Our Prediction: Hampshire to win, 1.81 Bet on Hampshire to win for Real Money
Middlesex will go up against Hampshire on 27th May at the South Group contest of the NatWest T20 Blast and this will be the opening match for both teams this season. While Hampshire has reached the semi-finals of this prestigious tournament twice before, Middlesex is yet to see success in going beyond the group stage; the contest on Friday will surely see some fireworks across the park and the team that can keep a cool head above its shoulders will be better placed to start their campaign with a win.
Top-order batsman Dawid Malan will lead the side that consists of a strong batting line-up with players like Brendon McCullum, Eoin Morgan, Adam Voges, James Franklin and openers Andie Balbirnie and Nick Compton. They have many young all-rounders like Ollie Rayner, George Scott, James Franklin and Andy Balbirnie who bring their talent to the table and can help win matches.
The bowling department has Kiwi fast bowlers Mitchell McClenaghan and James Fuller, English seamer Steven Finn, Irish speedster Tim Murtagh and others like James Harris, Tom Helm, Harry Podmore and Toby Roland-Jones. Spinners Ravi Patel and Nathan Sowter can provide variety and depth to the attack. With youngsters like Nick Gubbins, Ryan Higgins, Max Holden, Sam Robson and Paul Stirling, the batting line-up surely looks strong to take on any opposition.
Overall, they have a good mix of experience and young talent that can prove to be a formidable force to reckon with on Friday.
With all-rounders like Shahid Afridi, Sean Ervine, who may step in as the captain in James Vince’s absence, Ryan McLaren, Liam Dawson, Darren Sammy and Will Smith, Hampshire will be eager to repeat its good performance from previous editions and make it all the way through. The batting line-up has names like Michael Carberry, Jimmy Adams, Chris Wood, Adam Wheater, Owais Shah and Lewis McManus.
Tino Best and Fidel Edwards from West Indies will contribute to the pace attack while Reece Topley, Yasir Arafat and Craig Young bring their expertise to the squad. Youngsters like Ryan Stevenson, Mason Crane and Brad Taylor will use this opportunity to showcase their talents and deliver for the cause of the team. Overall, they have a good balance in bowling and batting departments that can give them the edge to defeat strong opponents like Middlesex too.
If batting first, they must focus on building steady partnerships against the pace attack of the opposition here; and during chase, the seniors will have to take a lead in keeping the scoreboard ticking. With a good strategy in place, Hampshire can definitely put up a strong performance.
The tournament is still in the early stages but both teams will try to gain the upper hand with a victory here; while Middlesex has a good mix of batsmen and bowlers, Hampshire too has many match-winners, who will be eager to come out all guns blazing. The contest could go either way but we feel that Hampshire with its experienced contingent is better placed to win the match on Friday.
Winner: Hampshire, 1.81 @ Bet on Hampshire now