Leicestershire takes on Warwickshire in their NatWest T20 Blast 2015 game this Saturday as the fight for the top spot heats up. The Leicestershire v Warwickshire betting tips follow at the end of this preview.
Warwickshire won by eight runs. Rikki Clarke top-scored for Warwickshire while Mark Cosgrove was Leicestershire’s best batsman.
Both Leicestershire and Warwickshire will be playing a game apiece on Friday before squaring off in this encounter on Saturday. For now Warwickshire are the number one side in the North Group of the T20 Blast but things can change on Friday, especially given that both Leicestershire and Worcestershire are just two points behind the defending champions.
Interestingly, it was Leicestershire who had managed to break Warwickshire’s four-match winning streak earlier in the competition, when they chased down a target of 161 because of an Umar Akmal half-century. Mark Cosgrove and Niall O’Brien chipped in with quick 40s as well in that game, after James Sykes had picked up a spell of 1/22 from his four.
Since then, they have beaten Yorkshire and Lancashire to push up to 12 points from eight games and another couple of wins off their remaining six games is all that Warwickshire need to make the quarter-finals.
The presence of Brendon McCullum at the top of the order adds a lot of aggression to their batting, but the Kiwi captain needs to find some form quickly. Cameos are good at times but there have to be one or two longer ones too.
On the other hand, Leicestershire are coming off a thrilling encounter against Yorkshire that ended in a tie. It was a jail-break for Leicestershire as Yorkshire failed to score five from the last over and just one from one. Ben Raine finished with figures of 3/23 from his four overs including that superb final which cost him just four.
Can they maintain that same momentum?
Players to watch out for:
Grant Elliot (Leicestershire):
Leicestershire need a lot more from the Kiwi all-rounder with both, the bat and the ball. He has scored just 108 runs in five games at a strike-rate of 107 and picked up one wicket and conceded almost 10 an over. Elliot will be looking to change things around here.
Brendon McCullum (Warwickshire):
He’s just one game into the competition but the pressure is already on him to get a move on. For a batsman who has scores at a fair clip at the top of the order, what the Birmingham Bears will also want is for him to bat long into the innings. That’s not in his DNA and it will be interesting to see if he looks to alter that approach.
Leicestershire v Warwickshire head to head:
It’s 4-3 in favour of Warwickshire with the previous game played earlier in this season being won by Leicestershire as described above.
Leicestershire v Warwickshire betting tips:
Warwickshire to win: 4/6
McCullum to be Warwickshire’s top batsman: 3/1
Varun Chopra to be Leicestershire’s top batsman: 4/1
Match starts at 2.30 pm local time (1330 hours GMT) on July 4.