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2018 T20 Blast Finals Day Preview: Will Your Predictions Lead You To Glory?

2018 T20 Blast Finals Day Preview: Will Your Predictions Lead You To Glory?
iq_johal
Thursday,September 13,2018
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With Test match cricket concluded for another summer, attention swiftly turns to the shortest form of the game with T20 Blast Finals day at Edgbaston on Saturday. If you thought the England v India series made for thrilling viewing, get ready for a full day of crash, bang, wallop as Worcestershire, Lancashire, Sussex and Somerset do battle for the T20 Blast crown.

 

We’re the place to be for you to turn your T20 knowledge and predictions into some tidy prizes. There’s a Fantasy Pick 5 to play for both the semi-finals - just choose a Batsman, Master Blaster, All Rounder and two Bowlers to make up your team. Your side must consist of at least two players per team and your Captain scores double. We’ll also be running a Pick 5 for the final which will be open to join on the day, and will have players from all four counties to choose from so your team will need extra attention paid to it, right up until the final gets underway at around 7:30pm.

 

If that wasn’t enough, we’ve got a Finals Day Predictor to play, with 10 questions on how you see the day going, including who you think will win each match and who will score the most runs and wickets on the day.

 

Here’s a look at how the four teams are looking ahead of Saturday and what your selections might look like:

 

Semi-final 1: Worcestershire v Lancashire: Worcestershire have put their County Championship woes behind them, to qualify for finals day for the first time. The Division One basement side are set for a return to the second division, but have excelled in the shortest form, finishing top of the North Group and comfortably seeing off Gloucestershire by five wickets in the quarter-finals. The young homegrown side will welcome back Moeen Ali from England duty, but stand out performer Callum Ferguson who averages 48 with the bat this season, is back in Australia and will be a huge miss.

 

2015 winners Lancashire have a side packed with quality T20 players, which will be boosted by the returning Jos Buttler and Keaton Jennings. Their spinners have excelled with youngsters Matt Parkinson and Zahir Khan bamboozling all opposition with their leg spin. Spin played a big part in their quarter-final victory against Kent, and will surely come to fruition again on what will most likely be a slow pitch at Edgbaston.

 

With the likes of Khan and Parkinson, Jos Buttler, James Faulkner, Dane Villas and Jordan Clark, you’d expect this experienced Lancashire side to have too much for Final Day debutants Worcestershire. Lancashire are also favourites to lift the trophy and seem to have all bases covered to do so.

 

Pick 5 choices: Worcestershire’s young batsman, Joe Clark has been tipped for big things and has impressed with a couple of big scores and a strike rate of just under 160. He should be strongly considered to make it into your team, with Buttler an obvious choice as Master Blaster, after his T20 and ODI exploits this year. All Rounder James Faulkner, has been crucial for Lancashire, taking 19 wickets and is a tough customer at the death, not to forget a more than handy middle order batsman. It’s between him and Ali to make it as your All Rounder. As far as Bowlers are concerned, Parkinson should prove to be a handful, as his 23 season wickets suggests. 20-year-old Patrick Brown has been one of the finds of the season, taking 27 wickets - the most in this season’s competition - at an average of just 14 for Worcester, and could be worth keeping an eye out for.

 

Semi-final 2: Sussex v Somerset: Sussex head into this semi-final as slight favourites, and are looking for their first T20 crown since 2009. While they have some belligerent T20 batsmen, it’s their bowling attack that has proved deadly this season. Led by the best spinner in T20 cricket Rashid Khan and England internationals Tymal Mills and Chris Jordan, Danny Briggs, the highly rated Jofra Archer and the canny leg spinner Will Beer make up a fine attack. The same attack saw them reduce Durham to 140 in the quarter-finals, and they’ll prove a tough nut to crack come Saturday.

 

2005 winners Somerset have finished runners-up three times since so know what it takes to get to the final but have had troubles getting over the finishing line. They have a well balanced side, led by young all rounder Lewis Gregory, who has led from the front with both bat and ball and will be crucial on Finals Day. He’s contributed with some blistering match winning innings, including a 24 ball 60 in the quarter-finals that led his side to 209, in their 19 run quarter-final victory against Nottinghamshire. This is a tough one to call, but given the strength of Sussex’ bowling arsenal, I would just edge in favour of them.

 

Pick 5 choices: Look out for young Delray Rawlins in our Batsmen category, with the classy left hander’s 29 ball 42 in the Sussex’ quarter-final victory demonstrating the potential he has. Luke Wright is one of the most experienced T20 players around and has been in fine form with four 50s this season. It’s hard to look too far past the Sussex skipper to make your team as Master Blaster.

 

 

With three half centuries and 17 wickets, Gregory is a great shout as All Rounder, despite facing stiff competition from team mate Corey Anderson, who has also been in destructive form with the bat. Rashid Khan would be a dead cert as either one of your Bowlers if his availability wasn’t in question, which opens up the door for left arm spinner Danny Briggs, who has 15 wickets this season. Somerset seamer Jamie Overton has been impressive with his raw pace, and has been a standout performer with 24 wickets to his name. West Indies international Jerome Taylor is also a good option given his experience, but Overton would just about get the nod.

 

Now you know everything you need to about Finals Day, make sure you jump in our pools for a shot at least £200 guaranteed in total prizes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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