The Vitality Blast continues on Wednesday evening when five matches take place across the two groups as we head towards the first break in the group stage of the competition at the end of the week.
That means all the teams in action will be eager to come out with a win. We get to see a TV match after the World Test Championship play has finished and then the other four games can all be viewed via the county websites.
There are two matches in the North Group on Wednesday and we have the top two in action on what could be a defining night in the competition. Worcestershire currently head the way in this group and they will be looking to maintain their advantage at the top of the table when they head to Blackpool to face a Lancashire side who are just teetering on the edge of a disappointing campaign. The other match comes from Edgbaston where the Birmingham Bears will look to continue what has been a positive start to their campaign when they play host to Derbyshire, who have stuttered in the competition thus far.
Three matches take place in the South Group on Wednesday evening and one of them will form the TV offering as rivals Kent and Essex battle it out in Canterbury with both teams needing a win but particularly the home side who have just one win from their opening five matches. The pick of the games on Wednesday evening comes from the Ageas Bowl where the champions Hampshire host the South Group leaders Somerset in a repeat of the semi-final from last season. The other match comes from Cardiff as fourth placed Glamorgan host second placed Surrey.
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TV Match Betting
Regular readers will know I am not a fan of taking teams who have played the night before but I’m going to make an exception where Essex are concerned. I think Essex are a good deal better than Kent to begin with but Kent just can’t seem to stop conceding runs. They have shipped 170 in three of their four losses in the competition and in the other they couldn’t get anything going on a Taunton track which has been more difficult to bat on than we usually come to expect. Essex have a difficult bowling unit to get away with Daniel Sams’ charge of pace very good while Simon Harmer is as wily a spinner as there is in the competition. With Sams coming in at seven and the likes of Dan Lawrence, Michael Pepper and Adam Rossington in their top four there are no shortage of runs in this Essex side so if Fred Klaassen’s return for the home side doesn’t have a massive impact with the ball I expect an Essex win here.
One bet which is overpriced in this match is for George Linde to top score for Kent. I think it is fair to say that we haven’t seen the best of the South African with the bat this season with him scoring just 61 runs in four innings but he has the highest strike rate of any Kent batter. He comes into the match off the back of knocks of 26* against Glamorgan and 22* against Surrey. While neither were top scoring efforts is does show that he is beginning to come to the boil with the bat and if Kent decide that a pinch hitter or a powerful batter is needed in the middle order to try and get the bowlers off their lengths then Linde might be that man. Only the opening pair have passed 50 for Kent this season so were they to go early Linde might have every chance of top scoring at a decent price.
Other Match Betting
The other bet that I like over the course of the evening is for there to be less than 337.5 runs in the pick of the matches at the Ageas Bowl. Hampshire are looking to back up a display the night before which is never the easiest thing to do but even if they are able to do that they will have in the back of their minds that they have already been shot out by this Somerset side in the competition this season. There is also an air of the openers or not much more about this Hampshire side.
In many ways, you could say the same about Somerset right now. Their runs seem to come from their top four and then they have fallen away quite quickly but the real reason why I like the under in this match is because of the bowling units. Somerset have a legitimate unit with Peter Siddle and Matt Henry spearheading it up top before the leading wicket taker in the competition in Ben Green comes into play. Hampshire have an attack which is very hard to get after and if there are new ball wickets to be had I expect the scoring to be kept low on this vast playing arena.
Back Essex to beat Kent for a 3/10 stake at 2.10 with William Hill
Back them here:
Back G.Linde Top Kent Batter for a 1/10 stake at 19.00 with Bet365
Back Hampshire vs Somerset – Under 337.5 runs for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365