The defending champions Worcestershire began their campaign with a comfortable win against Nottinghamshire. Ed Barnard’s unbeaten 19-ball 42, in the end, played a key role in pushing their total to 161/6 in 20 overs after the top-order’s struggle. Despite early wickets, Alex Hales kept the home team’s chances alive in the chase with his 34-ball 52 that included three fours and three maximums.
Hales got out when Nottingham needed 77 runs from 47 balls which turned out to be a match-defining moment. By end of 16th over, Notts were seven wickets down with only 105 on the board. They eventually finished with 133/9; 28 runs short of Worcester’s total. The Moeen Ali-led side will now face Warwickshire/Birmingham Bears in their first home game on Friday at the New Road.
The North Group game in the Vitality T20 Blast 2019 will be played between Worcestershire Rapids and Warwickshire (Birmingham Bears) at the New Road in Worcester.
The match starts at 5:15 PM local time (9:45 PM IST) (4:15 PM GMT).
This game will be streamed live on Worcestershire’s County Cricket’s YouTube Channel.
The New Road in Worcester always comes up with an interesting pitch. In the last five T20 games hosted by the venue, a team won chasing 190+ but failed to chase down less than 140. In another case, 190 becomes tough but less than 140 wasn’t really challenging. Anything around 175 can be expected from the team batting first at the New Road which is hosting its first T20 game of the season.
Average first innings score: 168 (Last five T20 matches)
Record of chasing teams: Won – 3, Lost – 2
Probable Playing XIs:
Martin Guptill, Rikkie Wessels, Moeen Ali (C), Callum Ferguson, Daryll Mitchell, Ben Cox (wk), Ross Whiteley, Ed Barnard, Wayne Parnell, Patrick Brown, Dillon Pennington.
Bench: Brett D’Oliveira, Adam Finch.
Warwickshire / Birmingham Bears:
Ian Bell, Ed Pollock, Sam Hain, Adam Hose, Dominic Sibley, Michael Burgess (WK), Ashton Agar, Jeetan Patel (C), Will Rhodes, Alex Thomson, Olly Stone.
Bench: Liam Banks, Henry Brookes, Rob Yates.
Injury and Availability News:
(Will be added when there is an update)
Ian Bell has succeeded in the T20 blast in the recent past putting his reputation of being a one-dimensional batsman. Bell finished as the 3rd highest run-getter during the previous T20 Blast edition scoring 580 runs. He scored those runs across 14 innings at an average of 48.33. Bell struck a century and four fifties in that tournament and had a solid strike rate of 139.08.
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
Moeen Ali had a night to remember against Nottingham where he excelled with the ball after playing a good hand with the bat. The visiting team has trustable batsmen Ian Bell, Sam Hain and Adam Hose on their end. Ed Pollock and Martin Guptill are hit or miss players as they try to hit on every ball they face. The likes of Patrick Brown, Wayne Parnell and Ashton Agar could be useful if the pitch tends to slow down.
Suggested Playing XI for Head to Head/Small Leagues:
Keeper – Ben Cox
Batsmen – Ian Bell (VC), Ed Pollock, Rikkie Wessels, Sam Hain
All-Rounders – Moeen Ali (C), Wayne Parnell, Ashton Agar
Bowlers – Ed Barnard, Patrick Brown, Jeetan Patel
Suggested Playing XI for Grand Leagues/Mega Leagues:
Keeper – Michael Burgess
Batsmen – Ed Pollock (C), Rikkie Wessels, Adam Hose, Martin Guptill (VC)
All-Rounders – Daryll Mitchell, Moeen Ali, Alex Thomson
Bowlers – Dillon Pennington, Olly Stone, Patrick Brown
Worcestershire did not announce their squad but these suggestions are made with respect to the team that played against Nottinghamshire.
The defending champions Worcestershire are expected to win their first home game.
*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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