T20 format and situation

We’re just past the summer solstice and that means that in England the county season has shifted entirely to the group stage of the Friends Life T20. I have not been following it as closely as the championship, but the timing does make it substantially easier for me and I have kept an eye on it. The structure is much different this year with the effect that it is shorter. Instead of each team playing sixteen matches each team only plays ten and as a result they are all much more meaningful. There is a strong incentive to finish in the top two of the group and a fairly strong one to finish at the top and there is not a lot of room for error. It is early yet, but I think the ECB have hit upon a successful format. Which is why they are trying to change it for next year, of course.

The current table in the North Group sees the Red Rose in third following a disappointing loss away in the Roses match. Yorkshire actually top the table, but Lancashire are still very much in the hunt. They would actually qualify for the quarter-finals as one of the second best third place sides right now and have a match in hand against most of the other sides in the North Group. Of four matches left to play, two stand out: the home Roses clash against top of the table Yorkshire is the most obvious but there is also the trip to Trent Bridge to play second placed Notts. Winning both of those would give Lancs some leeway against Derbyshire and Durham. As I said above though: every match is important in this new tournament format and Lancs will be very keen to avoid another slip up against Derbyshire. Lancs could easily be two points better off and in a fairly comfortable position were it not for an early defeat to Derbyshire in a match they ought to have won comfortably and that could yet cost them.

I think that Lancashire have played very well so far in the T20. They had just hit a good run of form in the LV=CC before the break and their batting in particular has been incredible. Lancashire’s run rate in the competition so far is over 8.5 an over; that works out to 170 per innings. That will win most matches and so far it has done. A horror over by Mahmood cost them early though and they were outplayed by Yorkshire (and I so hate typing that, even in a T20). Those are the only two losses so far, however. I think we can win at least three of the remaining matches, though I am not sure how we will do against Notts. We have not yet played them and they look fairly good. All things considered then, I think Lancs will make it to the quarter-finals and although it’s a crapshoot from there we can have a go at improving on last year’s result.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s