It has been a difficult season for Gloucestershire, with further hurt coming with Benny Howells announcing his move back to Hampshire at the end of the season. They lost Craig Miles and Liam Norwell to the opponents for this game, back in 2018 and it is in the seam bowling department that they have particularly struggled this season, with the injury early on to Naseem Shah and then his return to Pakistan due to family illness. David Payne and Benny Howell are in the Hundred, so the reliance is on spin, with Pakistan’s Zafar Gohar alongside Jack Taylor and Tom Smith. They do have Dutch seamer Paul van Meekeren back, alongside Josh Shaw. The Gloucestershire batting is in better shape with Marcus Harris, Chris Dent and James Bracey at the top of the order.
Warwickshire have lost quite a number of players to the Hundred, but will still field a side with plenty of familiar names. We have already mentioned Miles and Norwell and Warwickshire have also shown intent by signing India all-rounder Krunal Pandya specifically for this competition. The batting looks strong with Dom Sibley, Rob Yates, Will Rhodes and Michael Burgess at the top of the order. Warwickshire will be expected to go strongly in this competition.
Warwickshire will start this game as clear favourites, but this competition does not always go to plan.
Will Rhodes was appointed captain of Warwickshire back in 2020, but the 27-year-old batting all-rounder has not quite fulfilled the potential he seemed to have as captain of England under 19s. He is averaging 31.58 with the bat and 70.42 with the ball in this year’s County Championship and did not feature in the Bears’ Blast campaign. He will hoping that the run-a-ball 75 he scored against Cheshire on Sunday, leads on to better things.
Slow left-armer, Zafar Gohar has picked up 32 wickets at 35.12 in the County Championship, ten of which were captured in the last match against Northamptonshire. His appearances for Pakistan have been limited to an ODI in 2015 and a Test match in 2021, but he has played 65 List A games, taking 92 wickets at 29.57 a-piece, with an economy rate of 4.97 runs/over. Alongside Smith and Taylor, he gives Gloucestershire the ability to keep a lid on things during the middle overs.
Gloucestershire squad: TBC
Warwickshire squad: TBC
Weather and Conditions
The forecast is for a warm but cloudy day, with the chance of the odd spot of rain.
With small boundaries, spectators can expect a high scoring game.
Date: 2nd August 2022
Odds (SkyBet): Gloucestershire 5/4; Warwickshire 4/7