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|RE Van Der Merwe||2||4||0||0||50.00|
|RE Van Der Merwe||3.0||0||27||0||9.00|
With the pace Vitality, T20 Blast 2019 is marching forward; a week seems to be as long as an eternity. Kent Spitfires would be the best team to back this far. They were at the top of the table ever since the beginning of this edition, but due to some spectacular results during the last week, they've dropped down to the second spot at the ladder. While they wouldn't really mind dropping down a place as long as their qualification to the next round is confirmed, they'd like to finish the league stage with a couple of more wins behind them beginning with one in their next game which is to be played at Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton on Saturday, 10th August. They'll be up against Somerset who have done exceptionally well in their past couple of games with their top-order contributing massively to both their wins. With both teams looking to march ahead with the momentum they have, it's going to be a cracker of a contest on this super Saturday.
Somerset were found languishing at the bottom half of the table for the most part of their Vitality T20 Blast campaign, but a couple of good wins in their last two matches has not only pushed them to the fifth spot at the table but has also made them a strong contender to qualify for the playoffs. They now have eight points in as many matches with four wins and four losses each to their name. Another win here will push them to the fourth spot if Gloucestershire do not register a win in their respective match.
Somerset started off the tournament on a winning note, beating Glamorgan Gladiators by a massive margin of eight wickets, but their form dived their subsequent three matches as they failed to do anything of substance. They, however, are now showing signs of peaking just at the right moment with three wins in their last four matches and two in their previous two.
In their last match, which was against Hampshire, Somerset blasted their way to 202 for 4 in 20 overs with Babar Azam scoring his first T20 hundred of the season. He slammed an unbeaten 102 off just 55 deliveries with Tom Abell ably assisting him with a splendid 57 towards the back-end of the Somerset innings.
Up until their last couple of matches, their bowling had looked out of sorts, but their bowlers shrugged off all the concerns with a couple of brilliant performances, against Essex Eagles and Hampshire respectively. The dismantled Essex Eagles' batting lineup for a total of just 111 in defense of 225. Against Hampshire, in their next game, their bowlers wreaked havoc before the rain arrived as they reduced Hants to 69 for six before rain stopped play. Somerset were declared victorious by 63 runs on DLS method.
In the earlier half of their campaign, their middle-order looked entirely out of sorts with none of Tom Abell, James Hildreth, and Peter Trego scoring consistently. A couple of good performances from Hildreth and Abell each along with their already performing openers has put Somerset in a sweet spot. If they continue to do as they've done in their last couple of matches, things are not going to be comfortable even for Kent Spitfires, who have looked supreme in the tournament so far.
Tom Banton, Babar Azam, JC Hildreth, TB Abell, EJ Byrom, Tom Lammonby, RE Van Der Merwe, Craig Overton, TD Groenewald, Jerome Taylor, MTC Waller.
Kent had a phenomenal start to the tournament, cruising to five back to back wins in their first five matches and were comfortably sitting at the top of the table, but two losses in their last three matches has raised a bit of concern for their management regarding their form. They're still in a pretty good position as far as qualification for the next round is concerned and another couple of wins, if not one, should be enough for them to seal a place in the quarter-finals.
Kent have won six out of eight games played with no games tied or affected by rain. They have ten points to their name and are sitting comfortably at the second spot in the South Group points table, right behind Sussex Sharks.
After winning their first five matches which included some fabulous wins, they appeared to be losing a bit of steam as they lost to Sussex Sharks and Gloucestershire. They are coming back after a week of break which should do them a world of good.
Daniel Bell Drummond has done fantastically well for the Spitfires, and he was their only batsmen who appeared settled in their previous fixture where Gloucestershire tamed their batting lineup. Batting first on a decent wicket, Gloucestershire seamers made excellent use of little assistance that was on offer from the surface as they restricted Spitfires to a total of just 125. Even the deep batting lineup of Kent Spitfires couldn't help them as none of their all-rounders could bail them out of trouble.
Their bowlers tried hard in their reply to defend the modest total they had put, but they could only drag the match to 19th over. Gloucestershire eventually won the game with five wickets in hand and seven balls to spare.
Daniel Bell-Drummond, Zak Crawley, Heino Kuhn, Sam Billings, Mohammad Nabi, Alex Blake, Oliver Robinson, Adam Milne, Hardus Viljoen, Fred Klaassen, Mitchell Claydon.
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With both the teams looking to gear up for the business end of the tournament, this is going to be an exciting contest. Kent Spitfires have been a more consistent team between the two, but Somerset have been a better side if only last two matches are taken into consideration. Somerset appear to be riding high on their couple of wins and have an immense amount of confidence. Both their batting and bowling unit is doing well, and almost all the teams have found it tough to bowl to Babar Azam. With batting doing exceptionally well and bowling joining the party as well, we think that Somerset will thump Kent on Saturday and continue to build on their winning run.
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