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75/2 in 9.37.89
74/10 in 16.14.58
Toss Winner - Somerset won the toss and chose to bowl first
Somerset beat Hampshire by 8 wickets
No team has managed to defend their crown in the Vitality Blast till now.
We are backing Hampshire to emerge victorious in this game.
Tournament: VITALITY T20 BLAST 2023 | Format: T20 | Venue: The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton, England | Toss: To BatBet Now
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Last year’s semi-finalists Somerset are all set to take on defending champions Hampshire Hawks at the Cooper Associates County Ground on May 24 in what should be a cracker of a contest in the 2023 Vitality Blast. Historically, Somerset have had a better record against Hampshire in the Blast, but will they be able to knock over the three-time winners?
The big question is: will Somerset be able to consistently perform at their best throughout the competition? They last won the T20 championship 18 years ago and need a lot of things to go right if they are to come close to the title again. Despite sailing through the group stage with impressive performances, they fell short in the crucial semi-final against Hampshire last year, failing to live up to their true potential. This was not the first time they struggled on Finals Day when it truly counted.
At the forefront of the players to keep an eye on this year is Ben Green, an exceptional all-rounder. As Somerset's One-Day Cup captain, he showcased his prowess with both bat and ball during the previous season's limited-overs matches. Notably, he hammered an impressive 157 runs in a 50-over game against Durham in Taunton, while also emerging as his team's leading wicket-taker in the Blast thanks to his skillful seam bowling. While currently specializing in white-ball cricket, Green possesses the ability to deliver powerful shots and pose a formidable challenge to even the most accomplished batsmen.
Somerset also have power hitters like Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Tom Banton, and Will Smeed at the top of the order, as well as other players like Lewis Gregory, Ben Green, and Craig Overton, who can all smack the ball a long way. Captain Banton had a good season last year, making 359 runs in 16 innings at a strike rate of almost 130. Cadmore is coming off a terrific PSL 2023, where he collected 325 runs in 12 innings at a strike rate of 160.
The key to securing a spot in Finals Day lies in effectively taking wickets on the true pitches of Taunton. Along with Green, New Zealand fast bowler Matt Henry could prove to be an important cog in Somerset's bowling.
Will Smeed, Tom Banton (wk), Tom Abell, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Lewis Gregory (c), Tom Lammonby, Ben Green, Lewis Goldsworthy, Roelof van der Merwe, Jack Brooks, Peter Siddle/Matt Henry
Tom Lammonby, Matt Henry, Peter Siddle, Tom Kohler Cadmore, Ben Green, Lewis Gregory, Thomas Abell, Craig Overton, RE Van Der Merwe, Will Smeed, Tom Banton
As captain and star batsman, James Vince will once again play a pivotal role in Hampshire Hawks' bid to defend their championship crown, making them strong contenders for the title. Vince was the leading run-getter of the season last year, with a whopping 678 runs in 16 innings at an average of 48.43 and a strike rate of 146.12.
Tom Prest is another player who can be the standout performer for Hampshire. The 20-year-old had a fantastic last season, scoring 316 runs at a strike rate of 122.48. Then there’s Ben McDermott, who impressed last year with 494 runs in 17 innings at a strike rate of 146.15.
What makes the Hawks truly stand out, however, is their flawless bowling unit. Last season, their bowlers regularly dominated in the powerplay, squeezed in the middle, and defended at the death. James Fuller (23 wickets), Brad Wheal (22 wickets), and Chris Wood (21 wickets) were their standout bowlers last year and will again prove to be quite a handful. Now that they have added Benny Howell, who has taken more Blast wickets than 11 others, Hampshire’s bowling truly looks to be the best in the competition by some distance.
Ben McDermott (wk), James Vince (c), Tom Prest, Joe Weatherley, Benny Howell, Ross Whiteley, James Fuller, Liam Dawson, Nathan Ellis, Chris Wood, Brad Wheal
Mason Crane, James Vince, Scott Currie, Nathan Ellis, Joe Weatherley, Tom Prest, Liam Dawson, Toby Albert, Ross Whiteley, Ben McDermott, Chris Wood
The pitch at the Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton is sporting surface, with something in it for both batters and bowlers. Given that the ground is a little one, expect plenty of fours and sixes.
The weather in Taunton during the game is expected to partly cloudy with times of sun. The real feel will be 22°.
The average score batting first at the Cooper Associates County Ground in the Blast is 200. The highest total achieved at the venue is a colossal 265-5 by Somerset against Derbyshire during last year’s 4th Quarter-Final. The highest target chased at the Cooper Associates County Ground in the Vitality Blast is 174 by Somerset against Glamorgan.
The side batting first in this game is anticipated to score 180-190 runs, and we may have a run-scoring feast.
In the 8 games played at the Cooper Associates County Ground, 63% have been won by the team batting first. This will be the first match of the season here, and the team winning the toss is likely to bat first.
Somerset hold a 15-9 head-to-head record against Hampshire. Playing at home will be a further advantage. In the last five matches between these two sides, Hampshire have won three games while Somerset have clinched two. Somerset have a balanced squad, with plenty of power hitters. However, the run-machine James Vince and their incredibly good bowling attack gives the defending champs an edge in this contest.
We are backing Hampshire to emerge victorious in this game.
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