There is only the one Royal London One Day Cup match on Friday but it is a big one for both sides in the North Group picture when Nottinghamshire head for some outground cricket when they host Durham at Grantham.
Nottinghamshire top the North Group and will secure a knockout place with a win in this match. Durham sit in fourth and if they win they will make it a three way tie at the top of the table on 10 points and set up a fascinating weekend.
The Outlaws were perfect for their season until they ran into Worcestershire and Wayne Parnell last time out where they suffered their first loss of the campaign. There was nothing massively disastrous about losing to the T20 winners from last season, but it does just mean they need to be on the ball for a little while longer in this group phase. A win here will put one foot to getting a home semi-final too.
Generally so far Nottinghamshire matches have been very high scoring. That is no surprise with the high quality batting line up that the home side have, and with Alex Hales back for them in this match that is only strengthened further. They can be guilty of leaking runs with the ball but we have to acknowledge that the boundary to one side of Trent Bridge is incredibly small these days.
It has been a pretty encouraging competition for Durham too, although their defeat to Lancashire last time out has left them fighting hard to make it into the knockout stages of the event. If they win both of their remaining matches then they should be fine but they would be relying on other results to go their way even then which isn’t ideal.
I expected Durham to go pretty well with the ball this term and that is exactly what they’ve done in the main, but where they have surprised me has been with the bat. This is a young batting line up in the main but a couple of players are having great tournaments and the rest have mucked in around them and that has guided them to four wins from their six matches thus far.
As highlighted above, Alex Hales has been given permission to return for Nottinghamshire so all eyes will be on him. Ben Slater is out injured while Ben Duckett is away on international duty. Paul Coughlin misses out against his former club through injury but James Pattinson is in the squad.
Durham are set to welcome Mark Wood back into their fold as he looks to prove his worth ahead of the final World Cup party being confirmed later this month. Graham Clark is sitting this one out after a busy start to the season.
I’m expecting Nottinghamshire to get off to a quick start when they have the bat in their hand here. Although they have all been at Trent Bridge, that has been the foundation of their success. They made powerplay totals of 61 against Lancashire, 82 against Leicestershire and 72 against Yorkshire so the 55.5 line here looks a touch on the low side, especially when Northants and Worcestershire have covered this against Durham and Lancashire would have done but for a 10th over wicket maiden.
The pitch at Grantham is expected to be high scoring according to those in the know and with Hales out to prove a point and Joe Clarke in sumptuous form there is no reason why Nottinghamshire will not begin this match on the front foot. Generally these days scores in the first 10 overs are decent and on a small outground I expect Notts to pass 55.5 in their opening 10 overs here.
VOID – Back Nottinghamshire 1st 10 Overs – Over 55.5 runs for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Betway