The Metro Bank One Day Cup continues on Monday and it does so with just the one game which comes from Edgbaston where two unbeaten sides meet in Group B when Warwickshire play host to Gloucestershire.
These two sides have played three matches between them in this competition so far this season and they have won the lot of them so someone is going to lose their unbeaten record in this match, something neither will want to do. With The Hundred getting the TV action it is the live stream which is needed to keep up to date with this one.
I suspect that Warwickshire went into this competition with no shortage of motivation to deliver the goods in it. I say that because they absolutely dominated the North Group in the Vitality Blast but then came up with their worst performance in the quarter final and failed to make finals day, which would mean more to them than any other county because it comes on their home ground. Even though they have lost plenty of players to The Hundred, that motivation should remain.
While Warwickshire have lost players to The Hundred, they have a couple of big players back as they didn’t get deals in the competition this year so they don’t look anything like as weak as they did at times in this tournament in 2022. Their batting was always going to have some quality in it with the likes of Rob Yates and Michael Burgess not on the radar of Hundred teams and with a competitive bowling attack still in place this should be a good competition for them.
I think on the flip side of that, Gloucestershire could have been forgiven for wondering if this was just a season to forget. They should be much higher in the Championship having just been relegated from Division One last season and their Vitality Blast competition was an absolute mess. On one hand that could motivate them to give this tournament everything knowing it is all they have to play for but equally it could just have been that they are not good enough.
They are showing in this tournament that they are good enough. Whether that is because it is all they have to play for or not only they will know but opening wins against Derbyshire and Northamptonshire have a county who have a rich record in 50 over cricket in the past looking good to go well in this tournament. Gloucestershire have surprised me with the bat in this competition but they have been more than creditable with the ball too, which isn’t as much of a surprise.
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Danny Briggs has been one of the best limited overs bowlers in England for a number of years and he has been released from The Hundred for this game having failed to get into the Oval Invincibles team so far so he’ll be motivated to perform well.
Graeme van Buuren led by example in the win over Northamptonshire last time out and if he is in that sort of form here it would give Gloucestershire a chance of running Warwickshire close at the very least.
I was surprised when I saw the odds for this match as saw that we could get 4/5 on a Warwickshire win. Gloucestershire have been excellent in this competition so far but in Derbyshire and Northamptonshire you do have to question what they have beaten. Warwickshire beat the Vitality Blast champions Somerset in their only match and while that is a weakened Somerset side, it is one which won on Sunday so isn’t terrible.
When you add in the release of Danny Briggs, there are four prongs to a Warwickshire attack on show here which has been more than competitive in the Vitality Blast and in this competition in particular that should hold a lot of sway, particularly when you think that they are up against Gloucestershire who made a mess of the T20 and who have nothing like as good an attack out here. I think this is the toughest test Gloucestershire have had in this tournament and it is one I don’t think they’ll get the better of.
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