Cricket

YB40 weekend preview

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With some perfectly poised groups, the YB40 competition could be the ideal remedy for counties suffering Twenty20 hangovers, following the week's quarter-finals. 

And this Sunday there are some crucial fixtures, as games run out for sides to book their places in the semis. With only four teams progressing from this stage, must win games are certainly on the horizon. 

Durham, who are on a high as they host their maiden Ashes Test, are also in fine form in this format of the game. They currently sit top of group B by 0.75 points - due to a 0.25 point-penalty emplaced for breaching the salary cap.

However, Hampshire have a game in hand, so the North East side will not want to drop any unnecessary points - and rely on being the best second-place side - between now and the end of this month.

Their first hurdle comes in the form of the neighbours from over the border. Paul Collingwood and his side travel to Glasgow tomorrow, knowing that Scotland are bottom of the group, and have yet to win a game in the YB40 this year.

The former England one-day captain has been an ever-present in this competition, and is averaging 37 with the bat. He will be key to his side ensuring an expected victory.

Meanwhile teammates Ben Stokes and Phil Mustard have also been involved in every game and will be crucial. The pair are both averaging over 40, and scoring at more than a run a ball.

Somerset find themselves in a similar position in group C. They are top only thanks to their net run rate, with Gloucestershire also having a game in hand on their West country rivals.

And the impending fixture between these teams could be decisive in determining the fate of their respective seasons.

But the Sabres suffered a setback on Monday when Surrey prevented them booking a place at Finals Day. Jos Buttler only made 3 at the Oval, so he will want to make amends at Taunton.

The wicketkeeper has a strike rate of 186 in the 40-over competition. At a time when teams are scoring at increasing run rates, his ability could be telling.

Whilst Marcus Trescothick has the ability to build a good foundation for a big total at the top of the order. 

Surrey captain Gareth Batty has handed a two-match suspension for his involvement in an altercation with Peter Trego on Monday. This means that he won't be able to lead his team on Finals Day.

And due to the fact that Surrey have played more than most, it seems unlikely that he will be granted the compensation of a YB40 final instead this season. Surrey are 2.75 points behind the group leaders, but have played a match more.

Nevertheless, Batty's side are likely to once again have a large home support at the Oval for the visit of Derbyshire. 

Surrey will also be without England bowler Jade Dernbach following his heroics in ensuring his county reached the last four of the domestic T20 competition.

With the culmination of the group stages on the August Bank Holiday, counties are now on the home stretch of their one-day circuit for 2013.

 

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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