As always, Friday night is T20 Blast night in the English domestic season, and this Friday is the penultimate one of group matches in this year’s tournament. There is plenty at stake for a number of the 16 sides involved as the race for the quarter-final spots gets serious.
Even though there is a Test match on this week, credit goes to Sky Sports as they have ensured we get a televised fixture from this round, and that comes from Chelmsford as quarter-final chasing Essex take on a woeful Middlesex side who effectively packed this competition in a good while ago.
Essex go into the match as the 4/6 favourites to win, but those who follow county cricket religiously or the many Middlesex fans dotted around the world will know they actually beat Essex at Richmond just last week, and that immediately puts me off Essex. One thing to remember when betting on sport is that “must-win does not automatically equal will win”.
There is a bet I like in the match though, and it comes in the form of the most match sixes market where I think Essex are set for good things. Middlesex are without Paul Stirling and James Franklin for this match but it is the young bowling attack they have announced which gives weight to this bet.
When you think of the destruction in that Essex batting lineup they should be feasting all over this inexperienced Middlesex attack, and should that be the case they will surely hit a plethora of sixes. Even if they don’t, Essex have a tidy bowling attack themselves and Middlesex don’t have many batsmen in the greatest form so the 10/11 on Essex outblasting Middlesex looks a gift from up above.
Away from the TV cameras there is a double I like which pays just less than 2/1. I’m aware must win doesn’t mean will win but I don’t see Northants or Worcestershire losing to Yorkshire or Derbyshire respectively.
Yorkshire have packed the competition in and are blooding youngsters unlike Northants who are strongly pushing for a quarter-final spot and barring something remarkable from Bairstow or Maxwell the Steelbacks will win there.
Derbyshire have the worst record in domestic T20 and it hasn’t improved this season. They host a rampant Worcestershire side who look to be getting better and better with the more balls Saeed Ajmal bowls over the course of the season. Worcestershire need the win to push for a home quarter-final, so just because they’ve qualified doesn’t mean they will ease up all of a sudden.
Both Northants and Worcestershire look great things at short prices so stick them together and get a tidy bet at a much nicer price.
Back Essex to hit most sixes vs Middlesex @ 10/11
Back Northants/Worcestershire win double at just under 2/1