Queensland vs Tamil Nadu
Prior to round 1 I suspected these two sides would be the ones to beat. Tamil Nadu have lived up to their billing, Queensland have done anything but. Queensland have to win here, or they'll very quickly find themselves in a relegation scrap. For the two time division one champions to find themselves in division 3, it'd be a real shock. Tamil Nadu after some a couple of rough years in the one day game, look set to rock back into division 1 for the first time since season 2. Andrew Cloete has the side on a roll. They are the favourites to win division 2 and they have every right to have that name.
The names Birch, Chandrasekhar and Cardew put concern on the mind of any bowler. It certainly more daunting than what Queensland have to offer when you consider the likes of Beasley, Bradshaw, and Maher. For mine hopes must lie with young Bradshaw. He's got to preform and if he can't, Queensland could face a repeat of the disaster against Warwickshire
Bowling wise Tamil Nadu have the better hand again. Weekes is backed up by Kumble and Pandit. They're a top unit and should be able to contain Queensland. Queensland will look to Salvi to bring them hope. If he can't preform, well, they're fielders will have some work to do...
Tamil Nadu Win
Western Australia vs Warwickshire
Western Australia are certainly the weakest team on paper in this division but perhaps there is hope. However they've lost Marsden for the season which is a massive blow. Warwickshire are looking like the side to challenge Tamil Nadu and have every reason to believe they'll be too hot for the Western Australians.
Rai Singh, I guess, will be the man Western Australia put their faith in. However its faith won be easy to go by. Whereas the Birmingham side can look to likes of Rowell, Howarth, Kripal Singh and Upton Wilmott. Certainly Warwickshire have the best batting lineup.
Bowling wise Warwickshire have got Mike Pascoe in raging form, picking up 14 wickets for 83 runs, figures I feel that are up their Weekes remarkable 8 wickets for 12. Anyhow Pascoe is backed up by top preformers Gregson and Nelson. Things wont be easy for West Australia. Perhaps if Caddick or Gillespie get going Western Australia might find some hope. But they can bowl only 20 overs between them, and their backup is not of the same class.
Colts vs Kent
Colts after some solid form in recent seasons must really fight if they want to return for another dig in division 3 in season 6. Season 5 is their 3rd season in this division. In all fairness their season has got to be about securing their division 2 status. With an easy win over Western Australia, they were beaten comfortably by Tamil Nadu and Warwickshire. Two big tests follow in the next two weeks with show downs against Kent this week and next week Queensland. If they can win these games, they'll be set in my opinion and should be able to build on it to stay out of the bottom two. Two defeats however will have them right amongst it in a real scrap. Kent have been quiet of late. After relegation from division 1 last season, they've yet to make any real impact this season recording only 1 victory. However I feel they've got the strength to rise above this and finish in the top 4 at worst.
Kent's boast a top top 3 with likes of Hemp, Jenkins and Stratton. But Colts have every chance of containing them though. It'll all depend on how they contain these 3 players. If Lee and Beasley can get them early then they'll be on their way and certainly in the game. If Hemp or Jenkins get going then Colts can start shitting themselves.
Colts batting lineup has for sometime been based the talent of Anderson. He is a great player and will hoping he can use that greatness this weekend. Madanagopal and Troughton are Anderson's main back up. If they can come to the party then Colts are in with a shout. It will be no easy party to come to though. Hawkins, Dyer and Stratton will be intent on stopping any runs coming from the Colts' bats. If they get a sniff, Colts might find they're invitation canceled (lol).
Tamil Nadu and Warwickshire has already opened up a 4 point lead on 4th. Everything suggests they'll form the top 2, the only question being who will finish 1st and gain automatic promotion to division 1? Last season the honours were shared 1-1, but Warwickshire with more convincing wins and slightly better form got home and took the title. Their clash in round 5 potentially could decide the title has neither side looks troubled at all. It hard to call, but if your going by stats Tamil Nadu might just scrap by a nose...
Kent look a good bet to finish 3rd. They finally got the ball rolling with a last round. They've got some excellent players, and this should see them finish a distant 3rd.
The relegation battle will be a 3 way affair. With still 7 games to go Queensland I'd give the best chance of escaping the bottom two. Sure they've lost all 3 games, and they;ve been pretty much smashed in those 3 games, I do think they've got a side which if it pulls together will pull them home. Colts will come in fifth. I get the feeling winning games is going to prove hard for them and come the conclusion of round ten they won have won enough. Western Australia seem to be on the slide. They don't seem as strong as past Western Australian sides. After opening with a win they've been manhandled twice. Division 3 awaits them for season 6, and division 4 is a certian possibility for season 7 that's right...
1. Tamil Nadu
6. Western Australia