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T20 Blast - Cricket: Finals Day preview

County cricket's Twenty20 champions will be crowned on Saturday, when the T20 Blast Finals Day takes place at Edgbaston.

Two semi-finals and a final will be played at the Birmingham venue and the Finals Day action starts with a mouthwatering contest between Roses rivals Lancashire and Yorkshire.

What

T20 Blast Finals Day 2022

Where

Edgbaston, Birmingham

When

11:00, Saturday 16th July 2022

How to watch

Sky Sports Cricket

Odds

Lancashire 5/2, Yorkshire 11/4, Somerset 11/4, Hampshire 3/1

Roses rivals could deliver another T20 thriller

Sometimes big derby clashes struggle to live up to the hype but trans-Pennine rivals Lancashire and Yorkshire have already produced two T20 Blast thrillers this summer.

The North Group teams meet in the first semi-final of Finals Day (11:00) and Lancashire are 4/5 to deny 1/1 Yorkshire a place in the final.

As the betting suggests, these sides are well matched and this season's first North Group meeting at Old Trafford ended in a tie when Lancashire's Richard Gleeson trapped fellow England new boy Harry Brook lbw off the final ball of Yorkshire's innings.

The reverse fixture at Headingley was another cracker. Lancashire racked up 213-5, with big-hitting Australian Tim David scoring 66 from 32 deliveries, but Yorkshire looked well on track in their run-chase thanks to blistering half-centuries from Tom Kohler-Cadmore and skipper David Willey.

They needed just 32 runs from the final 24 balls, with six wickets in hand, but Lancashire's bowlers fought back to seal an unlikely four-run victory.

Yorkshire's Jordan Thompson helped his side claim an even more amazing win in last week's quarter-final against Surrey at The Oval.

The hosts required only five runs from the last over but Thompson held his nerve to close out the game, helped by a direct-hit run-out from wicketkeeper Kohler-Cadmore.

Lancashire booked their place on Finals Day in far more comfortable fashion, stretching their unbeaten home run in the Blast to 15 games with a cosy seven-wicket win over Essex.

Veteran Steven Croft continued his prolific Blast campaign with an unbeaten 76 and he is 15/4 to be Lancashire's top batter against Yorkshire with David, who impressed for Mumbai Indians in this season's Indian Premier League, at 7/2.

The Aussie is 4/1 to hit the most sixes in the semi-final while Yorkshire's Pakistan all-rounder Shadab Khan is 10/1 to be named player of the match.

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Record-breaking Somerset wary of Hampshire openers

Somerset and Hampshire met in the Blast semi-finals last year, when Somerset sneaked a two-wicket victory, and they face off again in Saturday's second semi (14:30).

Hampshire have already enjoyed knockout success at Edgbaston this month as they beat North Group winners Birmingham Bears in the quarter-finals and they are 1/1 to avenge their 2021 loss to Somerset.

The men from Taunton lost last summer's final to Kent by 25 runs but they seem determined to make up for that disappointment, thrashing Derbyshire in the quarter-finals by 191 runs: the largest margin of victory in the history of domestic Twenty20 cricket.

Former South Africa batter Rilee Rossouw smashed 36 runs off an over from Derbyshire leg-spinner Mattie McKiernan to help his side pile up 265-5 and their shell-shocked opponents were then bowled out for just 74.

Rossouw is 12/5 to be Somerset's top runscorer in the semi-final but English youngsters Tom Banton and Will Smeed have also played some fine innings this season.

For Hampshire, much will depend on Ben McDermott and James Vince, who are 8/11 to post a higher opening partnership than 11/10 Somerset.

Skipper Vince and Australia international McDermott put on 93 in 9.2 overs to set up the quarter-final win over in-form Birmingham, who collapsed to 82 all out in reply.

Hampshire bowler James Fuller filleted the Bears' dangerous middle-order, taking 4-17, and is 4/1 to be his side's top bowler against Somerset although 11/4 shot Brad Wheal, with 21 wickets in just 11 Blast games this season, has to be respected in that market.

England new boy Gleeson hoping to shine on Finals Day

Lancashire are 5/2 to claim the trophy, having reached T20 Finals Day for the ninth time in 20 years but both they and 11/4 shots Yorkshire have been weakened by the clash with England's one-day series against India.

Lancashire's Jos Buttler, Liam Livingstone, Phil Salt and Matt Parkinson are all in the England ODI squad, along with Yorkshire's Brook, Willey, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow while the Vikings ace leg-spinner Adil Rashid is also unavailable.

Key seamer Gleeson should be available for Lancashire after last week's stunning Twenty20 international debut at Edgbaston, where he dismissed India stars Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant within his first eight balls as an England player.

The Roses rivals coped well without most of their England representatives in the quarter-finals but 11/4 Somerset, last year's Blast runners-up, and 3/1 Hampshire will hope that their settled line-ups can fire them to T20 glory.

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