Somerset v Surrey Preview
Both Surrey and Somerset come into this crucial game of the Royal London One-Day Cup 2019 with an underwhelming show in their past few matches. While Surrey has lost all its last four games, Somerset has managed only one victory in their previous four games.
Both the teams are stranded at 8 points on the league table, with Somerset having the better run-rate of 0.499 compared to Surrey’s 0.038. A victory is of paramount importance to both the teams if they wish to keep any hopes alive of progressing to the knock out stage. It is only Somerset, though, who has any realistic chance of making it if they win by a significant margin.
Interestingly, in the past five encounters between these two teams in the tournament, Somerset has emerged victorious on four occasions. Tom Abell’s Somerset has the edge and are clear favorites for this crucial match-up, and captain Rory Burns of Surrey has his task cut out.
Somerset has the edge
Somerset’s performance in the Royal London One-Day Cup 2019 has been below par, and another loss here would make it almost impossible for them to move forward. Their batting has been inconsistent with only Azhar Ali – 303 runs in 7 matches – and James Hildreth – 256 runs in 7 games – being the standout performers. Captain Tom Abell has underperformed this season, and Somerset would bank on the likes of Ali, Hidreth and Peter Trego to do the bulk of the scoring.
Somerset’s bowling attack has been too pedestrian this season and even conceded 364-6 against Middlesex in one of the league games. Barring seamer Craig Overton – 14 wickets in 7 matches – the others like Josh Davey, Lewis Gregory and Tim Groenewald would need to pull their socks up.
Despite their average show this season, Somerset has still been better than Surrey who have now lost four matches on the trot and are short of confidence. Surrey has been poorly hampered this season with the unavailability of some key players in their ranks like Jason Roy, Tom Curran and Liam Plunkett who are on England duty while Sam Curran was playing for Kings XI Punjab in at the Indian Premier League. Injuries to Rikki Clarke, Ollie Pope, Jade Dernbach and Scott Borthwick have further dented their cause.
And now their highest scorer of this season, Ben Foakes (282 runs in 6 matches), has also joined the England squad for the series against Pakistan, which has made things worse.
Surrey would rely on the likes of captain Rory Burns, Dean Elgar and Mark Stoneman in the batting department. Morne Morkel – 13 wickets in 6 matches – has almost single-handedly carried the burden of Surrey’s bowling this year and Burns would hope that the lanky South African seamer would produce some magic against Somerset.
This is a perfect clash of the under-performers with both teams struggling with confidence and form. From the looks of it, though, it would require something special for Surrey to upstage Somerset in this game.
Pitch conditions and Match prediction
The County Ground in Taunton has been a high-scoring venue with the pitch assisting batsmen. The average 1st inning score this year has been about 330 and any target in that range can be chased down.
Earlier in the group stages, Somerset posted totals of 358-9 vs Kent and 353-5 vs Essex. So we can expect another high-scoring encounter if the weather is sunny and Somerset should easily dominate this game unless Surrey puts up a surprise.
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