The second semi-final of the Vitality Blast is an all-South Group affair as Sussex take on Somerset at Edgbaston for the right to face either Worcestershire or Lancashire in the final on Saturday evening.
These two both look stacked with quality and both have been to the big day before so we should be set up for a cracking contest on a stage which seems to get better every year. Both teams will be fancying their chances in this one.
When the competition began many people looked at the Sussex bowling attack and immediately pencilled them in to appear on the big day and they have not disappointed in that regard. Ironically there have been times where this gun bowling attack has gone around the park but heading to finals day they look strong in the bowling department even without Rashid Khan.
The concern for the Hove outfit, as it has been throughout the competition, is with the bat where there is no hiding the fact they look extremely light. If the top four do not do damage although there is a lot of bits and pieces players in the side in the batting department the big scores needed at Edgbaston will be hard to come by.
The best side in this competition this season have been Somerset. We’ve seen plenty of times in the past that what went before can count for nothing on the big day but if Somerset were in need of a confidence lift after a tough week in the Championship then that can provide them with it. A win over Sussex earlier in the competition should not be discounted either.
Somerset might not have stocked themselves up with the huge name signings but what they have got is a very consistent side which hasn’t changed much throughout the tournament and each man knows their role which can often be half the job. Somerset look pretty equipped for the job in all departments it has to be said.
Sussex do not have Rashid Khan for finals day but Tom Bruce has stayed around. Tymal Mills has been passed fit to feature although it will be interesting to see if he can do two matches in a day if he needs to given his injury records.
Somerset seem to have everyone available that has been key to them in the competition so they are likely to go in with an unchanged side from the one that took Nottinghamshire apart in the quarter final. Johann Myburgh brings his career to a close on the biggest of stages.
Bookmakers have this as a pick ‘em match and I can understand why but I would have Somerset as slight favourites here given their overall strength with the bat and the fact they have a decent bowling attack themselves. Somerset have played great cricket throughout the season and if they lose a few wickets up top you can still see them putting up a score. That is not the case with Sussex so for all their bowling mite this light looking Sussex batting line up has to be taken on in my eyes.
The total runs line for this match is 349.5 which means we need a match of 175 apiece or one side to go way beyond that but I’m not sure we are going to get that. Although the wicket will play well to begin with it will start to turn as the day goes on and bowlers in this second semi will have watched the first one and will know what deliveries will work and which ones won’t. Both sides have good bowling attacks and with scoreboard pressure being key both sides scoring 175 feels unlikely. I’ll take the under here.
All season long we’ve seen big cameos down the order come to the fore for their sides and Lewis Gregory has produced a couple of them this season not least in the quarter final. There are one or two in this line up he could move above in the hunt for quick runs and at 12/1 he looks a decent price to top score. He has been in sensational form in limited overs cricket this season and the stage looks set for the Somerset captain to deliver another blitz.
Back Somerset to beat Sussex for a 4/10 stake at 1.91 with Coral
Back Under 349.5 runs for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Karamba
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Back L.Gregory Top Somerset Batsman for a 1/10 stake at 13.00 with Betfair
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