Vitality Blast 2024 – Thursday 30th May Matches Tips and Betting Preview

The Vitality Blast season begins on Thursday evening with five matches across the two groups as the county campaign puts the red ball away and focuses on the white ball stuff for the majority of the next six weeks or so.

We have to wait until Friday for the champions Somerset to get their title defence underway but some big names are on show on Thursday, however with the international game getting the TV treatment we have to rely on the county streams to watch these games.

North Group

Three of the five matches take place in the North Group on Thursday evening with the pick of the matches coming from Old Trafford where the former champions Lancashire will look to get their campaign off to a winning start when they host the team I expect to improve the most in Durham. Yorkshire will be expected to go well with England having left Joe Root and Dawid Malan at home and they open up their season with a home match against Worcestershire at Headingley. Northamptonshire and Derbyshire both failed to make the quarter finals last season and they open up their new campaign against each other at Wantage Road.

South Group

There are just two matches in the South Group on Thursday with the beaten finalists of last season, Essex, getting their new season underway. They are fancied to go one better than last term and will look to showcase their credentials when they head to Bristol to take on a Gloucestershire side who were very ordinary a year ago. The other match looks the pick of the two as the two teams who lost in the semi-finals last season meet at the Utilita Bowl where Hampshire welcome a Surrey side missing a raft of England players.

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There are showers heading down the country throughout Thursday so it might be best to focus on the North Group matches where the first bet I like is for Durham to see off Lancashire. Lancashire would have usually been one of the fancied runners for this competition but this is a squad which is going to be denied the services of Jos Buttler, Phil Salt, Liam Livingstone and Tom Hartley while Saqib Mahmood isn’t yet fit to feature. There is still some quality within this Lancashire ranks but there are enough second string players for Durham to get after. Durham look stronger for the competition this season with the additions to their squad of Colin Ackermann and Callum Parkinson while I like the addition of Ben Dwarshuis. Lancashire lack some power at both ends of the innings which Durham certainly don’t. I think the 8/11 on them to win this looks a more than fair price.

The other bet I like over the course of Thursday night is for there to be more than 44.5 boundaries in the match between Yorkshire and Worcestershire at Headingley. This has become one of the higher scoring grounds in the country in recent times and I don’t expect that to change with Yorkshire lacking top quality seamers and conditions hardly likely to suit spinners with the amount of rain that we have had in recent times. Worcestershire don’t really have any significant quality in their seam attack either with Josh Tongue out injured so you would imagine this is a match where the batters on both sides can thrive. We have some great white ball batters on show here in the form of Adam Lyth, Dawid Malan, Joe Root, Shan Masood, Donovan Ferreira, Josh Cobb, Ed Pollock and Adam Hose. I fancy the bat to dominate the ball here so over 44.5 boundaries looks the way to go here.


Back Durham to beat Lancashire for a 3/10 stake at 1.73 with Coral

Back Yorkshire vs Worcestershire – Over 44.5 boundaries for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365