Date & Time: Friday, August 23, 23:00 IST
Venue: County Ground, Bristol, England
Race for a spot in top 4 intensifies
After their first win, Gloucestershire has come back strong with three wins in the last five completed games. Those victories kept them in the race for Top 4 even with three of their matches being washed out in the season. Now with three matches left, they need to win all the remaining games. Somerset, on the other hand, has won just two out of the first six games, but they have bounced with back to back victories in the next three. Now they need to win at least three out of the remaining five to finish in Top 4.
Somerset Possible XI: Babar Azam, Tom Banton, Tom Abell (C), James Hildreth, Eddie Byrom, Tom Lammonby, Roelof van der Merwe, Dominic Bess, Max Waller, Craig Overton, Jerome Taylor.
Gloucestershire possible XI: Michael Klinger (C), Miles Hammond, Ian Cockbain, James Bracey (WK), Ryan Higgins, Jack Taylor, Andrew Tye, Tom Smith, Chris Liddle, David Payne, Graeme van Buuren.
The surface at County Cricket Ground in Bristol has produced sporting games in the season, where the average score of teams that bat first is around 160. So another sporting surface is likely to be in store for the last game in Bristol. The forecast is quite clear for the day with temperatures hovering in the lower 20°C.
The Somerset opening batsman is the leading run-charts of the tournament with 434 runs from 9 innings which includes a century and 3 half-centuries. Except for three innings, he has gone past 30+ score on every other time. His consistency at the top of the order allows Banton to play more aggressively and they are proving to be an irresistible pair of the season.
The young wicket-keeper batsman may only be his second season of T20 Blast, but he has matched up to the numbers of Babar who is the World’s No.1 batsman in the format. He has scored 396 runs in 9 innings and proved to be too good for Somerset at the top of the order. Adding to it, he has also proved to be handy behind the stumps which yielded him more points than Babar in the Dream11 fantasy cricket.
The Gloucestershire middle-order batsman has scored runs whenever the team wanted him to. His aggressive batting down the order helped Gloucestershire to compensate the slow starts from the top order. Adding to it, he also proved to be handy with the ball as he chipped in with few wickets in the season.
The T20 specialist is known for his wicket-taking ability, but in this tournament, he has been moderate when compared to his standards. He picked only 9 wickets from 9 matches played so far and there isn’t a spell where he won the match for his team in the season. There is every chance he might come up with one such performance in today’s match if he gets into his groove.