Monday, 18 May 2015

Four unbeaten teams in Div 2 head into Week 2 fixtures - full preview

Devon follow up their two wins from Week One (against Essex and Durham) with a home game against Wales and then a quick trip down the road to Taunton on Monday for the local derby with Somerset. Wales will be no pushover after a successful start to their campaign last week (also at the expense of Essex), but Devon will back themselves to come away with a win. However Monday's game against title-contenders Somerset will be a whole lot tougher. Somerset smashed Ireland in their only game of Week One. With hard-hitting South African opener Lizelle Lee in their midst, Somerset's bating line-up looks strong, and their bowling is not too shabby either as they bowled Ireland out for just 65. Devon need to convert their strength on paper to an overall team performance. This is their chance to prove themselves and if they do so they will be in the box seat for one of the two promotion places. It should be a cracker.

Unbeaten Staffs (they beat Scotland in Week One) are on the road to Durham on Sunday, who struggled for runs against Devon in their opening encounter of the season. Staffs will be looking for maximum points. They return home on Monday to meet Ireland, who had a topsy-turvy weekend in Week One, amassing 315/5 against Worcestershire, before being brought crashing down to earth the next day by Somerset. This is a must-win game for both these teams, who both harbour promotion ambitions. Staffs probably start as favourites to come out on top, but another good game is in prospect.

The day before Ireland will have been down in deepest Essex, where they should come out on top. Relegated Essex are finding life tough in Division 2 and Ireland can add to their woes if they beat them in their only game of the weekend. Essex's batting looks fragile, but then so did Ireland's against Somerset. It may be a case of who can hold their nerve?

Newly promoted Scotland pushed Staffs hard in their only game of Week One and will be looking to chalk up their first win in Div 2 against either Worcestershire or Durham. If they play their cards right they have the potential to win them both. Neither Worcestershire nor Durham have particularly strong bowling attacks and runs on the board against them puts more pressure on their batsmen. It will be tough for them both.

The final game of the weekend is Worcestershire's home game to Wales. This is likely to be a low-scoring affair that could go either way. It is a game that both teams will be targeting for a win. It may well be a question of who can grind out the victory.

Sunday 24th May
Devon v Wales at Sidmouth CC
Durham v Staffs at Durham City CC
Essex v Ireland at Felsted School
Worcs v Scotland at Barnt Green CC

Monday 25th May
Durham v Scotland at Durham City CC
Somerset v Devon at Taunton CC
Staffs v Ireland at Meakins
Worcs v Wales at Kidderminster Victoria CC


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