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There's a difference of four points between the first place holders and the team at the second place in the ongoing Vitality Blast T20. Placed at the first spot, Lancashire Lightning have been dominant throughout the tournament, and another win should almost ascertain their berth in the playoffs. They are set to face Birmingham Bears in their next encounter, which is to be played at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham, on Sunday, 11th August. Birmingham Bears haven't been as good as they needed to be and will need to pull their socks if they want to have any chances whatsoever to qualify for the next round. They are expected to come to all guns blazing, and it could turn out to be a cracker of a match.
Birmingham Bears continued to have a poor run in the tournament as they once again failed to do anything of substance with the bat. Consequently, they are languishing at the second spot from the bottom and would need a miracle to qualify from here.
Their batsmen haven't been in the best of touches as the Bears have scored a total of 150 only once in their last five matches. In their previous game, which was against Nottinghamshire, their batsmen failed to get going and were eventually bundled out for 119.
It wasn't easy to defend such a low score as Nottinghamshire appeared to be cruising along with a score of 86 for two before the rain arrived and the winner was decided on the DLS method. All in all, Birmingham Bears are a pretty good side on paper, but as the tournament has progressed, their batsmen have looked more and more fatigued with every passing match. Given the form they're in, it would take a miracle from their batsmen to get back to the winning ways.
Dominic Sibley, Sam Hain, Michael Burgess , Will Rhodes, Adam Hose, Christopher Green, Matthew Lamb, Alex Thomson, Henry Brookes, Jeetan Patel, Oliver Hannon-Dalby.
Going by the points table and otherwise, Lancashire Lightning have been the best team in the tournament so far, and that too by a fair bit of margin. They'd be considering themselves a tad unlucky after the previous match where they had to share the points with Yorkshire as the rain didn't allow even the single ball to be bowled.
The Lightning are unbeaten from their last eight matches, which speaks volumes about their consistency in the tournament so far. Out of the total of eight games played, they've won five and shared the honors in three, amounting to 13 points. With four points clear of the next best side at the ladder, Lancashire Lightning are almost certain of qualifying for the quarters, and another couple of wins should be enough to seal the deal for them.
Liam Livingstone and Glenn Maxwell have been in terrific form for them and will be key figures for them not only in the next match but also for Lancashire to go all the way in the tournament. In the bowling department, Matt Parkinson has led the way for them, picking up 13 wickets so far in the competition at an average of a little over 11.
Alex Davies, Liam Livingstone, Steven Croft, Glenn Maxwell, KK Jennings, DJ Vilas, Josh Bohannon, James Faulkner, Saqib Mahmood, Richard Gleeson, Matt Parkinson.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy lineup for the Vitality T20 match between Birmingham Bears and Lancashire Lightning:
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Barring first few matches, the Bears have had a terrible run in the tournament. Considering the form they've been in, beating Lancashire Lightning, who are at the top of the table and have played flawless cricket, seems a little unlikely. Having said that, cricket is a game of uncertainty, and it's tough to rule any team out. On paper and on-field, Lancashire Lightning have been a better side and are, therefore, better placed to emerge on top in the upcoming match at Edgbaston.
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