Surrey Lions v Glamorgan Dragons – Natwest T20 Blast
The Kia Oval hosts Surrey‘s second match of the 2016 Natwest T20 Blast as Glamorgan get their campaign underway in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Thursday night. Both these sides beat each other away from home in 2015, but failed to qualify for the quarter-finals. Surrey only won 5 matches last year, but will feel hard done by given 3/14 matches were no-results. Glamorgan won 7 and lost 7 – just missing out on a quarter-final place to Essex. Surrey won their opening fixture last week by 8 runs, impressively defending 170 after being reduced to 80/6 batting first.
London should be bathed in late evening sunshine for this floodlit T20 fixture. Temperatures should be in the late teens with a slim 10% chance of showers.
The Oval is consistently one of the best batting tracks on the county circuit. Glamorgan racked up 240/3 in last years T20 fixture on this ground, but even that mammoth score nearly wasn’t enough. Surrey fell just short, being bowled out for 215 in the chase.
Last years scores at The Oval in the T20 Blast (most recent first) – 208, 105, 154, 231, 169, 240 – Average 185
Surrey batted first in 4 matches in 2015 – 208, 146, 169, 205 – Average 182
Glamorgan batted first in 9 matches in 2015 – 179, 164, 181, 170, 115, 191, 169, 144, 240 – Average 172
Gareth Batty leads a Surrey T20 side full of talent, both young and old. Jason Roy (below) opens the batting alongside ex-England wicket keeper Steve Davies. Davies has a career T20 SR of 141 and an average over 23. Kuma Sangakkara returns for another stint after retiring from international cricket. He scored 332 runs in 9 matches last year and made a brisk 32 last week in the win versus Essex. The young Curran brothers, Sam (17) and Tom (21) are two of County crickets biggest prospects. Sam Curran has 9 wickets in his first 8 career T20 matches whilst elder brother Tom has 29 in 23 (at an average of 22.7) Azhar Mahmood might be 41 years of age but his return of 42 off 22 balls with the bat and 4-38 with the ball suggests he could be a huge player for Surrey this year.
Glamorgan are led by South African Kolpak star batsman, Jacques Rudolph. The left handed opener who played 48 times in Tests for his country averaged 41.9 in last years T20 campaign, including a century and 3 scores of 50+. Chris Cooke averaged 29 last year with a SR of 138 and former Somerset all-rounder Craig Meschede adds balance to the lower middle order. He scored 175 runs and took 8 wickets in 2015. Graham Wagg (below) is the star performer with bat and ball whilst the bowling attack will be led by Dutchman Timm van der Gugten. He has 42 wickets in 37 T20I’s for the associate nation. Australian quick Shaun Tait will join for the second half of this years competition whilst South African legend Dale Steyn will add class and quality to both Glamorgan and the T20 Blast itself once his IPL stint with Gujarat Lions ends in the next week.
Jason Roy has well and truly inked his name into England’s top order in both 20 and 50 over cricket for the foreseeable future. The Surrey opener scored 273 runs in last years competition at an average of 30.3 and a SR of 150. Last year he made a highest score of 122* against Somerset which led to his selection for the England one day squads. A century already clocked up in 50 over ODI cricket, Roy scored 78 in the World T20 semi-final win versus New Zealand.
Domestic cricket all-rounders don’t come much better than Graham Wagg. The left handed seamer took 13 wickets last year with a best return of 4/27. An economy rate of over 9 an over was expensive, but for a man that bowls at the beginning and end of an innings, not entirely unexpected. Perhaps just as important was Wagg’s consistency with the bat – 209 runs in 11 innings saw him sit second behind his skipper in Glamorgan‘s 2015 leading T20 run grabbers.
If Surrey bat first I recommend taking any OVER RUNS markets around the 174-177 mark.
If Glamorgan bat first I recommend taking any OVER RUNS markets around the 162-165 mark.
Top Batsman Market
As of Tuesday AM no prices are up for this market yet due to both sides playing County Championship matches until Wednesday.
My recommendation is to not back anyone that bats outside the top three for either sides leading run scorer. I expect runs to be plentiful and scored by top order batsmen.
Eastbridge now fully licensed in the UK!