The Vitality Blast continues on Monday when there are four matches taking place up and down the country. The end of the group phase is in site now so the points are crucial for those who are battling it out for a place in the knockout stages.
With no international cricket on Monday we have a televised offering in the evening and although only one of the four matches are live on Sky, the other three are on what are pretty decent live streams so we can keep up to date with all of them.
There is only one match in the North Group but it is where the televised action comes from. It is a pretty big match as well as Yorkshire host Lancashire in the first of two Roses battles this week. The reason why this is big is Nottinghamshire look to have flown the nest in this group so there is a big battle going on for second place. Whoever wins here will go into that position and be in control of their destiny with just the three matches left for each side.
We have a full set of matches in the South Group on Monday and there are some big games here too as we head towards the conclusion of the group. Two of the matches take place in the afternoon and they see the leaders Sussex looking to pull clear when they host bottom of the pile Essex whose title defence has been an absolute disaster. Kent are in third but only a point behind Sussex. They go to Hampshire who are playing the role of spoilers from here on in. The evening match in this group sees Middlesex hosting Surrey in a huge second London derby of the campaign, one which both will need to win if Sussex and Kent have already done the business.
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TV Match Betting
When thinking about how I expect this match to go I didn’t think there was a whole lot between these two teams but the absence of Keaton Jennings for Lancashire gives Yorkshire enough of an edge for me to take them to win this match. Jennings is the leading scorer for Lancashire this season so he is going to be a big loss for them even though he doesn’t open now that Liam Livingstone is back. Both these bowling attacks have been expensive this season but Lancashire don’t bat the deepest which makes the absence of Jennings even worse. Yorkshire bat deep and could have the world’s best T20 batsman back in Dawid Malan. They have plenty of bowling options and as long as they don’t crumble in a heap to Matt Parkinson, I expect the White Rose county to take the early bragging rights between the two this week.
The other bet I like in this match in light of the Jennings absence is for Dane Vilas to top score for Lancashire. He’s likely to go up to bat at four unless Lancashire stick a pinch hitter in and if he is in early he has the ability to rebuild and innings and if he has the platform to give it a bit of slap and tickle he can do that innings as well. Alex Davies will be the only Lancashire batsman playing in this match that has more than 100 runs in the competition so if he fails the top score should be there for someone to take. The Lancashire skipper looks a big price at 13/2.
Other Match Betting
There is just the one bet away from the TV cameras that I like and that comes from the London derby in the evening between Middlesex and Surrey. I took Surrey when these two met in the reverse fixture and while they weren’t as convincing as I would have liked them to be they got the job done and I’m happy to take them here too. Middlesex look overrated to me. Their batting revolves too much around their openers and the only wins they have picked up have come against Hampshire and Essex, two sides who are cut adrift at the bottom.
To be fair to Middlesex they look ok with the ball but there is no getting away from how light their young batting line up looks. Surrey won the reverse game and have Rikki Clarke back now which is only going to give them more batting depth and an experienced bowling option. That means Surrey bat deep and have plenty of options with the ball to utilise depending on the conditions. There is no doubt in my mind that Surrey are the better team of these two and I’ll take them to show that again.
Back Yorkshire to beat Lancashire for a 3/10 stake at 1.91 with William Hill
WON – Back Surrey to beat Middlesex for a 3/10 stake at 1.91 with William Hill
Back them here:
WON – Back D.Vilas Top Lancashire Batsman for a 1/10 stake at 8.00 with Betfred