After a Sunday washout for most of the Royal London One-Day Cup, Surrey will hope the weather will be kinder at the Oval on Monday as they host Northamptonshire, who lost their opening game to Durham on Saturday.
Both sides failed to reach the knockout stages in last year’s competition having won only three and two games respectively, but will be targeting at least a quarter-final place this time around.
However, Surrey’s campaign started as their t20 one ended, in soggy fashion as rain prevented a ball being bowled at Leicester. With drier weather on Saturday, Northants were able to kickstart the competition against Durham, but they fell to a 54 run defeat.
There were some positive signs for Alex Wakely’s side, as they recovered from 37-4 to eventually be bowled out for 259 and have a balanced side that looks dangerous on paper, however they will know that in an eight game competition they can ill afford to lose their opening two games.
The last time the two side met in white ball cricket was the 2013 t20 final, memorably won by Northants at Edgbaston, but they have only played two list A games in the past six years, Surrey winning both games in the 2011 group stages, by three wickets and 12 runs respectively.
Kumar Sangakkara brings a wealth of one-day experience into Surrey’s batting line-up and while his impact in the t20 Blast may have been limited, his ability to play long white ball innings could be more valuable in the longer form, allowing Surrey’s youngsters to play around him.
Ben Duckett is in the form of his life in the past few weeks, the 20-year-old having hit career bests in each of his last three innings in all three forms of the game, including a maiden list A fifty against Durham.
Northants stuck with their t20 side for Saturday’s opening tie, with Olly Stone replacing Graeme White as the only change. While the spinner could return at the Oval, Northants will likely stick with the same side, but could alter the batting line-up after the top order failure against Durham.
Surrey had the intention of resting Azhar Mahmood for their opening game at Leicestershire, but otherwise named a similar squad to the climax of the t20 competition, with the additions of Aneesh Kapil and Tim Linley.
Weather and conditions
After a sodden Friday night and Sunday across much of the country, the new week is set to offer some restbite, with London forecast to be dry, if cloudy, for Monday’s action.
Date: Monday July 27th
Venue: The Kia Oval
Umpires: Jeff Evans, Neil Mallender
Odds: Surrey 4/6, Northants 6/5