Vitality t20 Blast 2018 – Middlesex vs Hampshire Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Thursday 26thJuly, 18:15 (UK)

Where? Lord's Cricket Ground

Weather? 30-33c with a 30% chance of a shower at 7pm

What channel is it on? Sky Sports Cricket

Where can I stream the match? Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via Sky Go

Are tickets still available? https://www.ecb.co.uk/tickets/domestic

HEAD-TO-HEAD
All-time meetings: Hampshire W17 Middlesex W10, No Result 2

THE TEAM NEWS

MIDDLESEX

Coach: Daniel Vettori

Captain: Dawid Malan

  • Middlesex sit rock bottom of the t20 Blast South Group after losing their last four matches in the competition, and they desperately need a win here to put them back in the mix against a fellow struggling outfit, but one that beat them last week.

  • Batting has been a major problem for Middlesex so far and is an area they must improve, starting with their most experienced players with Morgan and Malan combining for just 20 runs in their five innings so far, and that duo have to raise their game quickly to salvage this season for Middlesex.

  • Bravo has started in impressive form, but so far it has been left to talented young batsman Max Holden and all-rounder James Fuller who have been their standout performers, and the pressure is on the likes of Morgan, Stirling, Malan and Finn to perform.

HAMPSHIRE

Coach: Craig White

Captain: James Vince

  • Hampshire have shown signs off settling into the t20 Blast after an incredibly slow start but they have a win and a tie from their last two matches, although they were somewhat fortunate to get the tie against Essex last time out.

  • Their batting still needs to improve having only scored over 184 runs once in their five matches so far, so they will have to be more aggressive in their hitting if Middlesex fire here too.

  • Hampshire continue to struggle to find a reliable pace bowler as Berg, Abbott and now Edwards have all come in and proven to be highly expensive, so that remains a slight issue but Fidel Edwards is likely to get a second opportunity after only arriving last week after the Canadian T20 competition.

THE PREDICTION

This match is essentially a must-win game for both of these teams as they sit at the foot of the South Group. Middlesex have the names but they have not been performing anywhere close to their best so far, and as a unit, so it is difficult to have much confidence in them even if one has to imagine they will click eventually. Hampshire have shown a bit more themselves even if they have still been hugely disappointing, and the one win they have managed this tournament came against Middlesex last week. The pressure on Middlesex at Lords is large right now, and that may play into the visitors hands even more so. That said, a fast track at Lords should favour the big hitters in the Middlesex team against a Hampshire team who have struggled to score above nine per over, which makes this one a difficult match to call.