Vitality Blast 2023 – Friday 9th June Matches Tips and Betting Preview

The final night of the Vitality Blast before the break for a round of County Championship fixtures takes place on Friday evening when there is a full fixture list which could define the state of play in the competition when it returns in a week.

Eight matches take place over the course of the night with one of those being available to watch via the TV coverage and the other seven all on the live streams provided by the counties. The ECB YouTube page will also have a rolling highlights show showcasing the action as it happens.

North Group

The TV action comes from the North Group on Friday evening where the new leaders Nottinghamshire make the short trip down Brian Clough Way to rivals Derbyshire for what should be an entertaining contest to round off the first block of Blast matches. Nottinghamshire were the first to reach five wins in the group on Thursday night but still only four points separate them and second bottom Northamptonshire so the Outlaws need to keep winning. Worcestershire are the closest challengers to Nottinghamshire in the table and they head to Headingley to take on Yorkshire while the Birmingham Bears, third beginning the evening, host a Northamptonshire side who need to get winning over the second part of the campaign. The other match in the North Group comes from Grace Road where Durham look to put their loss at Trent Bridge on Thursday evening behind them when they face a Leicestershire side who with just one win in their seven matches are drinking in the last chance saloon already.

South Group

Somerset lead the way in a much less congested South Group table and they make the short trip to Bristol on Friday evening looking to put defeat at the Ageas Bowl on Wednesday evening behind them when they take on a mid-table Gloucestershire side. Surrey have moved their way up to second spot in the standings and they are in action on Friday too. They will go to Hove to take on a Sussex side who might be buoyed by their win at Lord’s on Thursday which effectively kept their hopes alive. The defending champions Hampshire have won their last five matches and will endeavour to make it six on the spin when they go to Canterbury to take on a Kent side who will be hoping to avoid losing six on the trot. The other match of the evening comes from Cardiff where we have a big match as fourth placed Glamorgan play host to fifth placed Essex.

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TV Match Betting

I’m expecting a high scoring match when Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire meet and I suspect the bulk of the scoring might come from Nottinghamshire and as such their 22.5 team boundaries line doesn’t look overly high to me. They have just come off a match against a better Durham bowling unit than the one they face here for 24 boundaries and that was with Joe Clarke out second ball. He doesn’t fail at this level very often so that is encouraging for some Nottinghamshire boundaries. Alex Hales only made 39 in that game so he wasn’t at his flourishing and devastating best either.

In the reverse meeting between these two at Trent Bridge, Nottinghamshire smashed 28 boundaries against this attack in just 17 overs and it is the Derbyshire attack which might well be the issue here. That attack hasn’t changed since that evening at Trent Bridge, with the possible exception of maybe Luis Reece or even Wayne Madsen turning their arm over for an over or so. Four times in their seven matches this term Derbyshire have gone for more than 180 and they went for 170 in another so this attack is not economical and against a Nottinghamshire batting unit which keeps on coming big I fancy the visitors to smack 23 boundaries.

Other Match Betting

We are at that time of the season where the Test pitches are getting prepared and as we saw at Lord’s on Thursday evening that means short boundaries on one side of the playing arena and that will be the case at Edgbaston where the Birmingham Bears take on Northamptonshire. To be fair, T20 matches at Edgbaston are often played away from the middle of the square so this is nothing new but we are guaranteed that given that The Ashes begins on this ground in one week and the Test pitch will be much nearer the middle of the square. That makes me like the idea of the boundaries to flow and I’m not certain a 42.5 line is high enough here. There have been five matches at Edgbaston this season with three of the five first innings being 200 or more and one of those was chased down. The boundary count has been 45, 44, 20 in a weird match between Lancashire and Birmingham where 98 was the first innings score, 53 and 51. The reverse meeting between these two had 51 boundaries in it with no Moeen Ali, Glenn Maxwell out first ball and Chris Lynn out for seven. Since then Northants have hit 25 boundaries against Leicestershire, 28 at Leicestershire and 17 on a big Durham outfield. The boundary line looks too low to me in this one.

The other bet I like is for Essex to beat Glamorgan. I’m a little surprised that there are a number of bookmakers which can’t separate these two sides. I accept that the league table can’t either but Glamorgan have just come off the boil in their last couple of matches and their bowling has been a concern all season. With that in mind, the loss of Dan Douthwaite to injury is a blow both as a bowling option but also a hitter down the order. With Eddie Byrom also out at the top of the order the batting resources are getting a little thin for the Welsh side which isn’t ideal with their bowlers have conceded scores of 161/9 on a dog of a Bristol pitch, 154/6 in 14.5 overs against Somerset, 209/5 against Middlesex, albeit on a smallish outground, 189/6 against Kent, 187/8 against Sussex and 236/2 here against Surrey. Essex are without two key batters for this one too in Adam Rossington and Dan Lawrence but the latter has a top score of just 22 in the four matches he has played and has been out for a duck in his last two games while Rossington was out for single figures in three of his five matches and has a top score of 35. Where this match might be won and lost is with the ball for Essex. Sam Cook bowled brilliantly at Kent on Wednesday evening while Daniel Sams, Shane Snater and in particular Simon Harmer can all be hard to score off. Contrast that with Glamorgan for whom only one of their bowlers are going at under 9.50 an over this season and the Essex price looks bigger than it should be.


Back Nottinghamshire – Over 22.5 boundaries for a 3/10 stake at 1.91 with William Hill

Back them here:

Back Birmingham Bears vs Northamptonshire – Over 42.5 boundaries for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365

Back Essex to beat Glamorgan for a 3/10 stake at 1.95 with BetVictor

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