Vitality Blast 2023 – Wednesday 31st May Matches Tips, TV and Betting Preview

The Vitality Blast continues on Wednesday evening when three more matches take place across the two groups as we begin to reach the end of the first quarter of the regular season part of the domestic T20 competition.

We have a TV match to enjoy on Wednesday which is always good and if you have a bet on one of the other two matches then you can keep tabs on that via the live streams which the home counties provide. Even though it isn’t the first game to start, we’ll begin the preview with the live TV game.

Northamptonshire vs Birmingham Bears (18.30 – Sky Main Event & Sky Cricket)

The televised action on Wednesday comes from Wantage Road for the North Group clash between Northamptonshire and the Birmingham Bears with the visitors looking to maintain their perfect start and the hosts hoping to put a bad beginning to the competition behind them.

Northants do at least go into this match off the back of their only win in the tournament to date. That came at Derbyshire on Monday but Derby haven’t won a match yet so quite what they beat there remains to be seen. The Bears have played three and won the lot. They have demolished Yorkshire and Lancashire who both made finals day last season so already Birmingham are looking in good order whereas Northants are just getting their combinations in order and their white ball players up to speed. I think Birmingham will win this one but the odds are plenty short enough for this format of the game. The bet I like though is for Glenn Maxwell to cover his performance total of 38.5 points. He opened the bowling from one end against Lancashire and with two of the top three for Northants being lefties and the other a player notoriously bad against spin I expect the Australian to do that again here. Northants as a team are terrible batting against spin so Maxwell should have an influence with the ball throughout the innings. He almost certainly will when it comes to having the bat in his hand as well and so in what should be an all-round complete display from Maxwell, I think this point total looks way too low.

The other bet that I like in this match is for Saif Zaib to top score for Northamptonshire. He will bat four in this match and if there is a decent player of spin in his team it probably is him. He top scored against Derbyshire on Monday and when he gets going he can score at a real rate of knots. He has shown in the past that he can rebuild the innings as well which is probably why he has been given a spot right in the middle order. Zaib is the third highest scorer in total for Northants this season but looked good on Monday and at 13/2 feels overpriced to top score for a second successive occasion.

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Middlesex vs Glamorgan (16.30)

The first of the three matches to begin on Wednesday does so in Northwood where Middlesex have to take their T20 matches with Lord’s hosting the Test match this week. They play host to Glamorgan in a match both will be desperate to win.

Middlesex have played three matches and lost the lot and if we are being honest their bowlers haven’t turned up yet. The lowest score they have conceded is 172/2 and Hampshire had another 13 balls to bat had they not reached their target so unless that changes this is going to be a long campaign for a Middlesex side, who in truth haven’t exactly shown their intent for this competition with a lack of overseas imports. Glamorgan have a win and a loss from their two matches but I’m not sure how much to read into the loss as they were sent in after the rain at Taunton and just failed to finish their innings well. If I had to pick a winner here it would definitely be Glamorgan but this ground can be impossible to defend on a dry day and that puts me off getting involved.

Hampshire vs Surrey (19.00)

The pick of the matches on Wednesday evening comes from the Ageas Bowl where the defending champions Hampshire take on the pre-tournament favourites Surrey in a game which could define the South Group.

Hampshire were battered by Somerset in their opening match and then eased past Middlesex in their next one but that isn’t really much of a form guide so we might find out a lot more about the champions and their form here. Surrey cruised to victory in their opening two matches against Middlesex and Kent but then surprisingly slipped up against Sussex last time out so they have something to prove suddenly too. Even in the win over Kent they were going nowhere until a Sean Abbott blitz completely battered the Kent bowling but those blitzes don’t happen every day and without Jason Roy there is a light look to their batting which might keep Hampshire interested. I’m happy to leave this alone but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Hampshire win here.


Back G.Maxwell’s Performance – Over 38.5pts for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365

Back S.Zaib Top Northamptonshire Batter for a 1/10 stake at 7.50 with Betway

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