As things stand, Somerset are unlikely to stake a claim for County Championship this year. After yesterday’s defeat at the hands of Glamorgan, Worcestershire’s chances of promotion back to Division One have taken a severe hit. Both teams had forgetful campaigns in the Natwest T20 Blast, so Royal London One Day cup is the only saviour that can infiltrate some lifeblood into their seasons.
Somerset has been the form side in this competition this year; they sailed through the South group and are unbeaten at Taunton. Meanwhile, Rapids had a good start before losing three games which put their progress in serious doubt but recovered to beat Durham and Nottinghamshire in the final two games.
The home team has had a good break coming into this quarter final while Rapids endured a spirit sapping defeat at the hands of Glamorgan yesterday. However, Somerset’s Director of Cricket, Matt Maynard warned against complacency. He said, “It’s going to be a really good game of cricket. Worcestershire are a dangerous side and they got a very talented batting line up.”
Somerset go in as they definite favourites to go to Lords but the fact that Rapids have never entered a finals day might turn this into a grand contest.
Since returning, Tom Fell has wasted no time in returning to his old scoring powers. Last year’s highest scorer for Rapids in Division One, Fell has notched up 237 runs in four matches with one century and two half centuries in this competition. He was pivotal in Rapids sneaking their way into a quarter final via two impressive victories in the final two games and he guided a tricky chase against Durham at New Road with a superb 116 not out, and again held fort with Mitchell in the defeat of Nottinghamshire with a composed 61 not out.
Having a spinner who can pick up wickets is a trump card for any team. Somerset is blessed in that department in Roelof van der Merwe. He has picked up 11 wickets in this format and they have invariably been match changing scalps. Not to forget his spiky side in batting, he could again be the game changer at Taunton.
Steve Rhodes has had the luxury of calling Moeen Ali for this game so it kind of compensates for the lack of an International player in the team at the moment. He has also recalled George Rhodes, who has been a regular feature in this competition, in good form after scoring a hundred for the second xi yesterday.
Worcestershire Rapids Squad: Daryl Mitchell (c), Ben Cox (wk), Moeen Ali, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Ross Whiteley, Brett D’Oliveira, Jack Shantry, , Tom Fell, Joe Leach, George Rhodes, Charlie Morris , Joe Clarke, Ed Barnard.
Somerset director of cricket Maynard has no reason to make changes to a squad that has got them this far in this competition. They are the form side and they got lot of good options to choose from.
Somerset Squad: Jim Allenby (c), Ryan Davies (wk), Mahela Jayawardene, Peter Trego, Tom Abell, James Hildreth, Lewis Gregory, Roelof van der Merwe, Craig Overton, Josh Davey, Tim Groenewald, Max Waller, Paul van Meekeren.
Weather and Conditions
It’s going to be hot and sunny in Taunton, so expect an exciting day of cricket. Recent Royal London Cup matches have all yielded lot of runs at this ground, so it could well be a high scoring affair again.
Date: 17th August 2016
Ground: Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton
Time: 11.00 am
Umpires: Rob Bailey and Jeremy Lloyds
Odds: Somerset 8/13 Worcestershire 5/4