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|RN ten Doeschate||9||13||0||0||69.23|
After a long gap of nearly a week, the proceedings resume in Vitality T20 Blast with a couple of important fixtures. Sussex Sharks and Essex Eagles are set to take on each other in the second contest of the day. The two teams are placed at almost the two extremes of the South Group points table. While a win for Sussex will strengthen their position at the top, a win for Essex will push them two spots up the ladder. However, considering the qualification scenarios, even a win here might not be enough to keep the Eagles in the hunt for the playoffs. The match is set to be played on Thursday, 22nd August, at The 1st Central County Ground, Hove.
The Sharks will have to make a quick format switch from the longest format of the game to the shortest format. The Sharks are coming off a sensational victory over Kent in the County Championship game. Additionally, they've had a terrific campaign in the T20 Blast up until now and are leading the points table by quite some margin.
The Sharks, however, will be wary of getting some momentum going into the playoffs as they failed to register a win in any of the last two matches they played in the competition. Furthermore, the absence of Rashid Khan is likely to leave their bowling attack on the lighter side, despite the fact that they've signed up Jason Behrendorff as his replacement.
Coming after a relatively consuming fixture in county cricket, Sussex are likely to rest a couple of their key players including but not limited to Reece Topley and Tymal Mills as the value of having these players in the knockouts could be a lot than it is now.
Their batting, however, is likely to stay the same wherein Phil Salt is in excellent form with the weigh of 271 runs in the tournament behind him. Luke Wright hasn't done bad as well and has 266 runs to his name. While the availability of a couple of their better performing bowlers is under the clouds of uncertainty, they have their full strength batting available, and beating them is still not going to be easy.
Philip Salt, LJ Wright, Laurie Evans, Alex Carey, D Wiese, Harry Finch, Chris Jordan, Will Beer, Danny Briggs, Jason Behrendorff, R Topley.
It's been quite some time that Essex Eagles took the field in a T20 Blast game. Considering that they faced a big - 114-run beating in that fixture, they'd like to shrug that off quickly and move ahead to focus on their remaining fixtures. They can consider themselves a little unlucky as all of their last three matches were washed out due to rain.
Even though Mohammad Amir has featured in only three games for them thus far, he has been a force to reckon with in the bowling department. Apart from him, however, none of their bowlers have been impressive enough and will need to step-up going forward in the tournament.
Similarly, in the batting department, most of the work has been done by Cameron Delport. Their middle order has struggled to score consistently, which has been the primary reason for their poor performance in this season. Tom Westley has produced some brilliant performances at the top, but they have been too few to overshadow lack of support from their middle order. All in all, Essex have an excellent bowling line-up with the likes of Zampa and Amir available, but lack of a potent, in-form middle order could hurt them in their upcoming fixture.
Tom Westley, C Delport, Adam Wheater, Dan Lawrence, RN ten Doeschate, RS Bopara, Paul Walter, SR Harmer, Mohammad Amir, Aaron Beard, Adam Zampa.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy lineup for the Vitality T20 Blast match, which is to be played between Sussex Sharks and Essex Eagles at Hove. Note that the below-mentioned team is made on the assumption that Reece Topley will sit out in this contest. In case he is fit and is part of the playing eleven, swap Danny Briggs out for him.
Even though Sussex have had a scintillating tournament so far, their performance in their three recent matches has been far from satisfactory. Essex Eagles have been dealing with their own set of problems and do not seem to have hold of them, yet. The two teams have had a contrasting tournament, and that too by a huge margin. The Sharks are a better team, both on paper and on-field, in both the departments of the game, and should comfortably emerge on top in the upcoming fixture and consolidate their position at the top of the table.
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