The South Group game in the Vitality T20 Blast 2019 will be played between Sussex and Gloucestershire at the County Ground in Hove.
The match starts at 6:30 PM local time (11:00 PM IST) (5:30 PM GMT).
Sussex will be finishing as the table toppers of the South Group as they have earned 19 points from 13 matches. They have won eight matches thus far, the most across both groups. They will be now up against Gloucestershire on Friday. Skipper Michael Klinger scored an unbeaten century to guide Gloucester to a 5-run win over Kent. This victory sealed their berth in the Quarter-Final.
This match will be a crucial one for Gloucestershire if they want to play the knockout at home. They will have that chance if they finish in the top two. For that to happen, they should not lose to Sussex. Kent will be up against the Essex in a do-or-die match. If Kent wins that fixture and Gloucestershire lose, they will move on to No.2 as both will be tied on 16 points but Kent has more wins.
Hove is expected to be dry on Friday with partial cloud covering during the day. The weather forecast doesn’t suggest any threat from rain to the match. However, there is a slight possibility of drizzle in the 2nd half of match.
Sussex have been defending totals successfully at their home ground until they got the taste of the same. Chasing Essex’s total of 168, Sussex fell nine runs short and recorded their first home defeat. The match did show how the chasing 160+ totals can be tricky on this venue. Usually, Sussex’s bowling depth overshadows the tricky conditions.
Average first innings score: 155 (T20 Blast matches in 2019)
Record of chasing teams: Won – 3, Lost – 2, Tied – 1
Injury and Availability News:
Alex Carey is currently part of the tour game between Australians and Derbyshire.
Probable Playing XIs:
Luke Wright (C), Phil Salt, Laurie Evans, David Wiese, Delray Rawlins, Ben Brown (WK), Chris Jordan, Will Beer, Danny Briggs, Ollie Robinson, Jason Behrendorff/Reece Topley.
Bench: Harry Finch, George Garton, Jason Behrendorff/Reece Topley.
Miles Hammond, Michael Klinger (C), James Bracey (WK), Ian Cockbain, Ryan Higgins, Jack Taylor, Andrew Tye, Tom Smith, Chris Liddle, Graeme van Buuren, David Payne.
Bench: Chris Dent, John Shaw.
Will Beer has grabbed the chances with both hands and excelled for Sussex. David Wiese has had quite a lot of matches with 20-30 points in this T20 Blast. However, the match of big points could come against Gloucester.
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
Captain – Laurie Evans, David Wiese, James Bracey, Ryan Higgins
Vice-captain – Phil Salt, Luke Wright, Michael Klinger, Chris Jordan
Laurie Evans’ performances with the bat in the previous edition were of top class. However, he couldn’t replicate that consistency in the first half. But Evans came back strongly as his last four scores read 45*, 52*, 35 and 34.
Suggested Playing XI for Head to Head/Small Leagues:
Keeper – James Bracey
Batsmen – Laurie Evans (C), Phil Salt, Miles Hammond, Michael Klinger (VC)
All-Rounders – David Wiese, Ryan Higgins
Bowlers – Will Beer, Andrew Tye, Chris Jordan, David Payne
Suggested Playing XI for Grand Leagues/Mega Leagues:
Keeper – James Bracey (C)
Batsmen – Luke Wright, Laurie Evans, Miles Hammond, Ian Cockbain
All-Rounders – David Wiese, Ryan Higgins, Delray Rawlins
Bowlers – Will Beer, Andrew Tye, Chris Liddle
Michael Klinger has proved that he is still a class player in the T20 format. Against a strong bowling line-up of Kent, Klinger excelled despite his partners struggle to get going. On Thursday, he scored his 8th T20 century but this one against Kent was probably the toughest of the eight. Using captain option on him won’t be a bad idea at the moment.
Sussex will face a tough task from Gloucestershire in finishing the league phase with a win.
*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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