Durham and Northamptonshire will kick off their T20 Blast campaign in Chester-le Street on Saturday. Both the teams ended the last season with contrasting performances. The Tom Latham-led Durham came second in the points table after 14 matches and were knocked out after losing to Sussex in the quarter-final. Northamptonshire, on the other hand, won only a couple of matches to finish at the last place in the North Group.
Rather, they hadn’t won even a single game in their first 10 matches. Northamptonshire county will be hoping to leave aside that disappointment behind and get off to a good start this time around. Durham will be aiming another bright start to their season and the overseas signing of Australia’s D’Arcy Short will keep them in good stead in their tournament opener. It should be an exciting contest between the two teams.
The North division game of the Vitality T20 Blast 2019 will be played between Durham and Northamptonshire at Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street.
The match starts at 06:30 PM local time (05:30 AM GMT) (11:00 PM IST).
This game will be streamed by Durham County Cricket on their YouTube Channel.
The surfaces for the three 2019 World Cup matches were good for batting and the trend should continue in this tournament as well. If the last season is considered, the middling scores around 150-160 turned out to be par totals and it will be interesting to see how it will behave for this match.
Average first innings score: 146 (Seven matches at the venue last season)
Record of the chasing teams: Won – 3; Lost – 4
Probable Playing XIs:
Graham Clark, D’Arcy Short, Alex Lees, Scott Steel, Ben Raine, Stuart Poynter (WK), Matthew Potts, Liam Trevaskis, Ryan Pringle, Chris Rushworth, Nathan Rimmington.
Bench: Brydon Carse, Jack Burnham,
Adam Rossington (WK), Charlie Thurston, Josh Cobb (C), Rob Keogh, Luke Proctor, Graeme White, Matt Coles, Faheem Ashraf, Dwaine Pretorious, Ben Sanderson, Nathan Buck.
Bench: Ben Curran, Tom Sole.
13-man squads are yet to be announced by both the teams.
Ben Raine in T20 Blast 2018:
332 runs in 13 matches with help of a century and a fifty. He also took ten wickets with the ball.
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
Captain Options: Josh Cobb, Ben Raine, Adam Rossington, Alex Lees
Vice-Captain Options: D’Arcy Short, Dwayne Pretorious, Graham Clark, Nick Buck
Suggested Playing XI No.1 for Head to Head/Small Leagues:
Wicket-keeper – Adam Rossington
Batsmen – Charlie Thurston, Graham Clark, Rob Keogh
All-Rounders – Josh Cobb (C), D’Arcy Short (VC), Faheem Ashraf, Ben Raine
Bowlers – Matthew Potts, Nathan Buck, Chris Rushworth
Suggested Playing XI No.2 for Grand/Mega Leagues:
Wicket-keeper – Stuart Poynter
Batsmen – Adam Lees, Scott Steel, Rob Keogh
All-Rounders – Liam Trevaskis, Josh Cobb, Ben Raine (C), Dwayne Pretorious (VC)
Bowlers – Ben Sanderson, Nathan Buck, Nathan Rimmington
Both Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Amir stayed back at their home cities of the respective county due to sporting visa issues. However, Faheem Ashraf has been named in the squad for Northampton’s first game. Hence, it is safe to pick Faheem in the Fantasy XI.
Durham are expected to win the match.
*Disclaimer: This team is based on the understanding, analysis, and instinct of the author. While selecting your team, consider the points mentioned and make your own decision.
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