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215/7 in 20.010.75
228/3 in 20.011.40
Toss Winner - Kent won the toss and chose to bat first
Kent beat Middlesex by 13 runs
Will Middlesex open their points account after 8 losses?
We predict that Kent will defeat Middlesex.
Tournament: VITALITY T20 BLAST 2023 | Format: T20 | Venue: Lord's, London, England | Toss: To BatBet Now
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After a gap of a week, Vitality T20 Blast is returning with a power-packed 8 games on Friday. Middlesex will host Kent at The Lords, London, on 16th June from 10:45 PM. Both teams are currently in the bottom half of the points table, with Middlesex yet to open their points account after 8 games. The only solace for the Kent team is their second win of the season after 5 consecutive losses.
Middlesex played their last game at the home ground against Sussex. Batting first, Sussex put a target of 182 runs for Middlesex with the help of Shadab Khan’s half-century in the middle. Luke Hollman & Ryan Higgins took two wickets each for Middlesex. Skipper Stephen Eskinazi’s unbeaten 94 off 62 balls went in vain as Middlesex fell short of 4 runs in the run chase. This was Middlesex’s 8th consecutive loss in a row for the season and 12th overall since the last season.
On the other hand, Kent finally overcame the draught of winning to post a 6-wicket victory over Hampshire. Fred Klassen and Italian Grant Stewart’s 2 wickets each halted Hampshire on 177 for losing 7 wickets. Opener Daniel Bell-Drummond scored 89 runs with the help of 7 fours and 4 sixes to take Kent to their second win of the season with three balls to spare. With 4 points, Kent are now in the seventh position.
In the last season, both teams met at The Lords, where Middlesex had the upper hand over Sussex. Kent set a target of 142 runs for the hosts. Joe Cracknell & JA Simpson put a partnership of 91 runs for the third wicket to chase the target in 17.3 overs with 7 wickets in hand.
2008’s T20 Blast winners would never have imagined losing 12 games in a row. But here they are, at the bottom of the points table, with 0 points. Stephen Eskinazi has a big responsibility on his shoulder to turn the tables in favour of the Middlesex in the second half of the Vitality T20 Blast. Eskinazi is their leading run-scorer with 258 runs at a strike rate of 140.21. He has 3 half-centuries, including an unbeaten 94 in the last game. But his opening partner is going through a rough patch. Scoring 142 runs at a strike rate of 129.09 is what you won’t consider ideal for an opener.
The numbers three and four have been playing the role of anchors for Middlesex this season. Peter Malan has 206 runs at number three with a strike rate of 137.33, whereas Max Holden is hitting the ball well with a strike rate of 171.68 - the best among all. Wicket-keeper Jack Davies has scored 111 runs in 5 games but has yet to play a big innings. Below number 5, we call it a weak link for Middlesex.
With an above-average batting lineup, the bowling unit cannot create some pressure on the opponents. Tom Helm is Middlesex’s leading wicket-taker with 7 wickets. But he is giving more than 10 runs so far. The next in line is Blake Cullen, with 6 wickets at an economy of 8.23. Besides these two, no other bowler is giving the required wickets.
Key Players: Stephen Eskinazi, Max Holden, Tom Helm.
Stephen Eskinazi (c), Joe Cracknell, Pieter Malan, Max Holden, Ryan Higgins, Jack Davies (wk), Luke Hollman, Josh De Caires, Martin Andersson, Tom Helm, Blake Cullen
Max Holden, Tom Helm, Luke Hollman, Martin Andersson, Joe Cracknell, Joshua De Caires, Blake Cullen, Ryan Higgins, Stephen Eskinazi, John Simpson, Jack Davies
Kent will have high energy over the opponents after winning the last game. But they have to look over the underperforming batting order. The top five batters have just 4 half-centuries among them and have been scored by the openers. Daniel Bell-Drummond leads the batting unit with 247 runs at a strike rate of 151.53. His opening partner Tawanda Mueye has 173 runs at a strike rate of 150.43 with two fifties.
Another top-order batter, Joe Denly, gives Kent the required runs, but his strike rate is below average. Denly has scored 175 runs at a strike rate of 126.81. Besides the top three, no other batter from the Kent lineup has lived up to the mark. Except for Jordan Cox, no one has crossed 100 runs individually. This can be a problem for Kent against Middlesex if the top order collapses.
Grant Stewart and Michael Hogan have carried the bowling unit for Kent this season. While Stewart has taken 12 wickets at an average of 18.16, Hogan has 11 at an average of 20.54. You will be shocked by the disparity by knowing that the next leading wicket-taker for Kent has 5 wickets.
Key Players: Daniel Bell-Drummond, Grant Stewart and Michael Hogan
Tawanda Muyeye, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Joe Denly, Sam Billings (c & wk), Jordan Cox, Jack Leaning, George Linde, Grant Stewart, Kane Richardson, Fred Klaassen, Michael Hogan
Michael Hogan, George Linde, Grant Stewart, Kane Richardson, Joe Denly, Tawanda Muyeye, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Sam Billings, Jordan Cox, Fred Klaassen, Jack Leaning
The weather will be clear. The temperature will range between 27 and 12. The wind will be flowing from the west at 10-15 kmh. The pitch at Lord's generally favours pace bowlers, particularly during the early stages. The fast bowlers can extract movement off the seam and generate good bounce, making it challenging for batsmen to settle in quickly.
Spinners also play a role as the match progresses. As the pitch wears down, it tends to offer more turn and assistance to the spin bowlers. The weather conditions at Lord's can significantly impact the pitch behaviour.
The 69th T20 of the Vitality Blast 2023 will be played at The Lords on 16th June from 10:45 pm onwards. The venue has a capacity of 30000 spectators and has hosted 144 Tests, 84 ODIs & 11 T20Is. The four games at The Lords This season has seen 1 century and 6 half-centuries this season.
In 11 T20Is, the team batting first has won the game on 6 occasions, while the team batting first has won 4 times. The team batting first in the last 4 games has won 3 times. The team winning the toss should bat first.
With both teams struggling in this season of the Vitality Blast 2023, It will be an even affair. But Kent has a better-performing bowling unit over Middlesex. Kent’s top order has proven itself, and it will hardly be a matter of time before the middle order will step up. With the struggling hosts, they might show their strength in this game. All eyes will be on Drummond, who has performed well for Kent.
Kent has three victories over Middlesex in the last four games. Besides, losing 12 in a row has lessened the confidence of the Middlesex unit.
We predict that Kent will defeat Middlesex.
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