Meet Sussex Sharks' next Vitality Blast opponents: Middlesex
As Sussex gear up to face Middlesex tomorrow (17 August) we take a look at the Sharks' next opponents.
T20 Record: Winners 2008
Last Season: Seventh
Captain: Dawid Malan
Overseas Players: Ashton Agar (Australia), Dwayne Bravo (West Indies)
Big Hitter: Few batsmen strike the ball with as much raw power as Paul Stirling and the Irishman’s explosive potential at the top of the order will be crucial to Middlesex’s prospects.
Stirling proved in the Royal London Cup that he has added greater discipline to his natural ability and now looks capable of batting deeper into an innings.
While his main brief is to inflict damage in the powerplay, the longer Stirling can occupy the crease the better his side’s chances of putting a challenging total on the board.
Key Bowler: Middlesex’s overseas recruits for the Blast have been a mixed bag over the years, but the signing of Dwayne Bravo for the first half of the tournament looks an inspired move.
The former West Indies star brings a wealth of white-ball experience and his ability to mix it up with the ball will sprinkle Middlesex’s attack with a little more variety.
Effective bowling at the death is an area where the Lord’s side have frequently been found out in the past – but Bravo should be able to remedy that.
Wild Card: Leg-spinners can be worth their weight in gold in this format and, in the shape of Nathan Sowter, Middlesex possess one who might make a real difference.
The Australian-born leggie burst onto scene with figures of 2-2 on his T20 debut three years ago and has since established himself as a key wicket-taking bowler.
Having also improved with the bat, Sowter is not afraid to attempt unorthodox but effective shots, which could bring Middlesex valuable runs in the closing stages of their innings.