Somerset and Kent, the teams that occupied the top two places of the South Group table in the T20 Blast 2018, will clash off on Saturday in Canterbury. Somerset won ten out of 14 matches during that round while Kent won eight and got four more points through washouts. However, Kent got knocked out in the quarter-final itself while Somerset in the semi-final. The two teams will be hoping to put on an improvised show this time.
The game to be hosted by St Lawrence Ground will be the first of the tournament for Kent while Somerset played their first game against Glamorgan. Openers Tom Banton (64) and Babar Azam (35) added 98 runs in only 8.5 overs for the first wicket in the 181-run chase. Eventually, they got to the target losing two wickets and two overs to spare. Tom Abell will lead Somerset in this game as Lewis Gregory has been selected for the Ireland Test.
The South Group game in the Vitality T20 Blast 2019 will be played between Kent Spitfires and Somerset at the St Lawrence Ground in Canterbury.
The match starts at 6:30 PM local time (11:00 PM IST) (5:30 PM GMT).
This game will be live on Sky Sports in England.
231, 160, 191, 133 – Scores of first batting teams in the four completed T20 Blast matches in 2018 at the St Lawrence Ground. This shows the variations of the track in Canterbury and how tough it will be to pre-judge its nature. In general, the Canterbury is a good venue for the batters in the limited-overs; be it Men’s Cricket or Women’s cricket.
Average first innings score: 179 (T20 Blast matches in 2018)
Record of chasing teams: Won – 2, Tie – 2
Probable Playing XIs:
Zak Crawley, Daniel Bell-Drummond (C), Sean Dickson, Alex Blake, Mohammad Nabi, Jordan Cox (WK), Calum Haggett, Ollie Robinson, Hardus Viljoen, Imran Qayyum, Adam Milne.
Bench: Matt Milnes, Fred Klaassen.
Babar Azam, Tom Banton, Tom Abell (C), James Hildreth, Peter Trego, George Bartlett, Roelof van der Merwe, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton, Max Waller, Jerome Taylor.
Bench: Tom Lammonby, Tim Groenewald.
Injury and Availability News:
(Will be added when there is an update)
Babar Azam in Twenty20 cricket in 2019:
687 runs from 17 innings at an average of 40.41 with one century and five fifties.
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
Captain Options – Daniel Bell-Drummond, Tom Banton, Roelof van der Merwe, Mohammad Nabi
Vice-captain Options – Alex Blake, Babar Azam, Hardus Viljoen, Peter Trego
Suggested Playing XI for Head to Head/Small Leagues:
Keeper – Tom Banton (C)
Batsmen – Daniel Bell-Drummond (VC), Alex Blake, Peter Trego, Babar Azam
All-Rounders – Roelof van der Merwe, Mohammad Nabi
Bowlers – Craig Overton, Max Waller, Hardus Viljoen, Adam Milne
Suggested Playing XI for Grand Leagues/Mega Leagues:
Keeper – Tom Banton
Batsmen – Daniel Bell-Drummond, Babar Azam (VC), James Hildreth, Zak Crawley, Sean Dickson
All-Rounders – Mohammad Nabi (C), Roelof van der Merwe
Bowlers – Jerome Taylor, Hardus Viljoen, Adam Milne
Daniel Bell-Drummond and Babar Azam among batsmen while Hardus Viljoen and Adam Milne among bowlers will be crucial in this game. Drummond and Azam provide consistent returns with the bat in T20s while Viljoen and Milne are good at taking wickets regularly.
Somerset might have an edge in this game where both the teams are missing few players from their squad.
*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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