T20 Blast Preview: Gloucestershire v Glamorgan

T20 Blast Preview: Gloucestershire v Glamorgan

Gloucestershire return to home comforts looking to bounce back from Thursday night's defeat

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The bowling of Tom Smith has helped keep Gloucestershire towards the top of the South Group

Glamorgan make the short trip to Bristol to face Gloucestershire on Friday night, in the wake of a scintillating four-run victory over Middlesex last time out.

The Welsh county will be buoyed by their remarkable turnaround during that match, and will certainly be hoping that it can kick-start their thus far stop-start T20 Blast season. A huge opening day victory at the Oval seemed to suggest that Glamorgan could easily go one better than last years quarter-final exit; however, consecutive home defeats to Essex and Hampshire have left the side desperate to string together some victories to push for a top four finish. Having played just one Championship match in the last three weeks, fatigue should not be an issue for Glamorgan as they look to secure a fair more comfortable victory than last week’s outing.

Gloucestershire will be hot-footing it across the country on Friday to return home from their Thursday evening match down at Chelmsford. They came up 18 runs short in the contest, as a total of 181 always seemed a little out of reach. This was despite a heroic knock of 104* from skipper Michael Klinger, who was left ruing what might have been had any of his teammates had the wherewithal to stay at the crease with him.

Despite that loss, Gloucestershire are still sitting reasonably pretty in the South Group table. In second place, having played five and won three, a victory over Glamorgan on Friday could see them leapfrog Kent at the top of the table. That is not an unfeasible proposition, as the Bristol outfit appear to have mastered the art of playing on their home ground, having recorded three comfortable wins thus far against Kent, Essex and Middlesex.

Key Men

Glamorgan are a side that are so often more than the sum of their parts in the T20 format, and no one epitomises that quite like all-rounder Graham Wagg. Whether he is clearing the ropes with the bat, or giving the batsmen the hurry up with the ball, Wagg is a player who always has to be involved in the game. Last time out, he bowled a superb final over, as he defended 13 runs without even conceding a boundary. His five wickets in the T20 Blast so far this term have also included a superb spell of 4/27 against Hampshire.

Whilst captain Michael Klinger has amassed a Gayle-esque 299 runs in just three T20 Blast innings this season, a more unheralded, but no less important player, could be left-arm spinner Tom Smith. Last time out, on a postage stamp of a ground at Chelmsford, he kept his cool to finish with figures of 3/26 from his four overs. His 13 wickets in the competition so far this season have come at the infinitesimal average of just 8.46, and coupled alongside an economy rate of less than seven, his worth to the team is vast. Smith should also benefit from the dry pitch at Bristol where he has already picked up a five-wicket haul this season; one which included a hat-trick on the way to claiming figures of 5/39.

Team News

Both squads TBC

Form (most recent first)

Gloucestershire: LWWLW

Glamorgan: WLLW

Weather and Conditions

It looks set to be a hot and stormy night in Bristol, with temperatures reaching 24°C. Hopefully the showers will abate in time for some on-field action.

Date: Friday 12th June 2015

Time: 5:30pm

Ground: County Ground, Bristol

Umpires: Steve Gale and Alex Wharf 

Odds: Gloucestershire 8/11, Glamorgan 11/10

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