Vitality Blast Preview: Birmingham Bears v Lancashire Lightning

Vitality Blast Preview: Birmingham Bears v Lancashire Lightning

Lancashire Lightning. Pic via YouTube, with thanks

Birmingham will be keen to rectify their Friday night mistakes against the same Lancashire opposition tonight as they look to secure a win in what has been a slightly disappointing T20 campaign.

The Bears currently sit in seventh place, with chances of reaching the quarter finals fading. Whereas, after a more successful run of victories for Lancashire, a win here could secure their place in the quarter finals, sat in second place in the North group on 17 points.

Birmingham will be going into the game knowing they will have to win both of their two remaining fixtures to have a chance at reaching the next stage, and even then it may be an unlikely prospect. Whereas Lancashire will be travelling down to Edgbaston, knowing if they win their next two games, a home quarter final could be on the cards for them, something they would no doubt jump at the chance to have.

Form has been hard to come by for Birmingham this season in T20, with five wins, and six losses. They haven’t managed to get a streak of wins, and have not looked the side which were runners up last summer. They will need a late run of victories, similar to last season to reach the last eight, but with defeat on Friday to Lancashire putting an end to that hope, it may not be a repeat of last year.

Lancashire have seemed to flourish when playing away from Old Trafford, having only lost one game when playing away. Therefore they will be favourable in the match against Birmingham, after the win previously, and in the Roses match they will be going into the game in fine form and ready to play in front of the Edgbaston crowd.

This match is forming part of the double-header with the Kia Super League, as Loughborough Lighting will take on Western Storm at 3pm at Edgbaston, with the Blast fixture following at 7pm, so a thoroughly enjoyable spectacle of cricket will be on display.

Key Men

For Birmingham, once again Ian Bell has flourished in this season’s competition, becoming the Bears’ leading run scorer of all time in T20s, and is the current leading run scorer in the competition. He has proved many doubters wrong, and been an incredibly vital part of the batting in Birmingham’s side this season and will go out at Edgbaston in wonderful form. He is showing class really is permanent throughout the campaign after a magnificent century against Northants, and some handy contributions in the duration of the competition.

On Friday, Matt Parkinson proved pivotal in the win against Birmingham. When he took three wickets in four balls, ripping apart Birmingham’s strong middle order, it all-but sealed victory for Lancashire. The spinner could again be a key player for Lancashire, if he looks as dangerous as he has previously, and repeats the troubles he caused Birmingham’s batsmen, Lancashire will be fancying their chances.

Team News

Birmingham Bears: TBA

Lancashire: TBA

Weather & Conditions

Looks set to be dry on Wednesday night, so the two matches should continue to take place even with rain making an appearance in English summers again recently! Edgbaston pitch is always a good one, with something for both batsmen and bowler, and high number of runs scored consistently.

Date: 15th August 2018

Time: 7pm

Locations: Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham

Odds

Birmingham Bears 1/1, Lancashire 4/5

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