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|Jacob Daniel Libby||37||25||5||0||148.00|
Worcestershire has already confirmed its place in the final eight of this tournament and a victory in one of its last two matches will be enough to book the quarter-final on its home ground as well. That is something to play for considering the difference a home crowd can make in tight encounters. Their opponents in this game, Nottinghamshire, have a lot more to do. They are fourth place right but are in the middle of a pack of 5 teams separated by just two points.
One or possibly two wins from their last two matches will be required to assure themselves of a place in the quarterfinals.
It looked like for a while that Callum Ferguson was going to be able to lead Worcestershire to yet another victory but he got out at just the wrong time and his side ended up finishing 5 runs short of the target.
Ferguson has been brilliant in taking the place of Martin Guptill who has left for the CPL and ensuring that Worcestershire’s batting does not suffer a dip. The top order, along with Westbury, Clarke, and Cox is quite effective at scoring runs but they clearly need Ferguson to be the leader.
Ross Whiteley hits sixes for fun in the lower middle order and often propels Worcestershire beyond what one would have imagined them to reach. Wayne Parnell is also present to offer his help in the lower middle order to make Worcestershire a strong batting side.
It is, however, a side that remains vulnerable to the odd collapse. Get Ferguson and Clarke out early and you could be looking at a struggle from the rest of the batsmen. Nottinghamshire has a decent bowling attack and they will know they need to come hard at Worcestershire.
Parnell, Wood, Brown, Barnard, and Mitchell have been pretty good with the ball. Brown is, in fact, the leading wicket-taker of the season so far and even though he had a poor outing last time around, he will be confident of making a comeback in the next game.
Worcestershire’s bowling will be tested against the strong Nottinghamshire batting side which seems to have hit form at the right time in the tournament.
Moeen Ali, Joe Clarke, Callum Ferguson, Brett D Oliveira, Ben Cox, WD Parnell, Ross Whiteley, Daryl Mitchell, Ed Barnard, Patrick Brown, Andy carter.
A fantastic partnership between Libby and Moores led Nottingham to an imposing total against Yorkshire even as the senior two batsmen of the side failed to make an impact. That win would have given the side a lot of confidence going into what is now essentially a knockout situation for them.
Alex Hales and Rikki Wessels have the ability to turn it on in games at any time and now that the rest of the batting order is also firing will only give them the license to go hard from the start. Remember, Dan Christian, who has had an excellent time with the bat this season, is also around to give support in the lower middle order.
Batting is not a problem for Nottinghamshire and they would fancy themselves in a chase but they would like to keep the Worcestershire batsmen quiet. Worcestershire has won matches thanks to its explosive batting and its bowlers being able to pick crucial wickets. Nottinghamshire will not shy away from a contest but knows it is not in a position where the batsmen can afford an off-day.
Harry Gurney and Ish Sodhi will be leading the attack for the defending champions. Gurney picked up three wickets in his last match is now the highest wicket-taker for the side. He and Sodhi have been the most economical bowlers of the lot.
The side would have been encouraged to see a good bowling performance from Samit Patel and Dan Christian in the last match, which is not something that has happened regularly enough this season.
Riki Wessels, AD Hales, Tom Moores, Steven Mullaney, SR Patel, DT Christian, Billy Root, Jake Libby, Luke Fletcher, IS Sodhi, Harry Gurney.
The team winning the toss is likely to field first
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Some rain has been forecast in Worcester and that could mean a curtailed game. Nottinghamshire would be hoping desperately that a no-result can be avoided as that would mean almost the end of its chances to qualify. The pitch in Worcester has been excellent for batting and the same is expected for this match.
180 should be seen as a par score on this surface.
Worcestershire beat Nottinghamshire comfortably the first time these two sides met in this season. This time, though, we have a feeling that it is going to be a lot closer. Nottinghamshire has everything to pay for and is coming into top gear at the right time. On paper, it has a better rounded side than Worcestershire.
Back Nottinghamshire to win.