NatWest T20 Blast TipsRay Corniche - 14:08, 28th August 2015
This weekend sees the conclusion of the NatWest T20 Blast campaign with Edgbaston readying itself for some big-hitting action. Tom Powell picks out his best bets from both semi-finals plus his outright selection...
Northants v Birmingham Bears (Sat, 11:00, Sky Sports 2)
Birmingham Bears To Win @ 1.70 – BET NOW
I was hoping the Bears would be a slightly bigger price but at around 7/10 they are still good value to book their place in the final. Northants are a decent side but they rely heavily on one or two players such as David Willey and Azarullah and if those players don't have the best of matches they will struggle. The Bears will add Ian Bell to their squad which is a boost plus they have the likes of Varun Chopra, Will Porterfield and Chris Woakes so player for player they are by far the better side. In the top batsman markets, the aforementioned Porterfield looks value for the Bears at a best price 7/2 while my pick for the Steelbacks would be middle order batsman Josh Cobb at 4/1.
Hampshire v Lancashire (Sat, 14:30, Sky Sports 2)
James Vince Top Hampshire Batsman @ 11/4 – BET NOW
First of all, I agree with the bookmakers than Hampshire should be narrow favourites for this match with 17/20 available with the fixed odds firms and 1.90 available on the exchanges. Hampshire's group stage was average with eight wins and two losses but they were superb away at Worcestershire in the quarters, hitting 196 and eventually winning via the D/L method. I would be backing James Vince to top score for them after his call up to the England ODI squad. Vince 107 not out in that quarter-final victory and that came after a 125 not out in a first class clash with Warwickshire. He average over 32 in 94 Twenty20 matches which is a decent average so at 11/4 he'd be my best bet. For Lancashire, it's hard to look beyond Ashwell Prince as top scorer at the same price as Vince. He's been the model of consistency this season and top scored for them in their last eight match against Kent.
Outright Winner Tip
Hampshire @ 13/5 - BET NOW
It'll be a tricky semi-final for Hampshire but if they win it I'd fancy them to go all the way. The Bears at the favourites which is mostly down to the fact they take on the Steelbacks in the semi-finals and perhaps home advantage comes into it a touch. However, the Hampshire squad is a good one. Michael Carberry and James Vince at the top of the order offer experience and good form with Vince in particular my one to watch for the day. Danny Briggs is a decent spinner who will have some joy while Fidel Edwards also offers plenty of experience to the Hampshire bowling attack.