It is the final day of the group stage of the Vitality Blast on Sunday and at the end of it we will know who will meet who in the quarter finals over the coming week on a day where home advantage is at stake in those matches.
We already know the eight qualifiers for the quarter finals but only one team is guaranteed a home match and with the quarter finals beginning on Wednesday not having to travel is a key thing so there is plenty at stake on Sunday.
We were due to get a knockout match before the actual knockout matches were due to begin in the North Group on Sunday when Leicestershire host Yorkshire at Grace Road but the point deduction of the Foxes put paid to that. That means the big match in the North Group comes in the televised game as second placed Lancashire play host to the leaders Birmingham Bears. Lancashire need to win to host a quarter final while Birmingham only need to avoid getting thumped to be at home to Hampshire in the last eight. The other team through to the knockout stages are Derbyshire. They welcome Durham knowing that if they win and Lancashire lose they will host that quarter final. The other match comes from New Road as Worcestershire and Nottinghamshire will end their campaign.
The top two heading into the final round of matches also meet in the South Group too although Somerset have been pushed down into third place by Essex after their win on Saturday evening. That means if Somerset want to be at home in the last eight they have to beat a Surrey side who know that whatever happens they have topped the South Group. That is it in terms of competitive play in the South Group on Sunday although whenever Sussex and Hampshire meet there is plenty of rivalry. They meet at Hove with Hampshire knowing they are already through. The other two matches sees Glamorgan heading to Canterbury to take on Kent while Gloucestershire host Middlesex in the other game.
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TV Match Betting
I’ll take one in the TV game on Sunday night. It is hard to really pick out a value top batter with the top orders going so well in this tournament which means those further down the order aren’t likely to see too much in the way of action but what that does mean is that we should expect a high scoring match with the boundaries flowing throughout. The weather is set to be fine in Manchester for this one and with the power on show with the bat I expect things to start off hot and be maintained throughout the innings.
Lancashire will have the likes of Jos Buttler, Phil Salt, Tim David and others who can get it to the ropes while Birmingham Bears have clean hitters in the form of Paul Stirling, Alex Davies, Sam Hain, Adam Hose, Chris Benjamin and Carlos Braithwaite and more. There have been concerts at Old Trafford in the last week or so which means the outfield might be a bit bobbly in places which isn’t going to help the fielders any so I’m expecting to see plenty of boundaries in this one.
Other Match Betting
While I’m focusing purely on matches that are competitive on Sunday and the point deduction to Leicestershire takes away some of the competitive nature of that match there is still enough there for me to take the over in runs which I was going to take. I don’t know the strength of feeling in terms of a reaction to their deduction but I would imagine Leicestershire will be a bit hacked off and might come out swinging with the bat and get their frustration out.
Although Yorkshire are into the quarter finals it isn’t beyond all possibility that they host a match in the last eight, although in order to do that they will need to win this match and hope Lancashire and Derbyshire lose but they play before Lancashire so they have a chance to put some pressure on should Derbyshire slip up. Either way they have scored a lot of runs this season but they’ve conceded plenty as well. The same line can be used for Leicestershire so I expect more than 316.5 runs in this one.
Back Lancashire vs Birmingham Bears – Over 42.5 boundaries for a 3/10 stake at 2.10 with William Hill
Back it here:
Back Leicestershire vs Yorkshire – Over 316.5 runs for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365