The Vitality Blast returns from a day off on Tuesday as it begins four huge evenings of action which could well define the fate of who qualifies for the quarter finals and who will be watching the knockout stages from afar.
We begin with five matches on Tuesday evening but despite there being no other cricket televised, none of these matches are either. That means if you have a bet and want to watch it you will need the county streams.
We have two matches to enjoy in the North Group on Tuesday evening with the bigger one of the two coming at the County Ground in Derby where Derbyshire will host Northamptonshire. A win for the visitors will send them back to the top of the group but Derbyshire can get right among the mix at the top if they come out on top. The other match sees Nottinghamshire in the last chance saloon when they host local rivals Leicestershire with the loser of that match pretty much eliminated from the competition, so the stakes are pretty high at Trent Bridge.
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The majority of the action comes in the South Group where the top two meet at The Oval as Surrey look to secure a quarter final spot when they host Somerset in what is a marquee match in this section. Gloucestershire will be looking to take advantage of the fact that Essex aren’t playing and move into third spot in the table. They head to Canterbury to take on the champions Kent, whose title defence will end once the group stages are finished. The other match in this section comes from Cardiff where the last orders at the last chance saloon are calling for both Glamorgan and Middlesex, with the losers out of qualifying contention.
I’ll go with a couple of bets over the course of the evening with the first one coming at Derby where I’m expecting Derbyshire and Northamptonshire to combine for a high scoring match. While Derbyshire are having a great season and are in the middle of a wonderful run, they haven’t given off the impression that their bowlers are about to restrict anyone let alone a side like Northamptonshire whose entire top six are scoring runs and doing it fairly quickly. Northants are a little better with the ball but there is some serious form in the top five of Derbyshire and the wicket at Derby has been a batting paradise, as it often is with an outfield that gives full reward for shots. The match between these two at Northampton last week was lower scoring but in these conditions on a warm night I’m expecting more runs here. I like over 320.5 runs in this one.
The other bet I like is for Glamorgan to beat Middlesex. Both these teams are in the must not lose territory but I think conditions down in Cardiff will suit the home side a lot more than the visitors. Middlesex tend to be best on wickets that are flat and their top three or four can flay away and get the team off to a fast start. That is not what will greet them at Sophia Gardens. The pitch there is slow and a little up and down and requires skill rather than brute force. Middlesex’s best bowler on this wicket would be Toby Roland-Jones but he isn’t in the squad for this match which isn’t exactly ideal for them. Glamorgan will know how to play these lower scoring matches better and having kept their hopes alive with a win here on Sunday I think they can back that up with another in this match.
Back Derbyshire vs Northamptonshire – Over 320.5 runs for a 3/10 stake at 1.80 with Bet365
Back Glamorgan to beat Middlesex for a 3/10 stake at 2.10 with William Hill
Back them here: