CRICKET – Clydesdale Bank 40: Somerset v Sussex

Cricket Tips


Clydesdale Bank 40 – Group A
Somerset (2nd)  v Sussex (1st)
Saturday 15th May 2010 – 1345hrs
We’ve reached the halfway stage in Group A of the Clydesdale Bank 40, and next stop is Taunton where hosts Somerset are involved in a top of the table clash with visitors Sussex. The winners of this match will take a big step to booking a semi-final berth of this limited-over competition, with Sussex seeking a third successive limited-over trophy, they will be keen to prove their pedigree in the shortened version of the game in today’s fixture.
Both sides have played 3 won 3 and have 6 points to their tally – but Sussex have a greater Net Run-Rate of +1.577 as opposed to Somerset’s +0.840, a stat which may prove important in the later stages.
Let’s take a look at Sussex first; they’ve chalked up wins over Worcestershire (by 5 wickets), England Unicorns (by 44 runs) and Lancashire (by 39 runs), and have achieved their victories in pretty quick time. The batting is shared amongst Andy Hodd (CB40 131 @ 65.50), Chris Nash (CB40 130@43.33), Matt Prior (CB40 100@33.33) and Murray Goodwin (CB40 78@26.00), who all have a strike-rate of over 100.00, while the likes of all-rounders Robin Martin-Jenkins and Naved-ul-Hasan can add quick, useful runs lower down the order.
Sussex have a balanced bowling attack with Former England bowler James Kirtley (CB40 9 wkts@11.00 – 4.86rpo) the leading wicket taker and is in fine form with the ball at the moment. He’s backed up by Pakistan all-rounder Naved (CB40 6 wkts@16.00 – 4.36rpo) and Chad Keegan (CB40 4 wkts@31.75 – 6.40rpo). They also possess of course former England spinner Monty Panesar who has yet to yield a decent return of wickets thus far, but possesses a miserly economy rate of 3.30rpo.
Home side, Somerset, have also made a good start to the CB40, with wins over Glamorgan (by 38 runs), Lancashire (by 42 runs) and England Unicorns (by 7 wickets).
Their batting is led by James Hildreth (CB40 170@170.00), along with South African Zander de Bruyn (CB40 131@65.50) and Arul Suppiah (CB40 116@38.66), although only Hildreth has a strike-rate of over 100.00 (124.08), as the Somerset batsmen score at a slightly slower rate. Rather surprisingly, last season’s overall MVP, Marcus Trescothick, has made a wretched start to this CB40 campaign with a highest score of just 15 and has an average of 8.66. Pressure will be mounting on the opening batsman/skipper, and as he likes to score his runs quickly, this adds to the risk of another early wicket. All-rounder Peter Trego (CB40 61@30.50) can also be dangerous down the order.
Somerset’s wickets have in the main part been shared between Ben Phillips (CB40 9 wkts@10.44 – 4.11rpo) and South African Alfonso Thomas (CB40 8wkts@12.50 – 4.72rpo). However, they seem to lack the depth in the bowling department when compared to Sussex, and to add to their problems, opening bowler Charl Willoughby has struggled for wickets so far in this comp.
In summary, Somerset’s batsmen tend to get bogged down early on, particularly if Trescothick is out for a low score, and this may well fall into Sussex’s hands with the experienced Martin-Jenkins, ul-Hasan and Panesar all capable of applying the brakes on a run-rate with Kirtley going in for the kill.
Pick: Take Sussex @ 1.84 to win, with a side bet of top Sussex run scorer Matt Prior @ 4.00, both prices with Betfair.

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