After a frustrating few matches for both Nottinghamshire and Durham thanks to the English weather, the two mid-table teams come head to head at Trent Bridge where the weather related frustrations may still be a presence.
The weather has posed more of a frustration for the Nottinghamshire Outlaws that the Durham Jets as they have sandwiched their ‘abandoned’ games with win, maximising on the points available. Durham on the other hand made their bread out of wins whilst their filling was distinctly less satisfying.
Nottinghamshire will be looking to continue this form as they are currently in fourth position in the table meaning they will qualify for the quarter-finals, but only just. If they don’t keep their good form up, either Lancashire or Durham could be in with a chance of usurping their quarter-final position.
Both sides should be boosted by some international talent. England men Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes should return for the two counties respectively and South African spinner Imran Tahir is expected to play for Nottinghamshire; as is Harry Gurney who has been rested for a few days.
With Stokes returning to the side, Durham are able to boast a powerful line-up with youngster Paul Coughlin proving his worth with the ball, taking 5-42 against Northamptonshire a few weeks ago and 2-27 against Yorkshire last week.
If the weather can behave itself and permit a match to go ahead, the Friday night crowd could be in for a treat of a battle.
In form man Riki Wessels has clocked up scores of 38, 58, 36 and 35* in his last four T20 outings for Nottinghamshire. With an overall strike-rate in T20s of a little over 136, there’s no denying that when Wessels heads to the crease he is there to score some quick-fire runs. 30-odd runs from as many balls can really make the difference in a T20 match and as an opener, Wessels can easily get his side off to the right start – lay the right foundations – for the rest of the line-up to come in and fire. All of a sudden the match has been taken away from the opposition.
The stats for Durham all-rounder Keaton Jennings don’t necessarily paint the clear picture for just how valuable the 24 year old is to the line-up. In his last four T20 outings for Durham, Jennings has struck figures of 2-18, 0-6, 1-19 and 0-33 with the ball and 23* and 42 with the bat (only being required to bat twice) but once again, he is the kind of player who whether he has the bat or ball in his hand, can take the game away from the opposition in a matter of balls.
The Outlaws bowling stocks will be bolstered by the return of Stuart Broad and Imran Tahir. Harry Gurney, who has rested through the week, returns to the side.
Nottinghamshire squad: Jake Ball, Stuart Broad, Dan Christian (c), Harry Gurney, Brett Hutton, Michael Lumb, Steven Mullaney, Samit Patel, Greg Smith, Imran Tahir, Brendan Taylor, Riki Wessels, Sam Wood
Durham are yet to announce their squad, as they played on Thursday evening but England all-rounder Ben Stokes is expected to appear.
Durham squad: TBA
Weather and conditions
It’s expected to rain all afternoon in Nottingham, which is nothing new for the East Midlands so far this “summer”. We could have a late start to the evening.
Date: Friday 1st July
Ground: Trent Bridge
Umpires: Nigel Cowley & Neil Mallender
Odds (SkyBet): Notts 1/2, Durham 13/8