Somerset and Gloucestershire will contest the first ‘cider derby’ of the season on Friday as both look to boost their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Royal London One Day Cup.
This deeply intense rivalry has produced some thrilling cricket in recent years, perhaps no more exciting than the last List A fixture between the two at Taunton.
Somerset slipped to 198-9 but incredibly chased down the 261 required, Jamie Overton and Tim Groenewald the heroes that day.
The hosts will need a similar result here, having won three and lost three of their matches so far. Another defeat and their hopes of progressing from the South Group are all but over.
For Gloucestershire they will be hoping that they can actually play some cricket, with both of their home matches against Hampshire, and Sussex last week, being abandoned.
They have played a game less than Somerset, so while a defeat here will not end their chances of regaining the trophy they last won back in 2015, it will certainly put them under pressure heading into their remaining group fixtures.
The ball tampering scandal which engulfed world cricket around the globe meant that Somerset were without Cameron Bancroft as their overseas player. However Matt Renshaw has proved a more than adequate replacement. A century in his first Championship game against Worcestershire signalled his arrival on the county scene and that was followed up with another against Yorkshire. He has also performed reasonably well in white-ball cricket, with a couple of fifties in the four matches he has played, Somerset will be hoping he can continue his good form with another meaningful contribution here.
The loss of Michael Klinger as an opener in this format was always going to leave a gaping hole in this Gloucestershire side but so far George Hankins has done an excellent job at replacing the Australian. He has an attacking style and is a fantastic player of pace, the youngster has got his side away to some flyers in this competition. His 85 against Glamorgan and 77 against Essex both helped his team chase down the total required on the day and although he was out cheaply in his sides last completed fixture against Surrey he should enjoy a Taunton wicket that has produced plenty of runs in this format in recent years.
Lewis Gregory continues as Somerset captain with Tom Abell unavailable. Tim Groenewald is back in the squad after missing the last two games.
Somerset Squad: Lewis Gregory (c), Tom Banton, Steve Davies (wk), Ben Green, Tim Groenewald, James Hildreth, Johann Myburgh, Craig Overton, Jamie Overton, Matt Renshaw, Peter Trego, Roelof van der Merwe, Paul van Meekeren, Max Waller.
The visitors will likely name an unchanged team from their last match, with overseas star Dan Worrall now unavailable for the rest of his spell with the club due to injury. Graeme van Buuren has been added to the squad following a century for the 2nds earlier this week.
Gloucestershire Squad: Chris Dent (c), Ian Cockbain, Miles Hammond, George Hankins, Ryan Higgins, Benny Howell, Chris Liddle, Craig Miles, Gareth Roderick (wk), Tom Smith, Jack Taylor, Matt Taylor, Graeme van Buuren.
Weather and Conditions:
Both teams are in need of a win from this game, so will be disappointed that it could end up being abandoned. The forecast is for a dry morning but with the chance of it raining later in the day, the side batting second may not even get an opportunity to do so.
Date: 1st June 2018
Ground: Cooper Associates County Ground
Odds (SkyBet): Somerset 4/6, Gloucestershire 6/5