ABOUT THE MATCH
North Group runners-up Notts Outlaws take on South Group third-placed team Middlesex in one of the four quarter-finals of the 2019 Vitality Blast. The match will take place at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, on September 5.
The Outlaws, champions in 2017, have been led by the batting of former England opener Alex Hales – who has top-scored with 283 runs in ten innings – and the bowling of Big Bash winner Harry Gurney, who has claimed 18 wickets.
Middlesex, meanwhile, showed why their batting order is considered to be one of the best in the competition when they beat Somerset to qualify for this game. Eoin Morgan, Dawid Malan, Paul Stirling, and AB de Villiers all contributed to their record chase of 227 in 17 overs. Middlesex, as a result, has the momentum going into this quarter-final.
Trent Bridge is a bat-first wicket in normal circumstances and the Outlaws will want to put a big score on the board in front of their home fans.
PITCH AND CONDITION
There is practically no chance of rain on Thursday evening, with sun forecast – albeit the temperature will get no higher than 16 degrees.
Trent Bridge has favored batting though the World Cup showed that good, fast bowling can combat the obvious advantages afforded to the batsmen.
PROBABLE PLAYING XI OF Nottinghamshire
Alex Hales, Joe Clarke, Ben Duckett, Jake Libby, Tom Moores (wk), Dan Christian (c), Samit Patel, Luke Fletcher, Imad Wasim, Matthew Carter, Harry Gurney
PROBABLE PLAYING XI OF Middlesex
Paul Stirling, Dawid Malan (c), AB de Villiers, Eoin Morgan, George Scott, John Simpson (wk), Toby Roland-Jones, Tom Helm, Nathan Sowter, Steven Finn, Mujeeb Ur Rahman
- mad Wasim returned for the final group game – the home defeat to Durham – and could feature ahead of Luke Wood and Jake Ball for this final group game.
- That has generally been the only Outlaws’ position not settled, particularly since Luke Fletcher’s return to the team.
- Notts Outlaws’ North Group campaign ended in frustration – a rained-off game against Worcestershire Rapids, after a run of three straight wins, followed by a heavy home defeat to Durham.
- Having won six of their group games, they could not add a seventh after being bowled out for 124 in reply to Durham’s 171/8.
- With Mohammad Hafeez away, Mujeeb Ur Rahman is back in the Middlesex squad for T20 blast quarter-finals.
- He will bolster a bowling unit that came in for some punishment last time out but Middlesex is unlikely to make any other batting changes given how their top-order fired in the win against Somerset.
- Middlesex put a run of three straight defeats behind them to book their quarter-final place in record-breaking fashion.
- Set 227 to beat Somerset, with only Toby Roland-Jones (2-32) managing to keep a good lid on the batting, Middlesex rose to the challenge. Dawid Malan (41 from 14 balls) set the tone before AB de Villiers (32 from 16) kept the run rate high.
- Eoin Morgan then went ballistic, with his unbeaten 83 from 29 balls sealing a stunning six-wicket win.
PROBABLE WINNING TEAM:
Notts Outlaws have home advantage but Middlesex has the momentum after their stunning final group game win. If that top-order fires again, on a batsman-friendly wicket, it is hard to look past another Middlesex victory.
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