After the disappointment of losing the first Test against South Africa today, three of England’s batsmen are thrust back into county action tomorrow as Ravi Bopara, Alastair Cook and Matt Prior have all been made available by the ECB for Friends Life t20 quarter-final duty. After the rain ruined much of the group stage, the weather forecast for tomorrow is considerably better, with sunshine expected throughout at both Taunton and Hove, meaning temperatures could reach as high as 26 degrees Celsius.
1st FLt20 Quarter-Final (match starts at 1515 GMT)
Somerset v Essex at Taunton
There is no place for Nick Compton in the home side’s 13-man squad. They are spoilt for choice with the return of Marcus Trescothick and overseas players Albie Morkel and Richard Levi to their eleven. The in-form Craig Kieswetter is likely to open with Levi, with Trescothick dropping down to number three.
Somerset squad: Richard Levi, Craig Kieswetter (wicket-keeper), Marcus Trescothick (captain), Jos Buttler, James Hildreth, Albie Morkel, Peter Trego, Lewis Gregory, Alfonso Thomas, Max Waller, George Dockrell, Craig Meschede, Arul Suppiah.
The Eagles will pick from a near full strength squad as skipper James Foster returns after missing the Championship match against Hampshire for personal reasons, while the ECB have made the England pair of Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara available for selection. The only doubt is over Owais Shah, who will have a late fitness test on his calf injury.
Essex squad: Alastair Cook, Ravi Bopara, James Franklin, Mark Pettini, Ryan ten Doeschate, James Foster (captain, wicket-keeper), Greg Smith, Graham Napier, Tim Phillips, David Masters, Reece Topley, Owais Shah, Adam Wheater, Tymal Mills.
2nd FLt20 Quarter-Final (match starts at 1810 GMT)
Sussex v Gloucestershire at Hove
Matt Prior has been made available by the England hierarchy for the match against Gloucestershire. Before going away on Test duty, he was in excellent form for the Sharks in this year’s competition, hitting 81 off only 37 balls against Hampshire. New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris will also return to the starting eleven.
Possible Sussex XI: Chris Nash, Luke Wright, Matt Prior (wicket-keeper), Murray Goodwin, Scott Styris, Joe Gatting, Michael Yardy (captain), Will Beer, Amjad Khan, Chris Liddle, Michael Rippon.
The Gladiators will be without new overseas player Rob Nicol as the rules of the competition do not allow an overseas player who didn’t play in the group stage to play in the knockout stage, while they are also weakened by the continued absences of Will Gidman and Chris Dent through injury.
Gloucestershire squad: Hamish Marshall (captain), Benny Howell, Dan Housego, Alex Gidman, Ian Cockbain, Ed Young, James Fuller, Jonathan Batty (wicket-keeper), Ian Saxelby, David Payne, Muttiah Muralitharan, Jack Taylor, Liam Norwell.
© Cricket World 2012
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