Friday has arrived which means we have another full round of fixtures in the Vitality Blast with four matches in each group taking place on what should be a wonderful evening of cricket up and down the country.
The women’s ODI has the TV attention on Friday evening so once again we are left with the live streams, radio commentaries and other social media platforms to keep up to date with the action on a busy night of T20 cricket.
The first match to begin on Friday evening does so at New Road where the leaders Worcestershire take on a Northamptonshire side who are bottom of the table and looking for their first win of the campaign. Two sides with a win and a defeat from their two matches meet at Chester-le-Street when Durham take on Yorkshire while Derbyshire host Nottinghamshire. Birmingham Bears host Leicestershire in the other match of the night at Edgbaston.
Sussex have three wins from three matches and sit on top of the group and they host a Surrey team who should be full of confidence after their win over Essex on Thursday evening. Earlier in the night Kent in second place take on Hampshire who have lost both their matches thus far in a repeat of the Royal London One Day Cup final. Gloucestershire face Somerset at Bristol with the other match in the group seeing Essex and Glamorgan looking to bounce back from defeats last time out when they meet at Chelmsford.
Whenever there is a card like this there is a tendency to go ballistic on it but I’m actually going to be a little more selective. One reason for that is there are showers sweeping up the country on Friday which will need to be dodged but there are still two match bets I like.
Kent will certainly need no motivation to beat Hampshire after losing the Lord’s final to them a couple of weeks back but I’m not convinced they will need it. Hampshire have stunk the place out in their two matches to date with Kyle Abbott really struggling and the rest of the attack not doing much better. Gareth Berg took a blow in Hampshire’s defeat on Thursday night so he might not be fit here which would really weaken Hampshire. Since that final Rilee Rossouw has turned into a clubbie swinging at everything which makes no sense and there is no Dale Steyn. Hampshire are really missing Mason Crane too and coming to Beckenham barely 18 hours after finishing against Sussex is a tough gig. Kent lost last time out to Gloucestershire but with their batting line up as strong as it is and the qualities they have with the ball I expect them to win this one.
Glamorgan took a couple of heavy blows in the last week or so with the news that Shaun Marsh and Marchant de Lange are out of the competition but I still don’t think they should be 6/5 to see off Essex. In fairness, de Lange hasn’t played in the tournament yet while Marsh has only made 15 and 10 so their impacts haven’t been massive yet. Essex look a poor side in this format of the game to me. They look a batsman light anyway but when you factor in the poor form of Tom Westley and Dan Lawrence they are probably two or three light. Their bowling attack isn’t the best either and they are another side who won’t have got back until the early hours of the morning and then have to play the same evening. That isn’t easy so Glamorgan look the value to me especially given how well they played in this competition last season.
Side Markets Betting
I’ll raid the side markets with one bet too and that is on Colin Ingram to cover a moderate looking 40.5 performance line. He has an awesome T20 record at Chelmsford with his last three knocks there being 70, 101 and 114. If that isn’t enough then he is likely to bowl a number of overs in the match and Essex had no answer to Gareth Batty’s spin on Thursday evening.
On what is likely to be a dry wicket his leg spin should come into the equation and if that isn’t enough he captains the side so he should be fielding around the bat and in key positions where catches come. Throw all of that together and I expect this line to be obliterated once again.
WON – Back Kent to beat Hampshire for a 4/10 stake at 1.91 with Coral
WON – Back Glamorgan to beat Essex for a 4/10 stake at 2.20 with Ladbrokes
Back C.Ingram’s Performance – Over 40.5pts for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365