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Worcestershire Rapids and Birmingham Bears are set to face off in an important Vitality T20 Blast match. The last year's winners, Worcestershire Rapids, would love to start off from where they left last year. They defeated Sussex by five wickets last year and got their name written on the trophy. Birmingham Bears, on the other hand, could not qualify for the playoffs last year owing to some tight performance towards the back end of the tournament and would like to make amends this time. The two teams are set to meet each other on at Worcester, Worcestershire's home ground, on Friday, July 19th. While the two teams finished almost at opposite ends last year, the competition between the two is expected to be a lot closer this time around and both the sides would love to get off to a flying start in the first match of the tournament.
Worcestershire got off to a flying start in the tournament, exactly from where they left off in the last season, winning their first match, against Nottinghamshire by a margin of 28 runs. Led by Moeen Ali, they did exceedingly well to restrict Nottinghamshire to a modest total.
On paper, Worcestershire appear to be a pretty settled unit with the likes of Daryl Mitchell, Ed Barnard, and Tom Kohler-Cadmore, and Moeen Ali available in their batting lineup. Ed Barnard played a crucial role in their opening win as he smashed a quickfire 42 off 19 balls to take them to a respectable total. The likes of Guptill, Wessels, and Moeen Ali played little but useful cameos at the top order and will be looking to play for a bit longer this time.
While it was Ed Barnard who played a key role in setting up a reasonable total, it was their bowlers who eventually took them to a win. Pennington and Wayne Parnell got them off to a good start as they got rid off Joe Clarke and Ben Ducket in the fourth over of the match. Just when Nottinghamshire were looking to run away with the game, Moeen Ali sealed picked up four quick wickets to rock them and take Worcs to a surprising win.
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Warwickshire have plenty of experience at their disposal which although proved to be vital last year, but the lack of flamboyance cost them a playoff spot. The likes of Jonathan Trott, William Porterfield, and Ian Bell are once again expected to play a crucial role for them.
Coming on the back of a superb World Cup win, Chris Woakes will lead their bowling attack with ample support available in the other bowlers. With the likes of Colin de Grandhomme and Mark Adair who did exceedingly well for their respective teams of late, add to the depth of their squad.
All in all, they have a decent lineup this time around with a plethora of experience available at their disposal. While Warwickshire's batting still lacks the flamboyance which is usually required in the shortest format of the game, they have experience which can be of significant importance in crunch situations.
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The defending champions got off to a solid start in the tournament with a comfortable win and will be looking to extend their winning streak for as long as possible. Warwickshire appear to be a little short as far as explosiveness in their batting lineup is concerned, but have the experience to cover for it. On paper, Worcestershire Rapids are a better-balanced side and adding in the fact that they are coming off a vital win in their previous fixture, they are better placed to emerge on top in this upcoming fixture as well.
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