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We are in a stage in Vitality T20 Blast where a win in every encounter hereon is necessary to go all the way. Last year as well, tables turned drastically in the knock-out stages as some of the teams that did incredibly well in the league stage failed to repeat the same sort of performance in the knock-out stage. Lancashire Lightning and Sussex Sharks are tow teams that had a pretty good run in the league stage this year and would want to progress to the finals day. However, they are set to meet each other in a quarter-final match and only one of those two teams will go through. The match is to be played at The 1st Central County Ground, Hove, on 1st October 2020.
Sussex Sharks had a terrific run in the league stage and with six wins and three losses, they finished second in the South Group points table. Although the difference of three points, that is there between the Sharks and Surrey, the team placed at the top of the South Group table, suggests that the Sharks were far from their Surrey, it is certainly not the case. In fact, Sussex Sharks were equally impressive in the group stage.
As apparent from the statistics, the Sharks rely heavily on their top-order with two stalwarts present in Luke Wright and Phil Salt. They suffered a minor blip in their campaign when Salt had to leave due to national duty with England hosting Australia, but he is sure to be available for the upcoming match. Alongside Salt, Wright is an important pillar of their batting lineup and that is evident by the sheer number of runs he scored in the league stage. Wright hammered a total of 375 runs in 10 league matches.
The Sharks appear to be pretty well balanced in the bowling department as well. Danny Briggs and George Garton were impressive in the league stage as they returned with a total of 11 and 10 wickets to their respective names. Sussex are coming off a remarkable win that was scripted primarily by their lower middle-order. Calum MacLeod and George Garton played crucial knocks to guide their team to a much-needed win after their top-order exhibited a rare collapse. That win over Essex Eagles highlighted Surrey's depth in the batting lineup.
With a few of their players out to play in the Indian Premier League, Sussex Sharks will not be having their full-strength team, but considering that those players never really served the side this year, that shouldn't be concerning for the management. Overall, Sussex Sharks are a terrific team and the return of Salt to the fold only adds to their strength. They'll certainly be a difficult side to deal with in the upcoming encounter.
Philip Salt, Luke Wright, Delray Rawlins, RS Bopara, D Wiese, Calum MacLeod, George Garton, Will Beer, Ollie Robinson, Danny Briggs, Tymal Mills.
Just like the Sharks, Lancashire Lightning finished at the second spot on the points table. They qualified for the playoffs on the back of five wins in eight completed matches. Lancashire started pretty well in the tournament, racking up consecutive wins, but stumbled their way in the middle. However, with a few good wins towards the end, they eventually reserved a spot for themselves.
In the first half of the tournament, Keaton Jennings and Alex Davies looked in pristine form and were responsible for a couple of their wins as well. However, injury to Keaton Jennings proved to be a major roadblock that nearly took away all the momentum from the Lightning. A long break in between means that Jennings is likely to fit and will feature in the upcoming contest against the Sharks.
Apart from Keaton Jennings, Liam Livingstone and Alex Davies will have a massive role to play. Davies scored 268 runs from nine matches in the league stage and will be looking to build on his form. However, with Keaton Jennings leaving midway and Livingstone joining late, there was no one apart from Davies who could contribute consistently with the bat.
Their bowling, as well, appears to be a little too over-reliant on Tom Bailey and Matthew Parkinson. Although Bailey picked up ten wickets from six matches, five of those were picked in one match, which highlights the bland tournament he had after that haul. Parkinson, however, did well throughout and is likely to use all his experience on a surface that is likely to have some assistance for the spinners.
Overall, Lancashire Lighting are a little too over-reliant on their top-order, but that can really pay off even if one of those batsmen click. The experience of Jennings, Livingstone, and Davies is likely to play a key role as handling pressure would be vital. If the team manages to handle pressure well, they certainly have the firepower to demolish Sussex Sharks in this all-important knockout encounter.
Alex Davies, Liam Livingstone, KK Jennings, Steven Croft, DJ Vilas, Rob Jones, Danny Lamb, Luke Wood, Tom Hartley, Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson.
In the league stage, the honors between the team batting first and the team batting second were shared with both winning a couple of matches each. However, his is a high-pressure encounter and score-board pressure could play a massive role. In addition to that, there is not going to be any dew to assist the team batting second. For those reasons, the captain winning the toss is expected to bat first.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
The County Ground at Hove is generally a high-scoring ground and it is apparent from the kind of scores we saw in the group stage. Totals of over 170 were fairly common here and it is going to be difficult to contain the batsmen once again. Cool weather and clear sky means an excellent day for Cricket will be on offer. This is a day game and dew is not going to have any impact whatsoever. The par score here would be around 175 and the team batting first should be happy with any score over that.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy team lineup for the upcoming Vitality T20 Blast Quarter-final match to be played between Sussex Sharks and Lancashire Lightning. Don't forget to check back the latest updated team lineup right after the toss.
Find more Dream11 predictions and other tips and tricks on our dedicated Dream11 guide.
There is a striking similarity between the two teams that both sides have a terrific top-order. While the Sharks have the services of Luke Wright and Phil Salt at the top, Lightning have a terrific opening pair of Keaton Jennings and Alex Davies. Lancashire, however, aren't as experienced as Sussex Sharks in the bowling department and lacks the same balance as well, at least on paper. Besides, the advantage of playing home that the Sharks have could play a small yet significant role in the upcoming match. Considering that and the factors stated above, we expect Sussex Sharks to emerge victorious in the upcoming match to qualify for the finals day of the Vitality T20 Blast.
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