matches against Warwickshire's 9 points from 8 matches for and both are fighting again at Northampton this week on 3rd Jul; Northamptonshire to improve their standing among the others in the North Division and the Warwickshire Bears also known as Birmingham Bears to catch up with the top teams. The two have met earlier on 19th June when the Bears won by a huge margin of 8 wickets with 24 balls to spare chasing a target of 133. Will they be able to repeat their feat and destroy the fortunes of Northamptonshire or will they perish under pressure to perform due to their humiliating defeat at the hands of lowly rated Derbyshire on 27 June, is something we have to wait and see.
Their match against Durham Dynamos had to be called off after 10 overs of play due to rain intervention; in their previous away tie against the Bears at Birmingham on 19th June, they were put into bat first by the Bears and they could not recover from the early loss of opener Levi and thereafter wickets tumbled at regular intervals. They should thank for a well-made 51 off 36 balls by Crook which took them to a respectable but not good enough total of 133 for 7; they failed to defend this total as none of their bowlers were impressive against the in-form batsmen of Warwickshire with Chopra and Ireland skipper William Porterfield going after the bowlers at full throttle and defeating them by 8 wickets with 24 balls to spare. Northants would pray for a reverse result in this match but without proper ammunition in their guns, it is going to be an uphill task. As they have nothing much to lose, they must try to spring a surprise on Warwickshire Bears to hinder their progress in the points table, provided they go all out with determination and a positive attitude.
They had a streak of losses in the recent matches after their thumping win against the Northants Steelbacks on 19th June by a huge margin of 8 wickets with 24 balls to spare; on 20th June, they lost to Worcestershire Rapids by 8 wickets as they failed to defend 133 for 8 which was easily surpassed by Worcester losing only 2 wickets with 33 balls to spare. Then was the humiliating defeat against the underdogs Derbyshire Falcons where once again they failed to defend 189 for 5 which Derbyshire achieved retaining 3 wickets and 6 balls to spare. The early wins by Warwickshire are no longer being repeated and probably they are too eager to catch up with the leaders Worcestershire and Lancashire to go ahead but failing under unnecessary pressure. The present reverse match with Northants should not result in another loss, but the Northants may have different game plan altogether. With Chopra and William Porterfield opening well and giving a good start, the others should put their heads down, apply themselves and play for the team with Clarke, Wright and others bowling with purpose and precision.
Both the sides have struggled in their recent games. Considering the form and performance of both the sides in this competition, the Northamptonshire Steelbacks certainly go in as the underdogs here due to their poor performance so far and though the Bears have been struggling with their matches, we however expect a change of fortunes and a win to Warwickshire here.
Warwickshire Bears, 1.80 @ Titan Bet