About the Match
The Northants have a home quarter-final lined up against Middlesex, third place finishers in South Group, on 9th August at Northampton. With 16 points, the hosts finished second on the table in the North Group but their recent outings ended in sour defeat and will be eager to go back to their winning ways in this crucial game. Middlesex too lost its previous two games and they will fight back harder to stay alive; whichever side can strategize well to outwit the opponent will win here.
Against Yorkshire, the batsmen failed both times to chase down challenging totals recently with the top-order giving up easily; Wakely, Crook and Duckett have been in good form and they will be key to stabilizing the innings in the middle. Openers Cobb and Rossington have the talent and experience and can make a comeback here; Levi and Rossington’s 103-run opening stand against Warwicks wherein Rossington posted a superb 85 off 51, took the team to a strong 200 runs.
Bowlers led by spinner Graeme While, who registered a brilliant 4-20, Prasanna and speedster Kleinveldt, who took 3 wickets each against Warwicks, helped them win the match by a thumping 74 runs; they will be eager to repeat that performance here again. Ashraf, Gleeson and Crook provide variety and depth to the attack and they can definitely bring their firepower to outwit the visitors.
The batting line-up has in-form players like Alex Wakely, who can lead from the front with his consistent performance, Richard Levi, Rossington, Cobb and Duckett; the bowlers too have proven themselves to be a formidable force and can help their team keep the campaign alive.
George Bailey and Simpson had batted well against Hampshire, scoring 76 and 54 runs respectively to take the total to 181 batting first, while Higgins registered a superb 5-13 to help win the match by 43 runs. James Fuller and Steve Finn took 5 wickets between them while Stirling, Roland-Jones and Sowter bring variety to the attack. James Franklin was instrumental in stifling the opposition in the recent matches against Gloucs and Essex but others like James Harris gave away too many easy runs; coupled with the low totals to defend, they lost both the matches in a dismal way.
Gubbins and Eskinazi posted a 52-run opening stand against Gloucs, and Simpson played a useful knock with 40 off 32, but they could only muster 156 runs in the end. In the match against Essex, Dawid Malan scored an unbeaten 68 off 51 but others down the order couldn’t build steady partnerships and they could only get to 126 runs batting first. Players like Bailey, Simpson and Franklin will be crucial in the middle order and can try to put their best foot forward.
The batsmen can do a better job here and will try to post a competitive total if they go in to bat first; the bowlers on the other hand can put up a more disciplined attack in order to contain the hard-hitting Northants.
Both teams have fought hard to make it to this stage and they will put up a strong duel to keep their hopes alive here; while Middlesex has a good mix of experience and young talent, we feel that Northants with the home advantage are better placed to emerge victorious on Tuesday