Tomorrow night sees the visit of Middlesex to the Oval, in the fixture at Lord's we totally battered them, but I don't see that being repeated. Middlesex have the pugnacious David Warner at the top of the order who can destroy county attacks even on an average day, but more of that tomorrow.
We currently lie in fifth place having lost two out of the last three T20 fixtures, one away defeat and one home defeat, sandwiching the win over Somerset. Sussex are more or less nailed on to qualify, and Essex and Somerset, each with a game in hand over us and Hampshire. Middlesex, who also have a game in hand over us, and Glamorgan lie two points behind and also have worse net run rates than us. So, what are our chances?
We have four games left, the home game with the 'Sex tomorrow night, then three away games at Glamorgan, Sussex and Gloucester. That isn't an easy run in. Two of the teams right around us, then the division pace setters, and then finish with the bottom of the table Gloucestershire. We've beaten Middlesex before, we should've beaten Glamorgan on Sunday and we're a different side to the one that got trounced by Gloucestershire early on. Hampshire play Middlesex twice and then either side of that they go away to Somerset and face Sussex at home, pretty similar to our set of games.
Glamorgan might feel they're in the box seats, especially if they can get a result against us on Friday. After that they face Kent twice who have been in poor form and they also have Somerset at home to play. Apart from the games I've already mentioned Middlesex have Gloucester at home and Essex away, they've got a good chance with the game in hand, but they will probably feel a win against us tomorrow is essential.
We can beat Middlesex, Glamorgan and Gloucester, I don't fancy our chances against Sussex, but three out of four might just do it. We can't afford to have Hampshire beat Middlesex twice, but we can't really afford to have Middlesex beat Hampshire twice either, so we'll have to settle for a win apiece there. That means we'd have to hope Hampshire lose against at least one of Sussex and Somerset to be sure of qualifying, our net run rate is substantially inferior to Hampshire's so we'd probably miss out if we were level on points.
Of course that all relies on Middlesex and Glamorgan results going our way too! Because we're not in fourth as it stands, the situation is out of our hands to a degree, any hope of qualification will rest with other results one way or another. All RHB and his troops can do is go out there and be at their fighting, classy best - something they have shown on six occasions already in this competition, just need three more big performances boys (not asking much is it?!), come on the 'Rey!
Ravi Ashwin’s Season
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