T20 Blast 2019 will kick start by Middlesex and Essex at the Lord’s where England had won the World cup for the very first time by defeating New Zealand last Sunday.
In Twenty20, Middlesex has got the worst record having lost 112 T20s which is about ten more than the other side. But they will be boosted with the inclusion of former South African star player AB de Villiers. They also roped in off-spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman for this tournament.
The spinner from Afghanistan returned to form during the world cup and will be well known with the conditions in England. Essex will be led by Simon Harmer. They will be missing services of Matt Coles who was the key with the ball for them during the previous editions.
The pacer is currently on an extended loan with Northamptonshire where he will play first seven games of the tournament.
The South Group game in the Vitality T20 Blast 2019 will be played between Middlesex and Essex Eagles at the Lord’s in London.
The match starts at 6:15 PM local time (10:45 PM IST) (5:15 PM GMT).
This match can be streamed live on Middlesex County Cricket’s YouTube Channel.
Lord’s has become a venue for slow bowlers, especially for the spinners recently. The World Cup produced low scoring matches which might not be same in the T20 Blast. The One-Day Cup this year and last year’s T20 Blast did witness good batting pitches at this venue.
Average first innings score: 175 (Last five T20 Blast matches)
Record of chasing teams: Won – 3, Lost – 2
Probable Playing XIs:
Paul Stirling, Dawid Malan (C), AB de Villiers, Nick Gubbins, John Simpson (WK), Stephen Eskinazi, James Harris, Tom Helm, Toby Roland-Jones, Steven Finn, Mujeeb ur Rahman.
Bench: George Scott, Tom Barber, Nathan Sowter.
Adam Wheater (WK), Tom Westley/Varun Chopra, Cameron Delport, Ravi Bopara, Daniel Lawrence, Ryan ten Doeschate, Simon Harmer, Mohammad Amir, Adam Zampa, Aaron Beard/Sam Cook.
Injury and Availability News:
(Will be added when there is an update)
AB de Villiers hasn’t lost his form ever since his retirement from the International cricket. The top-order batsman scored 907 runs in across 26 T20 innings this year. He averages 50.38 and scored runs at a strike rate of 150.41. He also struck six fifties and a century. ABD has been successful irrespective of the league he has played.
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
AB de Villiers has some good knocks across the globe in whichever T20 league he featured in while Paul Stirling has been at his best in the limited-overs formats this year. The International stars in the form of Ryan ten Doeschate, Ravi Bopara, Cameron Delport and Simon Harmer could be suited to the Lord’s pitch.
Suggested Playing XI for Head to Head/Small Leagues:
Keeper – John Simpson
Batsmen – AB de Villiers (VC), Dawid Malan, Tom Westley, Daniel Lawrence
All-Rounders – James Harris, Ravi Bopara, Paul Stirling (C)
Bowlers – Adam Zampa, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Mohammad Amir
Suggested Playing XI for Grand Leagues/Mega Leagues:
Keeper – Adam Wheater
Batsmen – Dawid Malan (VC), Stephen Eskinazi, Cameron Delport (C), Daniel Lawrence
All-Rounders – James Harris, Ryan ten Doeschate, Paul Stirling
Bowlers – Tom Helm, Steve Finn, Mohammad Amir
The loan agreement of the opening batsmen Varun Chopra is unknown. The 13 or 14-player squad announcement from Essex will give clarity over his availability. He has been a crucial figure at the top for Essex over the years.
Middlesex is expected to edge out a strong Essex side with the inclusion of some big names.