Birmingham’s one-run victory against Northamptonshire on Wednesday made them the Kings in the North. Their consistent performances confirmed that they will surely be in the top 2, thus ensuring a home quarter-final. However, Worcestershire’s Net Run Rate is superior to Birmingham’s, which presents the following scenarios – Birmingham will slip to second place if they lose to 8th placed Yorkshire, which is unlikely as Birmingham have won their last five T20 matches against a young Yorkshire team and Worcestershire beat Lancashire. whereas, a No Result game will guarantee Birmingham a numero uno position. This will also be Brendon McCullum’s final match for Birmingham before international duty makes him unavailable.
Worcestershire are now sure of a top-two finish and also a home quarter-final when Northamptonshire fell short by a solitary run against table toppers Birmingham on Wednesday. Worcestershire can still finish at the top of the pack if Birmingham are beaten by Yorkshire and Worcestershire beat Lancashire on the basis of a superior net run rate as both teams will end up with the same points. A No Result will prevent Worcestershire finishing first despite what happens to Birmingham. New Zealand player Colin Munro has left to join Black Cap’s preparation for their tour to South Africa so Worcestershire will be forced to make a few changes.
If Northamptonshire win against Durham they will finish at the third position. However, if they lose to Durham and both Lancashire and Nottinghamshire manage to win against their opponents, they will end up fifth. If Northamptonshire win and only one of either Lancashire and Nottinghamshire win, they will finish fourth at the table. If both Lancashire and Nottinghamshire win, a No Result for Northamptonshire will mean that the Net Run Rate will decide the fate of Northamptonshire, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire.
Even if Lancashire beat Worcestershire, they will still not be guaranteed a place in the top four because if both Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire win by a big margin to move their Net Run Rate above Lancashire’s, Lancashire will move to fifth. However, if Lancashire win and one or both of Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire lose, Lancashire will move to the 4th spot. If all three, Northamptonshire, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire win, Lancashire will finish in the top four if they can keep their Net Run Rate above Nottinghamshire’s. A No Result against Worcestershire will guarantee them a fourth position if Nottinghamshire lose but if Nottinghamshire win, Lancashire will need Northamptonshire to lose for them to finish fourth.
If Nottinghamshire win against Leicestershire for what will be the fourth win in a row and one or both of Lancashire and Northamptonshire lose, Nottinghamshire will finish fourth. If Nottinghamshire, Lancashire and Northamptonshire win, then Nottinghamshire will have to pull up their Net Run Rate above Lancashire’s to end up fourth. If Nottinghamshire’s match is a No Result, then they qualify if Lancashire lose or if Northamptonshire lose and their Net Run Rate is lesser than Nottinghamshire’s .
Durham (6th), will play Northamptonshire and Leicestershire (7th) will play against Nottinghamshire, and will be missing Grant Elliot, the Irish duo of the O’Brien brothers and Rob Taylor who are on international duty whereas Nottinghamshire have named a full-strength squad .
Yorkshire (8th), playing Birmingham, are vying for places six to eight, while Derbyshire(9th), who have played their last match will finish last.
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