The Vitality Blast continues on Friday evening when there is a full selection of matches in both groups of the competition. Some teams open their campaign in these games while others will be in action for the second time.
Although the Indian Premier League is continuing on Friday, we do have a televised match to enjoy and as with all the non-TV games in this competition the rest of them can be seen on the county live streams.
The North Group is where the televised action will come from on Friday evening. The cameras head to Old Trafford for the clash between Lancashire and Yorkshire where a number of star names are on show. Yorkshire already have a win under their belt this season while Lancashire open up their campaign here. The Birmingham Bears are the early pacesetters in the North Group after their emphatic win over Northamptonshire on Thursday evening. They made the short trip to take on Derbyshire who begin their campaign here. Durham are the other team who have a win to their name this season. They will look to follow that up with another when they head to Wantage Road to take on a Northamptonshire side who took a brutal beating on Thursday. The other match comes from Trent Bridge where the pre-tournament favourites Nottinghamshire play host to Worcestershire.
Middlesex were emphatic winners of their opening match on Thursday evening and they will be looking to cement that start when they head to the Ageas Bowl to take on a Hampshire side who open their campaign here. Glamorgan were also winners of their first game and they also have the chance to open with successive wins then they head to the capital to take on Surrey who start their campaign here. Two teams who lost their first matches on Thursday night meet on Friday when Gloucestershire and Sussex go in search of an immediate bounce back. Champions Kent look to rebound from their opening night loss when they host an Essex side who start their campaign at Canterbury.
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TV Match Betting
I’m looking forward to a decent match at Old Trafford between two sides who I would expect to be battling for a place at finals day when the latter stages of this competition comes along. Lancashire haven’t played a match yet and aren’t quite at full strength with Jos Buttler still away at the IPL but they do have Phil Salt, Tim David and Liam Livingstone in their squad. Yorkshire are without Jonny Bairstow and David Willey but their absences are lessened with Joe Root and Harry Brooks still being available before they head off on England duty.
We know we will get a good pitch at Old Trafford with plenty of pace and bounce in it and as such I’m expecting the sixes to flow here. Livingstone and David stand up as two of the bigger six hitters in world cricket but the support cast for both teams is pretty good. There is usually a short boundary for these matches, not that most of these players will need it. With the sun expected to be shining I like over 8.5 sixes here.
Other Match Betting
Gloucestershire were given a bit of a going over on Thursday but in truth when you look at the scorecard they were just caught cold by a blitz from Steven Eskinazi. Once Gloucestershire got rid of him they kept the rest of the innings under control on a pitch which was probably a little too good for ideal for them. They like a bit in the pitch for their medium pacers and spinners to use and they’ll get that at Bristol so I’ll back them to bounce back against a Sussex side who didn’t look much cop themselves on Thursday. They were well beaten by Glamorgan and while Mohammad Rizwan hit the ground running nobody else made 15 for them. There is also more of a hittable element to this Sussex attack with the likes of Jordan, Archer and Rashid Khan elsewhere. Of the two I think Gloucestershire have less to work on to rebound from their opening defeat and will take them to win this.
There were clear signs on Thursday that Northamptonshire are going to be heavily unbalanced until Jimmy Neesham arrives from the Indian Premier League and add to that they have to bounce back from a heavy beating which might need more than 24 hours to recover from. Durham looked an efficient outfit against Leicestershire on Thursday evening. We knew all about their batting depth but they bowled with aggression and quality and even without Matty Potts and Ben Stokes they were able to go on the attack. I don’t expect Durham to beat Northamptonshire by the same margin that Birmingham Bears did but you would fear for the Steelbacks if Chris Lynn or Josh Cobb doesn’t make many here. I like Durham at 4/5.
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