GLO vs NOR Dream11: It’s time for Vitality Blast quarter-finals and the third quarter is ready to host the central group table-toppers Gloucestershire and runners-up of the group Northamptonshire. Gloucestershire have surprised everybody with the quality of cricket they have played this season and have topped the group comfortably. They have had some outstanding performances so far in the season with top-order performing and contributing to the team’s success. Openers Miles Hammond and Chris Dent have often started well and the presence of Ian Cockbain at No. 3 have ensured that they don’t suffer if the openers fall cheaply as it was seen in the last game vs Somerset where Cockbain himself took the responsibility to take the team home. The last ball boundary to win the game in the last match shows they have responded equally well to the pressure.
On the other hand, Northants isn’t left much behind. The presence of Ireland superstar Paul Stirling at the top of the order gives them the advantage in the opening position. He scored a top class 80 in his first game for the Northants. The experience of his opening partner Richard Levi will come to the fore in such big games. Skipper Josh Cobb has produced some very important performances with the bat as well as with his off-spin. Wicketkeeper Adam Rossington has played some beautiful cameos too. With 193 needed to win in the last group match, Northants just edged Birmingham Bears for a quarter-final spot.
Fixture name: Gloucestershire vs Northamptonshire
Competition: English T20 Vitality Blast 2020
Date: 1 October 2020
Time: 6:30 PM IST
Ground: County Ground, Bristol
Brief score of last result at the venue: Gloucestershire 163/8 (20 overs) beat Somerset 161/7 by 2 wickets
Both the teams will be looking to play their full strength teams as no team has injury problems. So all the players in the squad are available for selection. Ian Cockbain has been outstanding – he was so destructive against Warwickshire on Sky, hitting it all over the ground. Their bowlers – David Payne, Tom Smith, Ryan Higgins – have taken wickets, done very good jobs. It is going to be an exciting game. We know how dangerous Northants can be, Paul Stirling especially. I played with him at Middlesex and know exactly what he can do. Momentum is a massive thing so the fact they lost four games in a row before winning their final group game may count against them but T20 is a funny game. A 2 pm local time match ensures that dew will not be a big factor in GLO vs NOR Dream11 team.
GLO Playing 11
James Bracey (wk)
Graeme van Buuren
Jack Taylor (C)
NOR Playing 11
Josh Cobb (C)
Adam Rossington (wk)
GLO vs NOR Dream11 Expert Picks
Ian Cockbain- Cockbain has been one of the most important players for Gloucs this season. He is fourth on the top run-getters list and has scored at an impressive average of 46 and a strike rate of 174. In the last group match, he single-handedly won the match for his team. Liverpool-born Ian Cockbain has proven himself as a handy middle-order batsman for Gloucestershire in all forms of the game since joining the club in December 2010. Although seen as more of a one-day player, John Bracewell, the coach who supervised his early development, spoke of his potential as captain if he could nail down a place in all three XIs. That honour came when he replaced Geriant Jones, who announced his retirement midway through the 2015 season, only for Cockbain immediately to fracture a wrist fending off a beamer in the nets, leaving Jones to undertake a change of heart in one-day cricket before he had even unpacked his kit bag.
Cockbain arrived in Bristol following three years as an MCC Young Cricketer. He secured a maiden first-class century, 127 against Middlesex at Uxbridge in 2011 and a match-winning 78 off 46 balls in just his second T20. But a year later he was out of the Championship side and only appearing in one-day cricket – where he made modest runs. 2014 brought three T20 half-centuries, a match-winning 98 not out in a 50-over victory at Worcester and a larger role in the four-day side – he played nine matches and made an unbeaten 151 – his third first-class ton – to secure a miraculous draw against Surrey at Bristol.
Chris Dent- Dent has been another successful top-order batsman for the Gloucs this season. With an average of nearly 35 and a strike rate of over 150, he has been one of the top openers in the tournament and the team will once again rely upon him for a fiery start. Bristol-born, Dent's professional career got underway in August 2009, when he signed for his home county and made his one-day debut before the season was out. He represented England Under-19s in the World Cup in New Zealand in January 2010, scoring 96 runs at 32.00 as England lost to West Indies in the quarter-final. That summer he made his first-class debut against Northamptonshire at Bristol. Dent took over the four-day captaincy in 2018 and marked it by becoming Gloucestershire's heaviest run-maker in the Championship, winning the county's Batsman of the Year award.
Tom Smith- Smith is the joint highest wicket-taker in the tournament so far. With an average of just 14 and an economy of under 6, the left-arm spinner has been another standout performer for Gloucs this season. Smith, a competitive and robust allrounder who has occasionally caught England's interest, burst onto the scene at the start of the 2006 season after a useful England Under-19 career with impressive performances in the Championship and C&G Trophy. He is a nagging seamer with the ability to bring the ball back into the right-handers and made a habit of bowling batsmen when they leave the ball. He has talent with the bat, too, and was used to open the batting during the 2010 season with some success although he remained inconsistent.
Paul Stirling-The Irish star can be trusted upon playing a big inning in GLO vs NOR Dream11 today match prediction. He started the season with a bang scoring 80 in the first game, although he hasn’t carried on from that knock. But he is expected to play a key role if his side has to reach the Finals day. His hitting ability can be trusted to play a crucial role in the quarters. Born in Belfast, Stirling made his ODI debut at the age of just 17. He played for Ireland in the World Twenty20 in England in 2009, and then signed a three-year contract with Middlesex in December 2009. The following year he gave further notice of his talent by thumping a 134-ball 177 for Ireland against Canada in Toronto – the highest ODI score made by an Irishman. While he struggled in the 2011 World Cup, he ended the tournament with 101 in Ireland's victory against the Netherlands, and a century in Ireland's ODI series against Pakistan in May 2011 had WaqarYounis purring. As his belligerent form in white-ball internationals continued, Stirling found himself forced to make an unexpected choice in 2019 on account of Ireland's ascent to Test status: either, he could continue to play for Ireland, but count as an overseas player in county cricket, or he could renew his Middlesex contract but forego his international career. He admitted he was “baffled”, but chose the former before signing a short-term deal to play for Northants as their second overseas player in the 2020 T20 Blast, despite being born in Belfast and holding a British passport.
Josh Cobb- The skipper has been impressive in the tournament so far and has produced some match-winning contributions apart from taking some excellent decisions in the field too. The skipper is expected to play a crucial role on Thursday too. Josh Cobb has built his reputation primarily as a dangerous T20 batsman and occasional offspinner. Never was that more apparent than in the 2016 NatWest Blast final when his audacious 80 took Northants to a final-over victory against Durham. A member of Leicestershire's winning team in 2011, Cobb top-edged Chris Rushworth to the keeper as he tried to win the match with a six. He also held a stunning one-handed catch at cover to dismiss Keaton Jennings, whose 88 had become the highest score in Finals Day history. Cobb is an aggressive top-order batsman and occasional offspinner who hit the headlines with a memorable man-of-the-match performance in the FLT20 Final in 2011. He bashed a 10-ball 18 with the bat and took four wickets to give Leicestershire an unlikely victory over Somerset.
Graeme White- White hasn’t been outstanding in the tournament but has had some good patches in between. With an economy of just over 7, he has been impressed with the ball in hand. The knock that he played in the last group game showed he can hit a long ball to good effect and can soak up the pressure. White's 2016 season was comfortably the best of his career. He only played five Championship matches, but included was a career-best 6 for 44 against Glamorgan at Wantage Road when he and Rob Keogh took all 20 wickets. He was a consistent performer, too, in the limited-overs formats, led by another high point, 6 for 37 in the Royal London Cup against Lancashire. It even persuaded England Lions to take a look at him on a tour of Sri Lanka only for his following season to be blighted by injury.
Richard Levi- The South African was once a T20 star and was one of the most expensive players in the IPL. But his career has dropped drastically in the last few years and he has gone out of the window. But his experience in this format can still prove to be dangerous for the opposition. When it’s his day, he can tear any bowling line-up apart. He can be looked upon to give the Northants a belligerent start at the top along with Paul Stirling.
Adam Rossington- The wicketkeeper-batsman has had an excellent tournament so far with the bat. Expected to bat in the top 4, he can prove to be a surprise package for the opposition team. He has played a few crucial cameos in the season so far and is expected to do so in this game too.
Ryan Higgins- Ryan Higgins rose to fame from the time he had been selected in the U-19 team. He was designated as one of the most talented U-19 stars in England. He has performed well in the limited opportunities with both the bat and also with his off-spin.
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