The South Group game in the Vitality T20 Blast 2019 will be played between Somerset and Middlesex at the Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton.
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 and Fan Code App in India.
Middlesex made a brilliant turn around in the T20 Blast after a debacle in the previous edition. They began this season with six wins from ten matches and were placed in top three of the South Group. However, they suffered a hat-trick of losses and are pushed down to No.5. They would now face Somerset in Taunton on the final day of the league stage. Both the teams have exactly 13 points after playing 13 games.
This meant the game between Somerset and Middlesex will be a virtual pre-quarter-final. The winning team from this match will finish at No.3 or No.4. Both Somerset and Middlesex could have made it through due to NRR in case of a Tie only if Essex lost to Surrey on Thursday and defeats Kent on Friday. Babar Azam and AB de Villiers are expected to take the lime-light during this virtual knockout.
Taunton weather doesn’t threaten any interruption to the big clash between Somerset and Middlesex. There could be a bit of drizzle in the second half of the match. However, chances of even a drizzle are too less to cause a reduction of overs.
Taunton is generally a high-scoring venue. However, during the last game, a hybrid pitch was used. The surface slowed down towards the end of the game similar to that of the drop-in tracks. It will be interesting what pitch will be used for the big match on Friday.
Average first innings score: 191 (Last eight T20 Blast matches)
Record of chasing teams: Won – 3, Lost – 4
Injury and Availability News:
Lewis Gregory named in the Somerset after recovering from a foot injury.
Probable Playing XIs:
Babar Azam, Tom Banton, Tom Abell, James Hildreth, Eddie Byrom, Tom Lammonby/Lewis Gregory, Craig Overton, Roelof van der Merwe, Tim Groenewald, Jerome Taylor, Max Waller.
Bench: George Bartlett, Ollie Sale, Tom Lammonby/Lewis Gregory, Dominic Bess.
Dawid Malan (C), Paul Stirling, Mohammad Hafeez, Eoin Morgan, AB de Villiers, George Scott, John Simpson (WK), Tom Helm, Toby Roland-Jones, Steven Finn, Nathan Sowter.
Bench: Tom Barber, Stephen Eskinazi, James Harris.
AB de Villiers is getting to bat at No.5 due to a packed International top-order. However, the former South African has the ability to put on a big knock even from such situations. The Somerset openers continue to show their supremacy in T20 Blast 2019 as Babar Azam and Tom Banton have scored 578 and 487 runs respectively while no other batsmen have got even 450 runs this season.
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
Captain – Babar Azam, Dawid Malan, Tom Banton, AB de Villiers
Vice-captain – Paul Stirling, Eoin Morgan, Tom Abell, Mohammad Hafeez
It is always safe to pick one among Babar Azam and Tom Banton as captain or vice-captain during Somerset match.
Suggested Playing XI for Head to Head/Small Leagues:
Keeper – Tom Banton
Batsmen – Babar Azam (C), AB de Villiers, Eddie Byrom, Tom Abell, Dawid Malan (VC)
All-Rounders – Tom Lammonby, Paul Stirling
Bowlers – Craig Overton, Steve Finn, Nathan Sowter
Suggested Playing XI for Grand Leagues/Mega Leagues:
Keeper – Tom Banton (VC)
Batsmen – Eoin Morgan, Babar Azam, Tom Abell, George Scott, AB de Villiers (C)
All-Rounders – Lewis Gregory, Paul Stirling
Bowlers – Tom Helm, Nathan Sowter, Max Waller
AB de Villiers, Eoin Morgan, Dawid Malan, Babar Azam and Tom Banton collectively make up for 50 credits. Managing the credits can be done by picking Eddie Byrom, George Scott, Tom Lammonby and Nathan Sowter.
Middlesex is expected to edge part Somerset and qualify for the quarter-finals.
*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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