About the Match
We are almost at the half way mark in Friends Life T20 and things are beginning to take shape. We now have Essex Eagles taking on Surrey Lions on 15th July 2013 at Kennington Oval, London. It is an important game in context of the points table as a win for either of the team will set the things nicely. A win for Surrey will take them to top of the table and a win for Eagles will breathe a new life in their campaign which has so far has been on a rollercoaster ride. Surrey Lions are in superb form right from the beginning of the tournament and Essex Eagles are back into form by beating Sussex Sharks. An interesting contest is surely on the cards.
In spite of having a team featuring many T20 stars, Lions haven’t got the performances they needed to stay at the top half of the table. They are currently placed at number four with seven points from six games with three victories to their name. In their last but one game, they were thrashed by Middlesex as they were restricted to a paltry total of 78. However, the Eagles flew high in their last game against Sussex in which they chased down a stiff target of 172 without too much of fuss. Ravi Bopara produced a match winning cameo of 35-runs and proved to be excellent partner to Owais Shah who has looked superb throughout this competition. The sharp deliveries from Shaun Tait were too hot to handle for Sussex batsmen as he sent four of them to pavilion. Eagles have an aggressive style of playing and the lineup they have, they can be a hard team to contend with.
The Lions have roared in this tournament and are on a four-match winning streak. They played their last T20 game quite a while ago on 5th July before entering into County Division Matches. As their position on the table suggests, they’ve been excellent with both bat and ball. In their last game against Middlesex, they scored a modest total of just 147, but surprisingly, were able to defend it with ease. In some other games, their batting has delivered and 170 always looked on the cards when they batted first. Coming at two-down, Glenn Maxwell provides strong impetus to the innings after Jason Roy and Steven Davies provide a stable start. Ricky Ponting helps the team with plenty of experience and has yielded good results so far. Surrey is a side with nice blend of youth and experience and results prove that; they’ll be a difficult side to beat.
The Eagles have touched the sky, but have been unable to stay at the top as they’ve lost between their wins. However, Surrey Lions have surprised and defeated everyone with their roar and are place second on the points table. Can Essex Eagles repeat their last night’s performance and make their path easier to the quarterfinals? The Lions haven’t played a T20 game for a while and 4-Day county games in between would make it even tougher to get back into this format right away. Essex is a very strong side on paper, but hasn’t delivered the desired results. Now, however, they are looking to take off with Tait bowling in nice rhythm and batsmen looking in fine form. I’d place my bet on Essex Eagles in this game.
Essex Eagles, 2.37 @ Bet365