Cricket T20 Blast Final Day Review
The England and Wales Cricket Board stage their vastly popular Twenty20 cricket competition, the T20 Blast, this weekend with finals day taking place on Saturday from 11.00am GMT. Armchair fans can get themselves along to Edgbaston in Birmingham for an afternoon of three T20 matches to decide the winner or they can watch the play live on Sky Sports.
18 first-class country teams started out back on 18 July and that has been whittled down to just four who will be divided again until we are left with this year’s two finalists. The two semi-final games will be played on the same Saturday as the final to decide our champion and it promises to be a real celebration of all things great about British Twenty20 cricket.
Nottinghamshire Start as Outright Betting Favourites
Bookmakers have chipped in to help mark the day and sports bettors will find a number of exciting betting markets available. You can bet on one of the many match markets, offered both before the coin toss and in-play or you can look further ahead and give yourself an interest for the entire afternoon with a punt on the outright winner. If getting involved in the latter, we’d like to remind you the earlier you bet the better the price available. Traders will trim the odds of each side after they have booked their place in the final two.
The current outright betting has Nottinghamshire marked up as the most likely champion, according to bookmakers, and there’s 2/1 available with most firms, including 10bet, for those who fancy having a pop. Worcestershire is seen as the main danger and has been chalked up on the betting board as 5/2 second-favourites. William Hill is offering a market best price on that one. We then get into the outsiders and Ladbrokes are confident enough to oppose Essex and pin a 3/1 quote to their tail, positioning them one place above Derbyshire who is as big as 9/2.
Notts Outlaws v Worcestershire Rapids
The first outing of the day pairs Notts Outlaws and Worcestershire Rapids at Edgbaston. That game is expected to get underway at 11am GMT live on Sky Sports. Who will be the first team to book their place in the final?
When keeping the outright betting market in mind it really is no surprise to see the money men throw the weight of their support behind Nottinghamshire. However, there really isn’t a lot in it at this stage. The matchwinner prices have Nottinghamshire at 8/11 with William Hill against the 11/10 through the same betting firm for Worcestershire to cause an upset and progress.
You can avoid the unpredictability of the match-winner and play one of the many specials that have been laid out, designed to catch your eye. There’s top batsman, top bowler, highest opening partnership, highest first six overs, man of the match and dozens more besides. You won’t be left scratching around for an interest on Saturday, that’s for sure.
The Outlaws beat Middlesex by 10 wickets on Thursday 5 September with the scoreboard that day reading Notts 165-0 (16.2) to eclipse 160-8 (20.0) of Middlesex. A deserved victory and one that sent out a real message of intent to their rivals. Rapids beat Sharks in the last round by eight wickets, the score on Friday 6 September being Worcestershire 187-2 (17.4) against 184-6 (20.0). Another game that gave us a deserving winner.
Derbyshire Falcons v Essex Eagles
The second semi-final of the afternoon pairs the Derbyshire Falcons and Essex Eagles from 2.30pm at Edgbaston and that will also be shown live on Sky Sports. Again, we have a tight match winner betting market with the traders seemingly at a loss to predict the outcome of this one.
They have put their faith in Essex, however, pricing Eagles as betting favourites to book a slot in the final later that day. Ladbrokes offer a market best price of 4/5 on this one going to Essex and that sees them edge their opponents, Derbyshire, who come in as an 11/10 shot at Unibet.
If Essex does win this match it may be worth predicting the top run-scorer and aiming for a better price. The list has Cameron Delport as 3/1 favourite with Bet365, topping a list that also shows Tom Westley at 7/2, Varun Chopra 4/1, Dan Lawrence 9/2 and Adam Wheater 5/1.
Derbyshire Falcons beat Gloucestershire last time out by a margin of seven wickets with the tally reading 137-3 (17.1) against 135-7 (20.0). The winners were made to work for that result, but they did just enough to scrape through. Essex Eagles were last seen beating Lancashire Lightning on Wednesday 4 September. The board at the conclusion of that one showed 165-4 (19.2) against 159-5 (20.0) and that six wickets win was enough to see them march on towards the latter stages.
Expect a Tight Contest
Worcestershire Rapids won this title last year thanks to a five wickets victory over Sussex Sharks in Birmingham. They took the title from Notts Outlaws who had beaten Birmingham Bears the year before by a margin of 22 runs.
The last six finals have been played at Edgbaston and in that time, we have witnessed the Northants Steelbacks win twice. The stats make for very interesting reading indeed and we see three of those six finals in Birmingham have been won by a narrow margin of five or less wickets and just four runs.
It would be safe to assume we’re ready for another tight evening’s work. The final is expected to line-up at 6.45pm GMT as the two remaining sides push for a place in the history books