About the Match
Comparatively, the Sharks are better placed in the points table against the Gladiators, but overall both of them are much behind the leaders Essex, Hampshire and Surrey, as Gloucs have 6 points from 9 matches against 8 of Sussex from same number of matches. They have faced each other earlier in the tournament on 6th June with the Gloucestershire Gladiators winning by a narrow margin of 4 runs; will they be able to repeat the same result in this reverse match or will the Sussex team emerge victorious, is a question that will be answered on Friday but if Sussex achieves a positive result here, they will be in the run to be among the top 3 in the South Division.
Gloucestershire was asked to bat first as Sussex won the toss when they met on 6th June, with a 102 runs partnership for the 2nd wicket featuring Cockbain scoring a well-made 84 off 51 balls and they were able to put up a fighting total. As the Sussex bowling erred in length and direction, with 7 deliveries going wide, the Gloucs took full advantage and reached 189 for 6. It was an achievable target for Sussex but with a fine display of disciplined bowling by McCarter who claimed 5 wickets and Taylor following him with 3 wickets saw the Gloucs win by 4 runs. In their latest match against Kent on 26th June at Bristol, they again displayed a wonderful determination to clinch the match by 4 wickets chasing a target of 150 runs. So, Gloucestershire Gladiators have shown good ability to plan a chase or set a target and they will hope to repeat their performance in the present tie against Sussex; but they have to guard against complacency and bowl well with discipline against the opponents to check the flow of runs.
In their earlier match against the Gladiators, Sussex challenged them by preferring to field but their bowlers Yasir Arafat, Piolet and Nash did not bowl good line and length, and they had to face a huge target of 189 runs. With 2 wickets falling in the 4th over at 27, and later 2 more wickets falling in the 13th over with the score standstill at 111, the team got bundled out for 185 thus suffering defeat by a narrow margin of four runs. The latest match against the weak Middlesex Panthers on 27th June saw Sussex Sharks preferring to chase and succeed in bowling out the lowly rated Panthers to 107 by the penultimate ball; they easily chased the target and won the match with 23 balls to spare losing only 4 wickets, with a superb knock of 74 off 53 balls by opener Nash. Hatchett and Beer bowled well for Sussex claiming 3 wickets each, breaking the backbone of the Middlesex batting line-up, except for a mild resistance by Higgins. Sussex should not allow the Gloucestershire Gladiators any room to dominate their mediocre bowling and maintain good line in their attack in order to win this all important game.
It was pretty hard to choose between the sides when they met last time around with a margin of just four runs separating them. While both teams have good resources and their own set of positives which can give them equal chances at victory, judging by their team on paper, I think that the Gladiators might just have an edge against Sharks yet again.
Gloucestershire Gladiators, 1.90 @ Titan Bet