About the Match
Winners of the 2nd and 3rd quarter-final matches, Gloucestershire and Yorkshire will take on each other in the first semi-final of the Royal London ODI cup on 6th September at Leeds. While the Yorks defeated Essex by 20 runs, defending 252 runs easily to make it to this stage, the Gloucs defeated Hampshire by 4 wickets chasing 218 runs successfully in a reduced match of 34 overs. With the competition getting heated up, both teams will fight hard to survive the oncoming challenge; they have experienced players and young talent who will definitely come out all guns blazing on Sunday.
Jack Leaning and Gary Ballance put up a 67-run partnership for the 4th wicket to steady the innings against Essex after losing quick wickets; later, Plunkett and Fisher added 50 runs for the 10th wicket to take the total to 252 runs. The bowlers did a good job to defend well with a disciplined attack as Plunkett took 3-58 and Bresnan and Rhodes claimed 2 wickets apiece. Patterson, Rashid and Fisher did well to contain the run-flow of the opponents and help the team emerge victorious.
Adam Lyth, Alex Lees and Jonny Bairstow are in good form but they need to build strong partnerships; middle order batsmen like Rhodes and Rashid must put their best foot forward in keeping the scoreboard ticking.
All-rounder Plunkett performed very well with both bat and ball, which got him the player of the match award in the last game; if the others can contribute well, this team may very well enter the finals with a win on Sunday.
James Fuller and Howell took 2 wickets each to restrict Hampshire to 217 with support from Payne and Taylor; however, it was Klinger’s ability to keep cool and lead from the front during the chase that took the team across the finish line. He smashed 87 runs off 81 deliveries to steer the innings towards the target as the other batsmen kept falling like a pack of cards. Jones and Taylor provided good support to take the team safely home.
The batsmen need to pull up their socks and be prepared for a tough challenge from the Yorks; Dent, Roderick, Marshall and Howell must click with the bat and provide stability either while batting first or during chase to overcome the opposition.
The bowlers are consistent with the wickets and they must strategize well to keep a check on the hard-hitting tactics of Yorkshire. Overall, they have a well-balanced team that can keep their nerves together under critical situations to move towards victory.
The contest could surely go down to the wire in this crucial game as both teams are well prepared and confident after their recent wins. While the Gloucs have match winners and experience on their side, Yorkshire is better placed to win the semi-final match on Sunday due to their well-rounded efforts in all departments of the game