It is the exciting final of the T20 Blast on Saturday as finals day has come back around. Four teams will battle it out in semi-final clashes before the final showdown. Once again it is the glorious Edgbaston which hosts the event and again Birmingham is on of four finalists. They have home advantage over Glamorgan, Nottinghamshire and Hampshire.
Birmingham faces Glamorgan in the first of the two semi-finals. They will be in high spirits coming off a chase of over 200 in their previous match. They are reliant on two Kiwis for their performance. Both Elliot and de Grandhomme with the bat and another New Zealander Jeetan Patel. He has lit up English T20 for Birmingham almost every year.
Glamorgan, on the other hand, has a contingent of South Africans to help them. Ingram, Rudolph and Miller all the way down the spine of the batting order. Jacques Rudolph would be a good shout for the top score in this game. While Birmingham has home advantage Glamorgan are the team to beat because of their exceptional record, only losing three games in their group. It is underestimating Glamorgan where Birmingham have a potential to falter. Glamorgan is 2/1 with Ladbrokes .
Hampshire faces Nottinghamshire in this huge game of the season for both counties. Notts have had an easier path getting to the finals day with little difficulty. They finished top of their North division and have a squad of both English and foreign-born players.
Hampshire has an ace up their sleeves though in the form of Shahid Afridi who scored an amazing 42 ball century in the quarter-final against Derbyshire. What they lack in bowling attack they make up for with batters. James Vince and Michael Carberry just a few of the standout runmakers in their field. With this being a batting game now and bowlers less and less effective in the modern game the est batting game will likely win. This is shown in the odds with Hampshire favourites at 6/5, but don’t count out Notts. Alex Hales to score a century could be a useful investment.
Assuming we have nailed it andwe witness a Hampshire v Glamorgan final, for us it is Hampshire’s to lose and the club which is often seen on finals day has not converted enough opportunities to win the trophy. With county T20 likely making way for franchises in the future it would be good to see an old traditional count win it this year. They are good value at 3/1 with Coral. James Vince is the highest scorer in the competition so far and will likely carry this on. Try him for top scorer in the final.