Gloucestershire and Kent meet in Bristol today with both sides looking to get their Royal London One-Day Cup campaigns back on track.
Easter Sunday proved to be a bad day for the pair, as Gloucestershire lost out at Lord’s against Middlesex while Kent were hammered by Sussex at Beckenham.
It was a third successive defeat for last season’s finalists, and another loss would end any hopes of featuring in this year’s showpiece event. The loss of Joe Denly and Sam Billings to the IPL has not helped their cause, but the nature of their performances will concern the Kent fans.
They were bowled out for 94 by Somerset, and Sussex chased down 299 with 10 overs to spare on Sunday. A worrying run of results for a team that is often a strong white-ball outfit.
Gloucestershire, who have one win and one loss to their name, hammered Surrey by 147 runs in their first game but were comprehensively beaten at the Home of Cricket after Stephen Eskinaszi’s excellent century.
As is often the case with Richard Dawson’s side, they can best be described as consistently inconsistent, but they are a difficult team to beat in Bristol and will fancy their chances of recording a second win at home.
In both of their matches Gloucestershire have got off to excellent starts with the bat. However, they have been let down by their middle-order, with the likes of Jack Taylorunable to produce his best at the back end of an innings. Taylor, so often a match-winner, is as devastating as most on his day, but scores of just 5 and 9 is a poor return for the Gloucestershire vice-captain. If he can get back to his best on Tuesday, then Gloucestershire might just get the end to an innings they are craving.
Kent’s tournament so far can only be described as dismal. Poor batting and expensive bowling have left the Canterbury outfit staring down the barrel of an early exit. One positive was Matt Renshaw’scentury against Sussex. The Australian played a fabulous knock and took his team up to a competitive total. It may not have been enough but, after a poor start to the season, he looked somewhere near the form he produced as a Somerset player last summer.
Ian Cockbain and David Payne remain unavailable for the hosts, the latter with a bruised heel that has kept him from playing at all this season. An unchanged team could be named, with Miles Hammond and Graeme van Buuren the likely two to miss out from the 13 man squad announced.
Gloucestershire: Christ Dent (c), James Bracey, Miles Hammond, George Hankins, Ryan Higgins, Benny Howell, Chris Liddle, Gareth Roderick (wk), Tom Smith, Jack Taylor, Matt Taylor, Graeme van Buuren, Dan Worrall
Weather and Conditions
The glorious weather looks set to continue in Bristol with sunshine and warm temperatures forecast, meaning conditions should be ideal for batting.
However, wickets in Bristol are often slow and low, as Surrey found out when they were bowled out for 88 last week. So do not be surprised if a similar surface is prepared for this match.
Date: 23rdApril 2019
Ground: The Bristol County Ground
Odds (SkyBet):Gloucestershire 4/6, Kent 6/5