Vitality Blast 2023 – Friday 26th May Matches Tips and Betting Preview

The first Friday night of the Vitality Blast campaign sees a full slate of matches as the majority of the counties either begin their tournament or continue it under what should be blue skies and warm temperatures as the competition sparks further into life.

We have seen some up and down cricket so far in the event but with eight matches on offer on Friday, one of which is on TV with the other seven all available to view via the county live streams, we should get some decent action.

North Group

We have a full set of matches in the North Group with the action actually getting underway slightly earlier than usual with Worcestershire looking to build on their win over Northamptonshire when they host a Yorkshire side who need to be much better than they were against Birmingham in their opener. Birmingham will be out to build on that victory when they make the short trip to Grace Road to take on Leicestershire. Elsewhere, Northamptonshire go in search of a first win when they host a Durham side who get their campaign underway here while Nottinghamshire begin their quest for the title against Derbyshire who were beaten in their opening match.

South Group

The South Group is where the TV action comes from on Friday evening. Having seen Surrey on Thursday we get the chance to see them again when they play host to a Kent side, who like Surrey won their opening match of the season. Gloucestershire were well beaten by Kent in that opener and they play host to Glamorgan at Bristol while Hampshire will look to put their rancid display at Taunton behind them when they look for their first win against a winless Middlesex side. Sussex begin their campaign for the title when they host a Somerset team who looked pretty tasty in beating Hampshire on Wednesday night.

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TV Match Betting

I’ll go with a couple of bets for the TV match on Friday. The first of those comes in the form of the performance of Will Jacks where I’m not convinced a 38.5 line is going to be high enough. He covered that with the bat and the ball against Middlesex on Thursday night and while Kent aren’t as useless in this format of the game as Middlesex are they still don’t carry the threat with the bowling attack that other teams in this competition do. Jacks has looked in good touch since coming back from injury and he was in beautiful form in South Africa earlier in the year so there is every chance that he covers this line with the bat but if he is the spinner they all look to go after he could easily snaffle half of this total with the ball, leaving it a formality with the bat to cover.

The other bet I like is for Jordan Cox to be the top Kent batter in the game. This is his home ground in The Hundred so he should have worked out how to go well here and he is another who has been picking up the pace in white ball cricket over the winter. He top scored in a low run chase for Kent against Gloucestershire on Wednesday evening and top scored in this fixture on this ground a year ago. I think he is a very underrated batter who can give it the biff but can also knock it around and rebuild the innings and those players tend to go well. At 7/1 I’ll pay to see how well he goes.

Other Match Betting

There is only one other bet that I like on Friday evening although I have to admit I was tempted to take Worcestershire but David Wiese has arrived for Yorkshire which might make them a stronger force. He will need to though because they were not good in their opening match against Birmingham while Worcestershire looked a decent force against Northampton. The bet I like though is for Glamorgan to get the better of Gloucestershire.

I intimated in my outright preview for this tournament that Gloucestershire have lost some big players and their side in their tame defeat to Kent just looked weak on paper even allowing for the return of David Payne. Benny Howell and Ryan Higgins did such a good job of squeezing opposition in the second 10 overs while Glenn Phillips and Ian Cockbain were often the catalyst for a big score. None of them are around anymore and it showed. Glamorgan might not be the strongest team in the competition but they tick the first box of having a pair of overseas players, and useful ones too in Michael Neser and Colin Ingram, while Sam Northeast is a useful player at the top of the innings for the younger talents to bat around. The question will be whether Glamorgan have it with the ball to succeed but they are not up against a fearsome batting unit here by any means. The even money on an away win looks perfectly acceptable to me.


Back W.Jacks’ Performance – Over 38.5pts for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365

Back J.Cox Top Kent Batter for a 1/10 stake at 8.00 with Betfair

Back Glamorgan to beat Gloucestershire for a 3/10 stake at 2.00 with Coral

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