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After a long wait and an intriguing set of battles lasting for over a month, we finally have our four finalists that are all set to feature on the Finals Day of Vitality T20 Blast 2020. Even though the Finals Day is going to be a bit North Group heavy with two teams from North Group already qualified, all four teams are genuine candidates to win the title.
The first semifinal of the day is to be played between the two North Group teams - Lancashire and Nottinghamshire, who both are coming off remarkable wins in their respective quarter-final matches. Also, the two teams produced exciting cricket whenever they met during the group stage and we expect nothing different this time around as well. The match is to be played at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham, on 2nd October 2020.
Nottinghamshire Outlaws have been in incredible form, evident by the fact that they have faced only one defeat in the entire summer. Coincidentally, their only loss came against Leicestershire, the team they just eliminated in the quarter-finals. They finished at the top of the North Group points table with 16 points to their name and a net run-rate of 1.315.
The Outlaws' campaign in the group stage was carried primarily by Joe Clarke, who scored at an incredible average of 45.14 coupled with a superb strike-rate. He had ample assistance from the likes of Alex Hales, Chris Nash, Ben Duckett, and Tom Moores, who all have contributed heavily with the bat. It was the depth in their batting lineup that came to their rescue against Leicestershire in the quarter-final as Samit Patel, coming in at number eight, played a nifty 16-ball 28-run knock to take Nottinghamshire home, albeit in a strange manner.
With the ball, however, Nottinghamshire Outlaws haven't looked as impressive. Barring Jake Ball, none of their bowlers has picked up wickets consistently, and with pitch expected to turn, the onus will be on Imad Wasim and Samit Patel to lead Notts with the ball.
While the Outlaws have a pretty balanced team, on paper, their batsmen appear to be a little out of sorts while facing quality spinners. It was the same in the quarter-final too as Parkinson and Ackermann kept the Outlaws' batsmen tied throughout the chase.
In totality, Nottinghamshire Outlaws is a terrific side, at least on paper. The Notts have momentum behind them and will be brimming with confidence. Having said that, their vulnerabilities to play spin were exploited well by the Foxes and we might see that happening once again. If Nottinghamshire Outlaws can take care of their batting while facing spin, they will be a tough unit to crack.
Chris Nash, AD Hales, Joe Clarke, Ben Duckett, Tom Moores, DT Christian, Steven Mullaney, Samit Patel, SI Wasim, Matthew Carter, Jake Ball.
Lancashire Lightning finished at the second spot on the North Group points table and were second only to the Outlaws. Their net run-rate of -0.25 suggests that they weren't as dominant during the group stage as they would have liked to be. As was apparent in the Group Stage as well - Lancashire have a terrific spin attack and thrive in spin-friendly conditions.
Over the last few seasons, Lancashire Lightning are the only team that has used spinners more than the pacers. Doing so, they have also been one of the most successful teams in the competition, second only to the team they'll be up against in the semi-final encounter.
Lancashire's strength was on display in their quarter-final match too as they ended up qualifying for the Finals Day despite being in a weak position at the halfway mark. It was never going to defend a total of 140 against a potent batting lineup of Sussex Sharks, but Lancashire did that with considerable ease. On a surface that was relatively slow and difficult to bat on, Steven Croft and Dane Vilas did well to take their team to a challenging total before their spinners marked a fantastic second innings display.
Surprisingly, Matt Parkinson and Liam Livingstone picked up seven wickets between them as Lancashire bundled Sussex out for a paltry total of 95. While the pressure created by the seamers at the top turned out to be pretty useful, the performance by Lancashire's spinners appeared to be extraordinarily good.
On paper, Lancashire have an extremely well-balanced team. Also, the fact that their strength is exactly the weakness of their to-be opponents gives them a huge advantage in the upcoming match. Even though their batsmen did well in the group stage, Lancashire would need a better performance from the batters as compared to their performance in the quarter-final. If they can do that, Lancashire's bowling attack will certainly make it difficult for the Notts' batting unit.
Alex Davies, Liam Livingstone, KK Jennings, Steven Croft, DJ Vilas, Rob Jones, Danny Lamb, Luke Wood, Tom Hartley, Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson.
It's a high-pressure match and the runs on the board are certainly going to matter. The chances of rain, however, might just tempt the captain winning the toss to incline in favor of bowling first. It is a day game and dew is not going to be a factor in the decision-making at the toss. Considering that hitting through the line will get increasingly difficult with the passage of play, the fact that spinners will enjoy bowling here, and of course, the scoreboard pressure, we expect the captain winning the toss to bat first.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
Edgbaston Cricket Ground is one of the most popular venues in England and is known to produce sporting contests more often than not. This is the second match on the day and the surface is expected to slow down considerably, especially in the second innings. Having said that, there are showers forecasted for the day and that might bring Duckworth Lewis method into the picture. Given that, determining a safe total for the team batting first will not be easy. We expect spinners to have a huge role to play here and the team batting first will be looking to put a total of at least 170 runs on the board.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy team lineup for the Vitality T20 Blast semifinal match between Lancashire Lightning and Nottinghamshire Outlaws. Don't forget to check back the latest updated team right after the toss.
Find more Dream11 predictions and other tips and tricks on our dedicated Dream11 guide.
While the two teams faced each other twice in the group stage with Notts winning one match and the rain washing out the other, the odds will be even going into the upcoming match. Lancashire will be playing to their strength and Nottinghamshire are coming off a rather dicey show in the quarter-final fixture. As seen in the league stage, Nottinghamshire's bowling is a little too over-reliant on Jake Ball and that could prove to be a deciding factor. Although they have the services of Imad Wasim and Samit Patel, the spin pair is more adept at controlling runs rather than picking up wickets. The surface is expected to be conducive to spin and Lancashire Lightning will have an advantage there with their superb spin attack. Considering the factors stated above, we think Lancashire Lightning will emerge on top in the upcoming match to march through to the grand finale.
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