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The early match today at Middlesex's training ground at Radlett looks potentially interesting for Middlesex to do the treble over Hampshire having beaten them recently in the County Championship and 20/20 matches. But I would suggest waiting for the toss result!

Whoever wins the toss I expect them to select to bowl for two reasons. Firstly rain is forecast later this afternoon for the Radlett area and also because having seen a clip on the Middx website of the pitch at Radlett it looks greener than a water melon. This in addition to the news that Hampshire are missing James Vince and his replacement Alsop, Middx seem to have an awful lot in their favour. They have named a full strength team including McCullum and Morgan. Going to wait for the toss result before getting seriously involved.

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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.

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A busy RL afternoon but quiet on the punting front.

Yesterday's result was decided at the toss for Middx and they having put up a reasonable score were unlucky to run into Duckworth Lewis and a wet ball. I will be looking to oppose Hants in their next RL match which I believe is next week away at Surrey.

The last thing Middx will have wanted after last nights match in clammy conditions is a 2 hour journey down to Bristol for a match against Gloucester the following day. But I personally couldn't back either side with any conviction. Glos have lost both their games in this competition against two of the teams who you would think will probably end up in the lower half of the southern league and only putting up 260 on Somerset's Tonka town sized pitch isn't great and Middlesex are on the road after a tiring match. The side bet I would be interested in if I get it is an over on the 4's or boundaries (pref 4's) . Glos desperately need a win here and will have to play aggressively if they bat first knowing the potential of the Middx bat. The pitch at Bristol is a decent sized pitch ripe for shot making and with Middx bowlers no doubt stiff from bowling last night and Glos a bit powder puff with the ball I can see plenty of balls going over the rope.

Lancashire travel to Northants where it is known to offer max value to spinners and Lancs have two of the best in this competition, but Lancs have travelled without Martin Guptill. I don't think the loss of their star overseas player has been factored into the Lancs odds on quote yet to be honest. The loss of Richard Levi for Northants evens things up a bit. Levi gone also means there will be more food at the break for both sides ;). All in all leaving this one alone.

With Notts v Warwickshire if you fancy a side I would suggest waiting for the toss result. The pitch at Trent Bridge is obviously in excellent nick. Reckon it's highly likely you could back the team batting first before the match starts and then back the other team at the break and make a profit either way. Or if you fancy the bowling team wait for the break and probably a bigger price. 

Over at the Oval I want to be with Surrey against Somerset but they haven't convinced me as a reliable option this season so leaving this too.

So my only bet today is over at Cardiff where it is expected to be cloudy but dry all day. I'm all over Sussex to bt Glamorgan. Glamorgan have won their only RL match against Gloucester, but that was the day after Glos played a RL match and hence were a bit worn and Glamorgan were fresh and at home. No Dale Steyn for Glamorgan either in this format! Sussex lost their first RL match against Essex where they ran into a Jesse Ryder ton. Ryder is hit or miss on that day he was a hit. But Sussex have a better quality and depth in batting and bowling than Glamorgan. Whilst this isn't the 20/20 area I'm also keen on the overs on the 6's in tonight's Kent v Hampshire game. Kent's pitch is pretty small and when you have have Afridi, Sammy, Stevens, Billings, Blake, Northeast on show on a small pitch it says 6's to me. Doubling up this and Sussex.

Sent from my iPad

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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.

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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

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