The re-branded domestic T20 competition will reach its zenith towards the back end of August, with the participants of the first T20 Blast Finals Day confirmed after almost three months of fixtures.
Two semi-finals and a final will be contested at Edgbaston on August 23, with Surrey, Warwickshire, Hampshire and Lancashire the four teams that will make up the cast of the show.
Ladbrokes make Surrey and Hampshire, who were kept apart in the draw for the semis, as the joint 9/4 favourites to win the competition and will go into the showpiece day with two of the most talked about players in the country.
In 24-year-old Jason Roy, a fearlessly attacking opening batsman, Surrey own the competition’s leading run-maker this season, while at the top of the order for Hants, James Vince’s 93 not out against Nottinghamshire in the quarters, was arguably the innings of the tournament.
Roy, a player in a rich vein of form in all formats for the London-based county, has smashed 619 runs at an average of 47.61 in T20 this season, collecting eight half centuries in that time.
As part of a formidable top three, containing Kevin Pietersen and Tillakaratne Dilshan, Roy has been the catalyst for Surrey’s run to their second consecutive finals day.
Hampshire have an even bigger affinity with Finals Day in this competition though, reaching this stage of proceedings for the fifth season in a row thanks to Vince’s breathtaking knock.
Having won the title in two of their previous four trips to Finals Day, Hampshire will clearly be feared at Edgbaston.
They’ll first have to overcome Lancashire in the semi-final, which they are 8/11 to do, and the Red Rose’s record of two-straight defeats in their last two trips to this stage weighs heavily in the Rose Bowl club’s favour.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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