The penultimate day of the Vitality Blast prior to the break for the return of the County Championship sees two matches being played across the two groups of the competition on Thursday evening.
There might only be two matches but one of them is live on the TV for us to enjoy once the play has concluded in the World Test Championship final. There will be a live stream on offer for those who want to keep up with the other game too.
Middlesex vs Sussex (18.15 – Sky Main Event & Sky Cricket)
The televised offering comes from Lord’s where the two worst teams in the South Group collide as Middlesex take on Sussex in a battle between sides who have one win in 13 matches between them in the competition thus far.
Middlesex have lost all seven matches that they have played this term and already their hopes of progressing are gone so they are now playing to spoil some parties. With just one win in six the Sussex party is more like a wake than a celebration but they can at least give themselves some hope if they can come out on top in this contest. Sussex have lost their last four matches in the competition but if there is a positive for them it is that they won’t need to have searched too deep to see where they are going wrong. In three of those outings they have failed to score 150 and in this tournament you are a sitting duck if you can’t put big runs on the board, especially given their home matches are at Hove which isn’t the biggest ground in the world. These two teams aren’t to be trusted but one player who might be able to be is Max Holden. He is the leading run scorer for Middlesex this season and has the highest strike rate as well and he might well meet the ideal bowling unit for him to fill his boots against. Nobody in this Sussex attack with the exception of Mills, who might not even play given that Sussex play Thursday and Friday this week, is much cop so there is no reason why Holden, who will walk out at four, can’t top score at a more than fair 9/2.
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Nottinghamshire vs Durham (18.30)
The North Group offering on Thursday evening sees Nottinghamshire playing host to the leaders Durham in what is actually a key contest for the home side, who have been nothing like as dominant as we have been accustomed to seeing from them this season.
Nottinghamshire are usually bankers for a quarter final spot in this section but they have four wins and three losses from their seven matches and sit sixth in the table heading into this contest. They could really do with a victory here but the table is so tight that Durham could drop down to third were they to lose this one by a heavy margin. I’m expecting a high scoring game here. All the matches at Trent Bridge bar the last one have been high scoring and these two batting units are in decent form but all the bookmaker lines reflect that. There is a part of me which thinks Durham might be value but I’m not convinced there is much between probably seven of the teams in this group so I think the best thing to do overall is leave the game alone.
Back M.Holden Top Middlesex Batter for a 2/10 stake at 5.50 with BetVictor