Match Preview - Middlesex v Gloucestershire
10 August 2019
Gloucestershire look to make it three Vitality Blast wins in a row when they turn out against third placed Middlesex at Radlett CC.
After last night’s victory over Surrey at The Kia Oval in front of a 20,000-plus crowd, Gloucestershire moved ahead of Hampshire and into the qualifying places in the south group of the Vitality Blast.
The next challenge for The Shire is the team that sits directly above them in the standings, a Middlesex side that Gloucestershire defeated in July at The Fergal O’Brien Cheltenham Cricket Festival.
David Payne took three wickets against the men in pink at Cheltenham and since then he has been sensational with the ball in hand. He hasn’t picked up the most wickets but has bowled economically and made life difficult for the opposition batsmen. This was on display last night, despite not taking any wickets, Payne only allowed nine runs in three overs.
Ryan Higgins and Benny Howell were chosen to bowl three of the final four overs before AJ Tye sealed the win with an impressive final over under pressure. This showcasing Gloucestershire’s options when they need someone to step up at the death.
Tye spoke about the team’s confidence after two consecutive wins:
“We’re very confident. They are playing some very good cricket at the moment especially the three top order batsmen that we didn’t have to play against last time (Stirling, de Villiers, Morgan). It will be a tough challenge but we’re really looking forward to it and hopefully we can come away with a win there as well.”
Richard Dawson’s side also showed once again on Friday night why their batting should not be underestimated. Miles Hammond got the team off to a quick start hitting 30 off 15 before James Bracey and Ian Cockbain continued where he left off. Jack Taylor was the man who came in at number six and helped the team reach 165 with three boundaries in the final two overs.
Gloucestershire’s 13-man squad to face Middlesex:
Klinger, Hammond, Cockbain, Bracey, Higgins, J Taylor, Howell, Tye, Smith, van Buuren, Payne, Dent, Liddle.
Top wicket-taker Benny Howell is a doubt for tomorrow's game having picked up an injury in yesterday's match diving to save a run.
The team that could face Gloucestershire tomorrow could be quite different from their previous encounter. Big-hitting Irishman Paul Stirling is now available for selection and while he has only managed 90 runs in five innings, he has averaged at least one boundary in each over faced.
Eoin Morgan, one of the most dangerous batsmen could line out on Sunday. Eoin wasn't available for the last meeting between the two sides but will no doubt feature for the home side.