Monday, May 25, 2009

The return of Twenty20

This week's fixtures:
Worcestershire (a)
New Road, 17:30

Glamorgan (a)
Sophia Gardens, 19:00

Somerset (a)
Taunton, 17:30

Gloucestershire get their Twenty20 campaign underway later today when they will travel to New Road to face Worcestershire.

Having played some excellent one-day cricket so far this season, the hope will be the 50-over success can be transferred into the 20-over arena, as progress in this competition could lead to a lucrative champions league invitation.

But many members will be settling for improvement on last year's debacle, where only one win was recorded. An improvement in weather wouldn't go a miss either, following the complete washout of both West Country derbies.

No better place to start the recovery than at New Road, which saw a disastrous bowling performance from Glos in last year's opening fixture, who, defending a competitive 168, were humbled by nine wickets as the captaincy and team morale looked very shaky.

The second game sees a trip across the Severn to face a Glamorgan side that reached the quarter-final stage last year, but on paper do not possess the most threatening of outfits and the Shire will be encouraged by their six-wicket win in the Friends Provident Trophy last summer. With rain forecast for the early part of the week, it will be an interesting test for the sophia gardens ground come 7pm Wednesday.

On Friday, the Shire will travel down to Taunton for a derby match against Somerset that is sure to produce another fabulous game of cricket. Having conceded a world record score in 2006 on their way to defeat by 117-runs, the 2007 meeting produced complete reversal in fortunes as Carl Greenidge's finest (only?) hour helped Glos to an eight wicket win.

A trip to Taunton is always highly anticipated by Gloucestershire supporters, and Friday will be a great chance to get one over our rivals in what is sure to be a great game of cricket.

With only 20-overs, required run-rates can escalate extremely quickly and chasing any score is a difficult task. Glos need to play to their strengths; get a score on the board and bowl and field like Gloucestershire teams have always done. There is no doubting we have a very capable squad, who will be full of confidence.

Early wins are needed to get the ball rolling - momentum played a part in the Friends Provident success and it can do also in this tournament. If points can be acquired sooner rather than later, it makes qualification that much easier; and qualification should be a more than realistic aim.

Richard Dawson and Gemaal Hussain have been included in the squad for Worcester. Alex Gidman has said that five bowlers will be picked - perhaps he was reading this blog? As the author has always called for our batsman to be backed to get the runs, and enough bowling should be picked to avoid an awkward fifth-bowler scenario.

And can someone please tell somebody to remove the poster on the Jessop's stand, advertising LAST YEAR'S T20 fixtures - quite embarrassing to say the least, and another example of the club's very lacklustre approach to marketing.

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