Surrey favourites, but will struggle to hold onto the tag
The 2023 edition of the Vitality T20 Blast is just a few days away, with the tournament commencing on May 20th. 18 teams from English counties will be divided into two groups – North Group and South Group. The top four teams from each group will advance through to the quarter-finals.
Hampshire are the defending champions, having won the T20 Blast last year by beating Lancashire Lightnings. They will be hoping to defend their title. The Vitality T20 Blast 2023 will kick off with a clash between Derbyshire and Lancashire at Edgbaston on Saturday.
Before the action-packed tournament begins, Let’s take a look at which teams are favourites according to the betting market.
Find the best cricket odds on 10CRIC! Bet now!
Can Hampshire repeat their miracle?
James Vince-led Hampshire had lost their opening four matches in the T20 Blast 2022 edition but they made a remarkable comeback. They won nine of the 10 group matches to finish fourth in South Group. They then hammered Birmingham Bears by 104 runs in the quarter-finals before beating Somerset by 37 runs in the semi-finals.
The final against Lancashire saw one of the craziest finishes in the game. Defending four runs off the final ball, Nathan Ellis bowled Richard Gleeson with a slower yorker but it was called a no-ball. Another slower ball and Gleeson could not connect it, running a single bye. There was some controversy as well but in the end it was Hampshire who lifted the trophy.
According to the bookmakers, Hampshire are joint second favourites to win this season with the odds of 9.00. The task won’t be easy as James Vince, Ben McDermott and Nathan Ellis will have to do the heavy lifting.
Lancashire Lightnings look to right the wrong
Lancashire Lightnings felt hard done by in the previous season where they lost the final by just one run. Needing three of the final delivery, Richard Gleeson missed the ball but they ran a bye. Gleeson was coming back for the second when the Hampshire keeper knocked the bails at the striker’s end. Lancashire ran two but one was allowed as the umpires called it a dead ball once the bails were removed. If the call went in Lancashire’s favour, the match would’ve been tied and Lancashire would’ve claimed the title on the basis of higher powerplay score.
Lancashire have a pretty strong side for this season and they’d be eager to right the wrong from the previous season. They have Liam Livingstone, Dane Vilas, Phil Salt and Tim David in the batting department. They could also be boosted by Jos Buttler, who could be available for most of the season. Their bowling attack also looks pretty decent with Richard Gleeson, Luke Wood, Matt Parkinson and Tom Hartley.
Our pick: Lancashire Lightnings to win T20 Blast 2023 at 10.00
Can Surrey live up to the favourites tag?
Surrey were the best side in the group stages last season but could not get past the quarter-finals, where they lost to Yorkshire by just one run. They had topped the South Group with 10 victories in 14 games.
They have one of the strongest squads for the 2023 edition as well and will be hoping to do better. Betway has Surrey as the favourites to win the title at 8.50. They will be led by Chris Jordan, with the likes of Will Jacks, Jason Roy and Laurie Evans forming a destructive batting unit. They also have the all-round skill set of Sam Curran. Anything less than semi finals would be a failure for Surrey.
Players to keep an eye on…
The hard-hitting all-rounder made his return to cricket in the IPL recently following a long injury layoff. Adjusting to different tracks hasn’t been smooth but he did look good in a few matches. Livingstone will be eager to do well in the T20 Blast and put his name in contention for the ODI World Cup. Livingstone has over 5000 runs in T20 cricket at an average of 29 and strike rate of 146.
The Hampshire captain will be key for his side yet again. One of the most prolific batters in the T20 arena, James Vince was the leading run-scorer in the previous season. He amassed 678 runs from 16 innings at an average of 48 while striking at 146, including two hundreds and three fifties. You can back Vince to be the top batter for Hampshire in any given match.
Vitality T20 Blast 2023 Winner Betting Odds
|Vitality T20 Blast Winner|
Lancashire and Derbyshire face off in curtain raiser
The opening match of the Vitality T20 Blast 2023 will witness last year’s runners-up Lancashire taking on Derbyshire at the Edgbaston in Birmingham on May 20. Lancashire are unlikely to have a few of their big stars due to IPL commitments but still have enough quality. We predict Lancashire to win this fixture at 1.80.
Edgbaston has short boundaries and with dew likely a factor, the team winning the toss will want to bowl first.
Lancashire have a quality squad that just missed out on a title last year and against Derbyshire, they start off as favourites with a win probability of 60%.
The Edgbaston is full of runs and with the short boundaries and flat surface, no total is quite safe. The average first innings score here hovers around the 180-run mark.
Yorkshire face tough challenge in Birmingham Bears
Yorkshire Vikings and Birmingham Bears (Warwickshire) will lock horns in the second game of the Vitality T20 Blast 2023 at Edgbaston in the evening fixture on Saturday. Both sides have some pretty good players. Yorkshire perhaps hold the edge with the likes of Dawid Malan, Adam Lyth, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Shadab Khan and Haris Rauf. We predict Yorkshire to win this match at 1.90.
Edgbaston will host it’s second match here and dew will again be a big factor, which would likely make the team winning the toss want to bowl first.
Yorkshire have quite a few England stars in their star-studded line-up and have a win probability of 55% against Birmingham, who have been inconsistent over the last few years.
The Edgbaston’s short boundaries and batting track makes it hard on bowlers. Night games have seen an average score of 180-185. But the team batting first will want to aim in excess of 200 to be safe.