Momentum could carry outsiders Hampshire to Twenty20 glory
The county cricket season reaches its explosive climax at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, as Somerset, Nottinghamshire, Essex and Hampshire do battle in the Twenty20 Cup.
Finals day will see Somerset take on Nottinghamshire and Essex face Hampshire – for whom the Rose Bowl is home – with the winners of both ties then competing for the big prize.
Pre-tournament favourites Somerset lead the way on 15/8 to win the trophy for a second time, while their semi-final opponents are 9/4 to be crowned champions.
Somerset captain Marcus Trescothick has been at his bludgeoning best at the top of the order this season, and he is 11/4 to be the Sabres’ top runscorer at the Rose Bowl.
Trescothick’s fellow opening batsman, Craig Kieswetter, is similarly devastating, and the England international is 7/2 to top-score for Somerset.
Hampshire are the dark horses as an outside 7/2 bet to win the Twenty20 Cup, having motored through the group stages and beaten Warwickshire at the quarter-final stage.
Hampshire are unbeaten in all forms of the game in nine matches, and they are currently on a four-game T20 winning streak.
They are 5/6 to beat Essex in the semi-final, and although Michael Lumb will miss the clash with injury, the Hawks have a wealth of T20 experience at their disposal.
Veteran captain Dominic Cork has led by supreme example, and his charges will know exactly how to secure victory in a major final, having won last year’s 50-over Friends Provident Trophy at Lord’s.
Also priced at 5/6 to win this encounter, Essex will fancy their chances with a batting line-up that includes the prolific Ravi Bopara and Ryan Ten Doeschate.
Who do you think will be crowned T20 champions? Nottinghamshire are 9/4 to win the trophy for the first time. See the full Twenty20 Cup Betting Odds market.