Our Prediction: Northamptonshire Steelbacks to win, 1.67 Bet on Northamptonshire Steelbacks to win for Real Money
Winning the quarter-final against Sussex by 7 wickets, Northants registered their semi-final berth against Warwickshire, which will be held on 29th August at Birmingham. The Warwicks emerged victorious against Essex by 24 runs and will be eager to continue with their winning momentum having been the leaders in North Group; Northants did well to finish third in the North Group and with their recent victory, their confidence is boosted to avenge their two previous defeats against the Warwicks. It needs to be seen which side can dominate the other to surge forward to the finals that will be held on the same day.
David Willey and Kleinveldt took 5 wickets between them to stifle the Sussex batsmen’s run-flow in the quarter-final clash on 12th August; Azharullah and Stone took a wicket each and they combined their strengths to restrict the opponent to 165 runs. Willey showed his superior all-rounder skills as he posted a well-made century off just 41 balls to help them win the match with 4 overs to spare.
Richard Levi, Josh Cobb, David Willey, Ben Duckett and Alex Wakely bring their top game to the batting line-up while the bowlers Azharullah, Willey, Crook and Kleinveldt have been consistently taking wickets. In the last game against the same opponent Warwicks, the bowlers had done a fantastic job of restricting them to 154 runs but the chase had seen them fall behind and lose the match by just 1 run.
The team has good players who are in form right now and with the combination of left and right handed batsmen as well as proven wicket-takers, the Northants can surely come out with all their firepower to outwit the Warwicks on Saturday.
Oliver Hannon-Dalby and Gordon took 5 wickets between them to disallow Northants from winning the last time the two teams faced each other; however, it was a close contest and this time they would be motivated to do better with bat and ball. Varun Chopra provides stability as opener while Evans, Tom Lewis, Javid and Clarke bring strength to the middle order; however, they must be cautious against the Northants, who had restricted them to 154 runs in the league stage match.
Against Essex, the top order failed to impress and with McCullum not featuring in the squad, the onus fell on Evans, Woakes and the others to build 189 runs, which was defended well by all the bowlers taking regular wickets. With 48 runs from 23 deliveries and a wicket, Woakes won the player of the match award and will definitely be a strong asset as an all-rounder. William Porterfield’s experience will come handy but the top order must click if they want to finish strong.
Overall, they have a well-balance team with expert batsmen and reputed bowlers like Oliver, Gordon, Woakes and Patel; they must have a good game plan to overcome the challenge from Northants.
While Warwicks have won both times the two teams faced each other previously this season, we feel that Northants, because of strong performance in the previous match and momentum, will be determined to avenge their previous defeats in this do or die match on Saturday.
Winner: Northamptonshire Steelbacks, 1.67 @ Bet on Northamptonshire Steelbacks now