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We are just a few days from the knockouts in Vitality T20 Blast, and things are beginning to set up nicely as we progress towards the business end of the tournament. North Group is pretty jam-packed in the middle with only one team looking certain to qualify for the playoffs with considerable ease. The difference between the team at the second spot and the team at the eighth spot is just three points. Northamptonshire Steelbacks are currently at the eight spots and will be looking to get higher up the ladder with a win in their next match. With Worcestershire up against them, the challenge will not be easy when the two teams meet on Sunday, 11th August at New Road Worcester.
Worcestershire made a solid start to the tournament, starting from where they left last time around, and are currently sitting comfortably at the third spot at the ladder. So far in the tournament, they've won four matches and lost two matches with one of their matches washed out due to rain. Another couple of wins should put them in a pretty sweet spot as far as qualification for the next round is concerned.
It's been quite a long break for them after they faced an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Leicestershire Foxes. Worcestershire were involved in playing a four-day game against Australia where they did fairly well. Prior to their defeat against Leicestershire, they won three games on the trot and will now be looking to get back to the winning ways.
Worcestershire have a terrific batting lineup with most of their top-order batsmen in superb form. Martin Guptil has already had a few excellent matches along with Riki Wessels and Callum Ferguson. They've tried Wayne Parnell at number four on numerous occasions, and the experiment hasn't really paid off up until now. All in all, they have a pretty good batting lineup which is backed by a strong bowling attack and beating them is going to be difficult yet again.
Playing 11 not yet available.
Not long ago, Northamptonshire were struggling to find their feet in the tournament and fast forward a couple of matches, they suddenly seem to have announced their candidature for the playoffs.
They had an extremely poor start to the competition and were languishing at the bottom-most spot at the table for more than five games on the trot. Their last match was washed out due to rain and a win against Durham Jets in the match prior to that would have done them world of good.
Up until now, their bowling has done a good job, but their batting has struggled, to say the least. Barring Joshua Cobb, who is their only batsmen who has hit more than three sixes in the competition, no batsmen has looked settled for them. With runs on the board going to get important against power-packed Worcestershire lineup, their batsmen would have to do really well from here. If they can do that, it could turn out to be an interesting game of cricket.
Playing 11 not yet available.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy team for the Vitality T20 Blast match which is to be played between Worcestershire Rapids and Northamptonshire Steelbacks on Sunday
Northamptonshire Steelbacks has been one of the weakest performing sides of the South Group thus far and really need to brush on on their performance with the bat so as to have a chance to qualify for the playoffs. Worcestershire Rapids, on the other hand, have been terrific in almost all the matches they've played barring a couple of roadblocks. Comparing the two teams on paper and overall form in the tournament, Worcestershire Rapids appear to be better and are, therefore, our pick to win the upcoming contest.
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