Because of the fact that I am seeing my team at Addenbrookes later today and will not be back until well into the second innings of today’s Royal London Cup fixtures this is a combined feedback and predictions post – I chose the bold option of predicting based solely on form in the competition so far rather than the cautious one of not predicting at all.
YESTERDAY’S PREDICTIONS – A TALE OF SUCCESS
Surrey v Essex – Surrey 278-8 from 50 overs, Essex 213 all out from 42.5 overs, Surrey won by 65 runs
When Dan Lawrence and Ravi Bopara were enjoying a good stand it looked like Essex may chase these down, but they fell in very quick succession, followed also by wicketkeeper Robbie White. Ryan Ten Doeschate, a fine player, but with his 39th birthday approaching now no longer quite the force he was did his best to rally the lower order, but it was not enough. Morne Morkel took 4-23 for Surrey and Liam Plunkett 4-50. Will Jacks was not able to emulate Lawrence by bowling his full allocation – he finished with 1-39 from six overs.
Hampshire v Middlesex – Hampshire 301-9 from 50 overs, Middlesex 182 all out from 35.4 overs, Hampshire won by 119 runs.
Hampshire had a big finish to their innings, which induced me to call this one in their favour. However, I was not expecting quite such a pathetic batting effort from Middlesex. No Middlesex batter made a significant contribution, with 41 from Eoin Morgan their top score. South African Aidan Markram followed his fine batting with 3-39, and renegade South African Kyle Abbott spearheaded the bowling with 3-36.
Gloucestershire v Kent – Kent 282-8 from 50 overs, Gloucestershire 283-4 from 46.5 overs, Gloucestershire won by six wickets with 3.1 overs to spare.
I did not think that Kent had the bowling to defend a so-so total and I was proven right. Gloucestershire wicketkeeper Gareth Roderick led the way and deservedly completed a century at the moment of victory, finishing 100 not out. James Bracey made 67. None of the Kent bowlers produced figures that merit quoting here.
Warwickshire v Nottinghamshire – Nottinghamshire 301-9 from 50 overs, Warwickshire 183 all out from 37.5 overs. Nottinghamshire won by 118 runs.
Another very one-sided match, with Warwickshire failing miserably to respond to Nottinghamshire’s fine batting effort. Among the wreckage 19 year-old Liam Banks scored 57 and Alex Thomson managed 55, but they only delayed the inevitable, though Banks at least is a hope for the future. Opening bowlers Luke Fletcher and Matthew Carter (a 22 year old off-spinner – Notts did something different with the new ball) each took three wickets, and James Pattinson and Samit Patel weighed in with two each.
Four correct predicitions out of four, putting on me on 16 correct out of 23 overall – a strike rate at the moment of 69.57% (69.565 to three dp, and that third decimal being a five or higher it gets rounded up when giving the figure to two dp).
PREDICTIONS FOR TODAY
Sussex v Somerset – I reckon that Somerset will draw strength from having hung on against Glamorgan when the Welsh county nearly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Their bowling looks especially impressive, and I back them to win this one, though Sussex will probably push them close.
Leicestershire v Derbyshire – Leicestershire have been good so far, Derbyshire not so good, and Leicestershire have home advantage. Thus I call this one as win for Leicestershire, and expect them to have something to spare over their opponents.
Lancashire v Northamptonshire – Both teams have fared reasonably well so far. Lancashire have home advantage, and have the additional boost of their dramatic roses match triumph. Thus I call this one in Lancashire’s favour.
My regular sign off…