NatWest T20 Blast - Finals Day Preview

Saturday sees the conclusion of this year’s NatWest T20 Blast, with Glamorgan, Birmingham Bears, Hampshire and Notts Outlaws all vying for glory.

Glamorgan and Notts are both looking to win the tournament for the first time, whilst Birmingham are looking to win their second title and Hampshire are bidding for their third.

Here is the Rewards4Cricket preview for both semi-finals, plus who we are backing to win the competition

Glamorgan vs Birmingham Bears

Despite being the underdogs heading into the weekend, Glamorgan will be buoyed by the fact that they topped the South Group ahead of the likes of Surrey and Hampshire in order to reach the last eight.

Quarter-final match-winner Colin Ingram has been a pillar of consistency throughout the competition, scoring 451 runs at an average of 50.11, whilst his compatriot Jacques Rudolph has also weighed in with three half-centuries.

Australian Michael Hogan (18 wickets) and South Africa’s Merchant de Lange (16 wickets) have been in good form with the ball and they will fancy their chances of limiting the Birmingham batting total.

Birmingham reached finals day at their home ground by beating Surrey at The Oval last week, courtesy of Grant Elliott’s unbeaten 59.

A fit-again Olly Stone and the experience of spinner Jeetan Patel will test the Glamorgan batsmen, whilst Sam Hain will be looking to increase his tally of 377 runs in the competition thus far.

Prediction – Glamorgan to continue the trend of unfancied teams profiting on finals day, as they win a tight semi-final against the 2014 winners.

Hampshire vs Notts Outlaws

The strength of Hampshire’s batting line-up has been key to their progress in this year’s competition, with several internationals contributing to their success.

England’s James Vince has been the most consistent performer, scoring 486 runs at an average of 37.38 including four half-centuries. His former international teammate Michael Carberry averages 35.17, whilst former Australia captain George Bailey has 297 runs in the competition.

England spinners Mason Crane (17 wickets) and Liam Dawson (12 wickets) have both impressed with the ball and both men will have an important part to play at Edgbaston.

Notts Outlaws reached finals day by defeating Somerset by five wickets last week. England opener Alex Hales is set to be a key player with the bat, especially after his record-breaking innings in the final of the Royal London One-Day Cup earlier this summer.

All-rounders Dan Christian and Samit Patel relish the big occasion, whilst England duo Jake Ball and Harry Gurney are both effective in the shorter format.

Prediction – Two very evenly matched sides, but we’re tipping a Hales-inspired Notts to reach their second final of the summer.

Final – Glamorgan vs Notts Outlaws

Prediction – Glamorgan have been thoroughly impressive throughout the competition, but Notts’ players have already experienced the winning feeling this summer. Finals usually go down to the wire, and Notts may just have the know-how to get over the line on the big stage.

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