Depleted Middlesex look worth taking on in Blast
Streetwise Hampshire ready to storm Lord's
Middlesex v Hampshire
Sky Cricket, 6.15pm Thursday
Hampshire came up five runs short of victory against Kent in the T20 Blast but they can make amends against a depleted Middlesex side at Lord’s.
At the start of the summer, the home side had a mouth-watering batting line-up featuring Brendon McCullum, Dawid Malan and Eoin Morgan but McCullum played his final game of his county stint last Friday and Malan is away with England’s Test team.
Even with the big three in the side, Middlesex struggled to post competitive scores on a regular basis and they have won only three of eight completed games.
They were in trouble again at 136-6 at Hove last Friday before rain forced a premature end and Hampshire’s 11 is packed with international experience.
James Vince and Rilee Rossouw are a powerful opening pair with Australia’s George Bailey in the middle-order and Shahid Afridi and Mason Crane forming a dangerous spin attack.
Northamptonshire, like Hampshire, lost narrowly on Tuesday night but the Steelbacks can bounce back from an agonising two-run defeat to Birmingham Bears with a home win over Lancashire.
The battle for top-four places in the North Group is developing into a cracking spectacle, with only Worcestershire and Durham cut adrift, and Northants can’t afford many more slip-ups.
Their underrated seam attack bowled well against Birmingham and a batting line-up including Richard Levi, Adam Rossington, Ben Duckett and in-form captain Alex Wakely should be too strong for inconsistent Lancashire.
2pts 4-5 general
1pt 10-11 general