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BigMozzyDog

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  1. Manager: Robert Mozelewski Team name: Wotton Valiants Forum username: BigMozzyDog
  2. Manager: Robert MozelewskiTeam Name: Wotton ValiantsForum Username: BigMozzyDog
  3. This game gives Sri Lanka the chance to level the series, and England a chance to go 2-0 up. And based on their performance last time, one result today looks very likely. A ten wicket victory, with Hales and Roy smashing rapid fire tons, has set the tone for this England side, who needed to show a real improvement on the first ODI where Liam Plunkett rescued a tie. The last Royal London Fixture at Bristol yielded nearly 650 runs, so we can expect a decent deck, and the possibility of 350 being very chaseable. England have played the brand of cricket we all hoped they would when Trevor Bayliss took over. They’ve been bold, inventive, and prepared to take calculated risks. If they continue in that vein, the future looks bright. Their side has remained pretty settled, with Roy and Hales at the top, followed by the likes of Root, Morgan, Bairstow and Ali. Sensibly, Jos Buttler is being used as a floater, to add impact when required. And he certainly did that last time, alongside Chris Woakes, who now looks more of a batter than a bowler in my eyes. This is an England side that is well capable of punishing this average Sri Lankan bowling. As for the visitors, they’re sweating on the fitness of Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal, two of their star men. And the two top order players who could bat long. If they pass late fitness tests, this game may be slightly closer. They have the destructive Kusal Perera back in the side, who has shown glimpses of his best at times in this series, but still seems a little lacking in match practise. Perera is a man England need to be very aware of. He can turn a game in minutes and can score runs against anyone. Seekkuge Prasanna is another player to look out for. His 95 against Ireland included a nine sixes. That’s special. He’s been playing with Northants too, so he’ll be accustomed to the conditions. At 30 years old, you wonder where he’s been, but his 28-ball 59 in the first game was frightening. Seriously. Upul Tharanga, a man with 11 ODI tons may well earn a promotion to the top of the order, adding a little stability, but they do look out classed. England should win, and win comfortably. In search of a little value, we’re taking on the highest opening partnership field, where England could dominate again. You can back England to have the highest opening partnership at 8/13 with Skybet. As for the player markets, outright batsman looks tasty. England could well score heavily at the top, but against a mediocre attack, Jos Buttler could prove very dangerous later on. He showed in the first game, just how destructive he can be, and his record here is very impressive. You can back Buttler to be top batsman in the match at 17/1 with Paddy Power.
  4. Now starts a five match one day international series that is set to be a great deal more competitive than the test matches, with a more hardened Sri Lanka side taking on an England team that’s high on confidence in limited overs cricket. Skipper Eoin Morgan leads an exciting group of players who have different strengths and in Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler he has three individuals who are capable of winning matches on their own. England have played the brand of cricket we all hoped they would when Trevor Bayliss took over. They’ve been bold, inventive, and prepared to take calculated risks. If they continue in that vein, the future looks bright. Their side has remained pretty settled, with ROy and Hales at the top, followed by the likes of Root, Morgan, Bairstow and Stokes. Sensibly, Jos Buttler is being used as a floater, to add impact when required. Bairstow is probably the form batter in world cricket at the moment, which is a mega turn around since last year when he looked shot of all confidence. And it’s just as well, because his keeping is truly terrible. With the ball, England look very settled too, with more depth than they’ve had for a number of years. Chris Woakes looked strong in the tests, and is known as a death bowling specialist, as is Chris Jordan. It would be good to see Adil Rashid get a game, with leg spin very much the flavour of the month in this, and the shorter format. He’s a wicket taker, which, regardless of his economy rate, makes him the most valuable source of run savings. As for Sri Lanka, they come into this game with a little confidence. They have the destructive Kusal Perera back in the side, and they have hammered Ireland, in Ireland. Perera himself smoked a rapid ton against the men in green at Malahide, in a game where old skool, blast from the past, Farveez Maharoof made a comeback. Perera is a man England need to be very aware of. He can turn a game in minutes and can score runs against anyone. Seekkuge Prasanna is another player to look out for. His 95 against Ireland included a nine sixes. That’s special. He’s been playing with Northants too, so he’ll be accustomed to the conditions. That said, I expect England to have too much in what will be a reasonably close game. But with the price being so short, I am looking to the top 15 over score field, where Sri Lanka’s exciting top order could prove exceptional value. You can back Sri Lanka to score most runs in the first 15 overs at 6/4 with Paddy Power. As for the top player markets, I’m splitting my top batsman money between two red hot form players. You can back Jonny Bairstow to be top batter at 18/1 with Paddy Power You can back Seekkuge Prasanna to be top batter at 60/1 with Paddy Power
  5. Derbyshire vs Yorkshire Derbyshire and Yorkshire are pretty much polar opposites in the world of county cricket, with Yorkshire often top of the pile, and Derbyshire more accustomed to the lower league, especially in one-day competition. This year, things haven’t started that way in the T20 Blast. Yorkshire skipper has made the tough decision to leave himself out of the game, on the back of the poor form he’s displayed, and the return of a quintet of England stars. Adam Lyth has made himself indispensible with back to back 60-ball tons in the Royal London Cup. Lees described his decision as a “no brainer” given the embarrassment of riches this Yorkshire side possesses. That said, this won’t be the first time that the county champions have their big guns back, and it hasn’t always gone well. Especially at the beginning of the year when they were at roughly full strength. And their general form in the one day games has been poor. They have one win from five in the T20 Blast, and sit well below Derbyshire. And while they have gone better in the Royal London, thanks to Lyth, they sit third in a group topped by this Derbyshire side. Yes, Root, Bairstow, Plunkett and Rashid returning is a big bonus, but, given their hectic schedule, it remains to be seen how they go. Rashid in particular, has struggled for form this year despite his stellar Big Bash displays. For all their new found strength in the batting department, they are struggling for bowling. That may be why they have re-signed Azeem Rafiq until the end of the season. They are missing Sidebotham, Brookes and Fisher, who take so many wickets week in, week out. Derbyshire on the other hand, are pretty much full strength, with their array of exciting Kiwi talent making them a pretty formidable T20 force. If we discard reputation domestically, Derbyshire look good to go a long way in either limited overs tournament. In their last game they went down in the final ball against an Ian Bell inspired Warwickshire, but it was a game that could have easily gone their way, such is the nature of T20. They have Hamish Rutherford, Neil Broom and Jimmy Neesham peppering their top order, which is exciting to see. Rutherford in particular hits the ball miles in all formats. Many will remember his astonishing debut knock against England where he tore our attack to shreds. Neesham on the other hand, is an all rounder with a rapidly growing reputation. He is one of the most exciting players in this tournament. With the ball they are also strong. Young Ben Cotton is improving at a rate of knots, while young leggy Matthew Critchley is dangerous. Skipper Alex Hughes is a spinner who is being watched by plenty of bigger counties, while Shiv Thakor is a player who adds quality in all three disciplines. I think they can cause an upset at Headingley here. You can back Derbyshire to win at 13/8 with Bet365.
  6. Kingmoses - Sorry chap, I'm afraid I've managed to preview a game that's happening in a few weeks. I blame the mrs. For what it's worth at this late stage, I fancy Notts to win today a decent price with Skybet. Apologies again, BMD
  7. Notts vs Durham Both of these sides go into this game with some confidence, even though neither has started their T20 Blast campaign in fine style. Durham won last time to make it two wins from five games, while Notts have only managed a single win in their first four games. Notts are set-up to perform well in T20 cricket, with skipper Dan Christian an experienced all rounder who is well suited to leading a team in this format. They also have a raft of proven talent, especially in the batting department. Michael Lumb is constantly a star performer for the Sydney Sixers, and is currently in the form of his life. He has made a strong start in the four day game, but it’s the 50-over format that has been especially strong. He has smashed Notts to some serious scores in the Royal London One Day Cup, with three tons in his last three knocks. Those scores read 105, 133, and most spectacularly a blistering 184 against Northants. He’s an international quality opener in the shorter game, and he’s proving it this year. They also have the likes of Samit Patel who, but for an additional stone or two, would be in the England limited overs side. Also interesting is their use of Brendan Taylor, who finds himself down the order at six, used in the finishers position, and presumably, to provide impetus in the later overs. To have a player of his calibre so low means they clearly have depth of quality. With the ball, they are very tidy if the likes of Jake Ball and Harry Gurney are available, while Luke Fletcher is a consistent performer. Their spin options are also solid. All this aside, Durham won’t be push-overs. Phil Mustard was one of the first England players to truly adapt to this format, and his 18-ball 46 in the last game shows he hasn’t lost that ability. The former England keeper will be arguably the hardest hitting batter on display, and has the ability to take a game away. He comes into this game on the back of some real time in the middle, including a quick-fire 47 against this opposition in the 50-over game this evening. Another guy with a serious bit of T20 talent is Graham Clark. The young Cumbrian started the season flying in the 2nd XI, and started his Blast campaign with a 30-odd in decent time against Lancashire. He could be one to watch, but he, like most of the Durham top order, is enduring a torrid time. Where they might prove a match for this good Notts team is with the ball. Collingwood’s canny cutters, Borthwick’s leggies and Arshad with the new ball, look to be a potent triple threat. Another young lad who made a great impression last time out, was Barry McCarthy. This young Irishman may be hit and miss at this early stage of his career, but his has the priceless ability to pick up wickets. The deciding factor in this game could be the form of both sides since their last Blast games. The break couldn’t have suited Notts more, and their big players are all scoring massive runs, and the team are winning well. They go into this game with bags of confidence. You can back Notts to win at 8/11 with Paddy Power. They also look incredible value for the top opening partnership field, where they have looked strong all season, compared to this struggling Durham top order. You can back Notts to have the highest opening partnership at 17/20 with Coral.
  8. This day night match at Lord’s certainly looks close on paper. Very little separates the two sides in the league, but the home of cricket is a place where a particular brand of cricket often gets rewarded, so there could be real value in predicting the winner of the game. Both of these teams have lost just once in the T20 Blast so far, and both appear to have a decent balance to their sides. Middlesex in particular have the classic batting set-up, with world-class ball strikers at the top, canny accumulators in the middle, and a selection of heavy hitters to use whenever appropriate. It’s a formula that won the Windies the World Cup, and one that has always worked. In Brendon McCullum, they have one of the best T20 players of all time. The Kiwi is a talisman for every side he joins, and Middlesex is no different. So often he sets the tone with his charges down the pitch. It’s an approach that gives immense confidence to his younger teammates. Much has been made of the pace of Tymal Mills, but he will be coming up against someone a little bit more accustomed to attacking a rapid ball. If he misses his length, Baz will punish him. Also scheduled to open for the home side is Dawid Malan. We’ve been championing his for the England squad for some time, and he finally got his call-up this week. He will be eager to cement his place in the starting eleven with a strong showing here. In fact, these two players go into this game on the back of an opening stand of 170-odd in the Royal London One Day Cup victory over Glamorgan. Further down they have the likes of Eoin Morgan, John Simpson and, crucially, Nick Gubbins. Likely to come in at three, Gubbins is a star in the making and a player of complete ability. He has the talent to be as good an all round player as a Kane Williamson or Joe Root. If he fulfills that potential remains to be seen. Here he provides the perfect foil for the openers. With the ball they boast one of the stars of the IPL, Mitch McClenaghan. An immensely strong death bowler, this big strong Kiwi started his time with Middlesex by taking 4/33 against Essex last time. He’s a wicket taker of the highest calibre, and will give this Sussex Side something to think about. And what of Sussex. Well they are by no means a push-over, in fact no side with Luke Wright in it is. But what they seem to lack is a little depth. Their overseas players, Ross Taylor and David Wiese aren’t as potent as the home side’s superstars. The same theme is reflected throughout the line-up. Chris Nash and Luke Wright up top present a very formidable force, but after that there isn’t a great deal. Ross Taylor doesn’t get the volume of runs he used to, and while young Phil Salt is decent, he’s not likely to boss many games. Middlesex are the home side. They understand how to win games at Lord’s, and they have a strong, in-form side that could go a long way in the T20 Blast. You can back Middlesex to win at evens with Skybet. Brendon McCullum is fresh and raring to go, and after 110 against Glamorgan, he could go massive. This is a small, batsman friendly ground, and Baz could be the man to exploit it. You can back McCullum to be top Middlesex batter at 5/2 with Stan James.
  9. Anirban Lahiri for me at 250/1 with Paddy Power. A hugely underrated player who has a top five finish in him. Oakmont is tough tea to green, but it is the ability to read these tricky greens that will be key. That could cost some top players here. Lahiri top on the European Tour this year when you combine GIR and putts per round stats. He could go pretty well. I'm also on Soren Kjeldsen, Daniel Summerhays and Phil Mickleson.
  10. Kent host Somerset in the Royal London One Day Cup, needing a win to make a significant jump up the league table. Somerset on the other hand, are yet to lose in the competition, but face their biggest test to date. The St Lawrence Ground is, like the County Ground, a place where big runs can be scored. And Kent have plenty of batsmen who can do some damage. In Daniel Bell-Drummond they have a player with serious ability. In fact, the young opener has barely failed in any format this year, and must surely be knocking on England’s door. They have a host of talented young Englishmen in their top five, including Joe Denly and Sam Northeast, both of whom have been in the runs so far this year. Denly comes into this game on the back of a ton against Glamorgan, where he shared a big stand with fellow centurion, Sam Billings. Billings’ ton can up in just 50-odd balls and included five sixes. Perhaps the young keeper is beginning to show the potential to become England’s next one day keeper. In the bowling department, Kent aren’t quite as strong, but they can rely on a mix of canny seam and some spin. Matt Coles is a player who is great to watch, with his all action approach, and since his return, he’s gone great guns for his home county. They come up against a Somerset side who tied their last game, against Essex, after an astonishing late salvo from opposition keeper, James Foster. Interestingly, despite having won two out of three, they look weaker than their results suggest, particularly in the batting department. Johann Myburgh is a strong opener, and has had a decent run of form. However, he isn’t prolific, having averaged under 30 in 103 games. That record includes just a single ton. Peter Trego is probably their biggest threat. His ball striking is better than anyone’s, and his record is very useful. He has scored plenty of destructive runs in his time, including some rapid centuries. Jim Allenby has some pedigree, but he is much less consistent than in days of old, and makes less regular runs than he used to. He’s captain of the Somerset one day side, and looks to lead from the front, but these days, it means using a lot more of his canny seam. Another player whose game has changed over the years is James Hildreth. At one time he was close to the England set-up, but these days is much more of a four-day player. With the ball, they have the Overton boys, who are pushing for international honours, but are more expensive in this format than many seamers. Lewis Gregory is steady, while their best bowler is probably Tim Groenewald. Unfortunately, they look more mediocre than they have in seasons past. Kent are a young side on the up and look more balanced all round. They have the match winners with the bat, the players in form, and a bowling unit that’s solid. You can back Kent to beat Somerset at evens with Skybet
  11. Two decent one day sides will clash at Hove tomorrow, with the refreshing situation of a number of exciting domestic talents on show. Middlesex come into this game on the back of an impressive seven wicket win over holders Gloucestershire. And it was their top order flexibility which really shone. Irish blaster, Paul Stirling is an underrated performer who has scored plenty of runs at first-class, List A and ODI level. For Middlesex, he is used as an allrounder in this format, often batting in the middle-order and bowling some tidy spin. However, he opens for Ireland, for whom he has four ODI tons. When the rain shortened the game at Bristol, he was called upon to open, in the absence of Brendon McCullum. He did so to great effect, smashing 125* from just 102 balls. And the Middlesex side have plenty of other players who can cover multiple role, not least the in-form Dawid Malan, who’s great start to the season has brought him into England reckoning. The top-order batter has shown real class by stroking his way to a couple of first-class tons already this year, and making vital contributions in this competition. He, alongside the international super-powers of Brendon McCullum and Adam Voges, form a pretty enviable top order. Voges has a game that’s suited to these conditions, and this format. He can be more patient than in T20, while using his experience scoring thousands of runs for various counties over the years. Brendon McCullum however, needs no introduction. As for the Middlesex bowling, they have plenty of options, with Toby Roland-Jones and James Fuller particularly dangerous in the 50-over game. Also a threat is the canny skipper, James Franklin, who has plenty of variations in the middle overs. Sussex are no mugs either. With an in-from Luke Wright as captain, once again criminally overlooked by England in the ODIs, and Chris Nash making runs for fun, they carry a threat. That said, they looking much lighter than this Middlesex side batting wise. Ed Joyce is not the player he was, and Ross Taylor, although still class, makes fewer runs every year. With the ball, they have Chris Jordan, who showed his worth in the T20WC and IPL. But this is a ten over stint, and he can’t sustain a yorker/bouncer attack for that long. Ajmal Shazhad is apparently still playing, though what happened to his is anyone’s guess. He’s a yard slower than his England days. In terms of all round ability in the two disciplines, Middlesex look much stronger, both in terms of form and personnel. You can back Middlesex to win at evens with Paddy Power.
  12. Alastair Cook’s England take the field at the home of cricket knowing that a win will secure them a series whitewash, further backing up their strong performance in South Africa. However a loss, against this transitional Sri Lanka side would be a sign that dominance is some distance away. Aside from Dinesh Chandimal’s stout performance in the second innings in the second test, this has been an easy mission for Cook and co. For the most part, Sri Lanka have lacked the fight that has characterised the rise from the cricketing hinterland to worthy adversaries. Granted they have far fewer world-class players than many teams at the moment, but England would be in the same position if Cook and Root retired tomorrow. In fact losing Sangakkara and Jayawardene had an even bigger effect, because they are two of the best players of all time. In this final test, the two sides meet at Lord’s, where Sri Lanka have been dealt a further blow, with opener, Eranga suspended with an illegal action. Their coach Graham Ford has questioned the country’s depth in that regard, calling up the uncapped Bandara as a replacement. They do have two things going for them. Firstly the return of the flamboyant Kusal Perera who was wrongly accused of doping. He is a serious talent with the bat and a decent keeper. Their previous gloveman made a number of crucial errors last time, including dropping Chris Woakes early in his innings. Secondly, England lost to Sri Lanka at Lord’s in 2014. That said, few of those playing tomorrow will remember that result. That said, England go into this game as firm favourites and should win comfortably. An area for concern for Trevor Bayliss will be his side’s fragile top/middle order. Aside from Alex Hales, there have been precious few runs, with most match-winning runs coming from six and seven. So far this series James Anderson has been in irresistible form, resulting in Sri Lanka having opening partnerships of 10 or less, on three occasions. They’ve only batted four times. You can back Sri Lanka to have an opening partnership of less than 19.5 at 10/11 with Skybet. As for the player markets, I’m checking out the top bowler field, where there is one name on everyone’s lips. James Anderson has 18 wickets in two tests and seems refreshed after a decent rest. He could easily nip a few out early while the Lord’s deck is still receptive. You can back James Anderson to be top England bowler at 5/2 with Bet365.
  13. We backed Gloucestershire to beat Glamorgan just a few days ago, but they never really got into the game with the bat. This time we’re checking out their chances of beating a Middlesex side that boasts the mercurial Brendon McCullum in their side. Both sides have suffered recent defeats, with Middlesex missing out against Hampshire with just a couple of balls remaining in a rain affected game, and Gloucestershire going down to Glamorgan in pretty comfortable style. But what have these two games told us about the teams? Well, we now know how Middlesex want to play their limited overs cricket. It’s a case of playing the Kiwi way. And with Brendon McCullum their to lead from the front, and skippered by James Franklin, they’re in a decent place to do it. As for Gloucestershire, we can see that they haven’t lost their edge in the field and that they really need Michael Klinger to find some form. But this isn’t a case of two one-man teams coming up against each other. In Malan, Gubbins (a player we picked to have a strong year), Morgan and Stirling, they have depth to their batting. Each of those players is capable of a big score, especially Malan, who finally looks to be fulfilling some of his promise. Gloucestershire have also got plenty in the tank, albeit without the huge names of the Lords based side. Chris Dent’s brisk ton was a fine example of opening the batting last time out, and players like Benny Howell and Jack Taylor are making vital middle-order runs. Bowling-wise, they are slightly weaker than last year, with Jack Taylor temporarily suspended from sending down his off-spin, and James Fuller heading to tomorrow’s opponents over the winter. Taylor’s brother, Matt, has stepped up to first team action and looks ready to do well, while Payne and Howell looks as reliable as ever. The spin option is provided by Tom Smith, who had plenty of success in last year’s competition. In fact Howell is one of the form all rounders in the competition, combining his busy batting style with canny seam variations. He could be a player to watch in this competition. The winner of this game is likely to come down to the side who can best bowl to the conditions, with Bristol offering plenty of run scoring opportunities, but giving teams who can hit their length a chance early on. We’re going for Gloucestershire to make home advantage count at a massive looking price. You can back Gloucestershire to win at 11/10 with Paddy Power.