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So many weeks of intriguing battles followed by a desperate wait for the finals day to begin and finally - here we are. The much-awaited finals day in Vitality T20 Blast begins with Nottinghamshire Outlaws taking on Worcestershire in the first match of the day. The game will be played at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham.
While Nottinghamshire were the better team in the league stage of the tournament, they haven't been the same force against Worcestershire. Both the sides have many match-winners at their disposal, and with the match being played at a high-scoring venue, a cracker of a contest is undoubtedly on the cards.
Ever since claiming the title in 2017, Nottinghamshire Outlaws have had a pretty good time in the T20 Blast, and here they are in the finals day once again. They are coming on the back of a sensational win over Middlesex in the quarter-final with Alex Hales and Chris Nash being the chief architects of their victory.
Chasing a modest total in a high-pressure encounter, Nottinghamshire could have been in trouble had Hales and Nash not played as they did. They not only did keep the bowlers at bay in the early overs but also took the attack to the opposition as they won the match with ten wickets in hand.
While Hales and Christian both left to join their respective teams in the Caribbean Premier League, they both have flown back to Birmingham and will undoubtedly prove to be a big boost for the Outlaws. Overall, they have a well-experienced unit, which is perfectly capable of winning not only the next match but also the title.
Chris Nash, AD Hales, Joe Clarke, Ben Duckett, SR Patel, DT Christian, Tom Moores, Steven Mullaney, Matthew Carter, Luke Wood, Harry Gurney.
As was the case in the previous edition of the tournament, Worcestershire have somehow managed to make it to the semifinal. Moeen Ali's drop from the English test squad proved to be a blessing in disguise as Ali's presence at the top made all the difference in their last two matches.
Moeen Ali has been the standout performer for them, and singlehandedly took his side to win in the quarter-final with a splendid knock of 121 coming in just 60 deliveries. With a couple of sensational wins in their last few matches, Worcestershire Rapids, just like the previous season, appear to be peaking just at the right time.
In their previous match, they were without three of their key players in Martin Guptill, Hamish Rutherford, and Wayne Parnell. However, all three of those are available for them to play in the upcoming game, and their experience could prove to be vital in this knockout contest. Even though Worcestershire have a few chinks in their armor, they have plenty of match-winners available at their disposal and will be a force to deal with on Saturday.
Riki Wessels, Hamish Rutherford, Moeen Ali, WD Parnell, Ben Cox, Ross Whiteley, Ed Barnard, Brett D Oliveira, Daryl Mitchell, Charlie Morris, Patrick Brown.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy prediction for the 1st semi-final of the finals day in Vitality T20 Blast, between Nottinghamshire Outlaws and Worcestershire Rapids
Both the sides have done tremendously well over the past three wins with each team having their hands on the title at least once. Worcestershire Rapids are the defending champions, and with Moeen Ali looking in splendid form, they will be a force to deal with. Having said that, Nottinghamshire Outlaws are no less. While both the sides are almost at par as far as batting is concerned, bowling could be a differentiating factor. With Pat Brown not performing as was expected of him and Parnell too being inconsistent, the Rapids' bowling looks a little light. Nottinghamshire Outlaws, on the other hand, have a well-settled and experienced bowling unit and are therefore our pick to emerge on top in the upcoming fixture.
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