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|Jacob Daniel Libby||30||23||2||1||130.43|
There is every likelihood that the match between Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire will be a winner take all knock out. Both the teams are locked in a fight for the final quarter-final spot in the North group. Birmingham, who has 13 points from 13 matches, is also in the mix. Yorkshire, though, has two matches left and is currently on 12 points. Its rivals for the final berth can only reach a maximum of 15 so by winning its last two matches, Yorkshire is sure to qualify. Nottinghamshire kept its own hopes alive by beating Worcestershire in a close match and now awaits Yorkshire.
Ideally, Nottinghamshire would be hoping for a favor from Northamptonshire but with one victory from 12 matches, the chances of them beating Yorkshire are not too high.
After having been in a position where a quarter-final berth seemed well within grasp, Yorkshire has slipped a little. It has lost its last two matches, including one to Nottinghamshire, and faces a tricky match against Northamptonshire before taking on Nottinghamshire again in its final group match.
The result of Yorkshire’s match against Northamptonshire is not going to change the fact that this is a must-win game for them. Losing this match will end their chances of qualification and allow Nottinghamshire to reach the quarter-finals instead.
A couple of poor batting performances would have shaken the confidence of this Yorkshire side.
They found the going tough against Nottinghamshire while chasing a large score the last time around. Tom Kohler-Cadmore got 72 and David Willey got a start but no one really contributed apart from that.
Yorkshire’s insistence of playing Kane Williamson down the order at 5 is baffling. He is not a power player and needs some time in the middle to set things up. He is also brilliant against the new ball and plays at 3 for almost every other side he has ever represented.
Having a player of the caliber of Williamson and wasting him is just not acceptable at this crucial stage of the tournament. Still, players like Balance, Lyth, and the others make for a strong Yorkshire batting side.
Fans will be hoping that the bowling does better than it did in the last match against Nottinghamshire. Brooks was the only bowler to have some impact and to be able to keep some check on the scoring. Everyone else including Fisher, Thompson, Rafiq, and the part-timers went for plenty of runs.
Nottinghamshire is a strong batting side and Yorkshire cannot afford another poor bowling performance.
Adam Lyth, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, David Willey, KS Williamson, GS Ballance, Jonathan Tattersall, TT Bresnan, LE Plunkett, Jordan Thompson, Matthew Fisher, Jack Brooks.
Rikki Wessels has decided to roar into form at the best time possible for Nottinghamshire and has given a completely different look to the defending champions. Wessels hit 9 sixes in his 18 ball stay in the last match against Worcestershire. That is an insane performance by any metric and showed what he is capable of once he gets his eye in.
Runs have also been flowing from the bat of Libby, Moores, and Christian recently so Nottinghamshire can afford to go hard straight at the top. There is also Alex Hales, a giant in this form of the game and at this level, who has yet to make a contribution at the Vitality blast 2018.
He may have been distracted by the proceedings of the Ben Stokes trial in which he was also a prominent figure but now that the case has been resolved in the cricketer’s favor, he could find himself a lot lighter mentally.
Either way, Nottinghamshire’s batting is very dangerous and should fancy itself winning this match against Yorkshire. It was only just a couple of nights ago that they took full toll against the Yorkshire bowling attack and they will come into this game with a positive mindset.
Their own bowling has improved as the batsmen have started to flourish. Samit Patel, Harry Gurney, Ish Sodhi, and the rest are a very good bowling unit. Gurney has been the best wicket taker but both he and Sodhi have been very difficult to score off this tournament.
Riki Wessels, AD Hales, Jake Libby, Steven Mullaney, Tom Moores, DT Christian, SR Patel, Luke Fletcher, Matthew Carter, IS Sodhi, Harry Gurney.
The team winning the toss is likely to bat first
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A relatively clear day with only a 10% chance of rain has been forecast in Leeds. We are very hopeful of witnessing a full uninterrupted game between these two strong sides. The pitch will be good for batting and the bowlers will have to bank on hitting their lengths to have any chance of success.
A score of around 180 should be considered par but we think we could see a 200 plus total in each inning.
Nottinghamshire has beaten Yorkshire in three out of their last four meetings including the most recent one. The defending champions come into this match with a lot of momentum behind them and we think that they should be able to get over the line in this one as well.
Back Nottinghamshire to win.