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|Jofra Chioke Archer||3||3||0||0||100.00|
|RE Van Der Merwe||3.0||0||31||0||10.33|
|RE Van Der Merwe||8||7||0||0||114.29|
|Jofra Chioke Archer||4.0||0||32||3||8.00|
The Finals day of the Vitality Blast 2018 is here. It will feature teams that have consistently proven themselves to be the best among a very tightly contested group. The second semi-final will be played between Sussex and Somerset, two very strong teams that will be eyeing the ultimate prize for sure.
Somerset built its performances on the basis of a batting lineup that just does not quit. They have hard-hitting T20 specialists throughout the batting order and continue to keep coming hard at the opposition. Sussex, on the other hand, has a mix of renowned T20 batsmen and the best bowling attack in the competition.
Will Somerset’s batting triumph or will it be Sussex’s bowling might that takes the day?
One of the chief reasons why Sussex did so well during its group stages was the form of Rashid Khan. He is the world’s top-ranked T20 bowler and proved it in this competition as well. He has, however, left the squad for international duty with Afghanistan.
Sussex showed they are still pretty formidable without him in the quarter-final against Durham. Their attack of Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan, Tymal Mills, Danny Briggs, and Will Beer kept Durham down to a score of just 140. That was never going to be enough and was easily chased down by Sussex.
Trying to limit Somerset to a similar score is going to be very difficult because they have a much stronger batting unit. Jofra Archer had an off-day against Durham and will need to be at his best in this game. He is someone that Sussex turns to in difficult situations so the pressure is going to be on him to perform.
The performances of Briggs and Beer would have given Sussex a lot of confidence that Rashid Khan’s absence may be covered without too many problems. There is also David Wiese in the squad to further lend a hand in the bowling department.
While the bowling looks in very good order, Sussex must be prepared to make a big score themselves whether they are batting first or chasing.
Luke Evans has over 500 runs in the competition and is the second highest scorer of the tournament after Finch at the moment. He stroked an attractive 63 not out in the last match to lead his side to victory. Evans, Wright, Rawlins, and Salt will once again be the players that Sussex will expect runs from.
Wiese, Burgess, and even Archer are all decent batsmen but we feel they may not be able to provide the sort of runs needed against Somerset so Sussex will be desperate for its top-order to fire in this match.
Philip Salt, LJ Wright, Laurie Evans, Delray Rawlins, D Wiese, Michael Burgess , Jofra Chioke Archer, Chris Jordan, Will beer, Danny Briggs, TS Mills.
Year after year Somerset finds itself at the business end of the T20 competition and the Vitality Blast 2018 is no different. Easily one of the most consistent sides this year, Somerset has benefitted from having multiple players in form.
Leading the way among Somerset’s batsman has been Corey Anderson. The Kiwi international has found his power game which seemed to have deserted him some time back to be the rock of the Somerset middle order.
Anderson and skipper Lewis Gregory provide the power that can help Somerset post above par totals or chase down stiff targets with ease.
The two are far from the only good batsmen in the side, though. Davies, Myburgh, Trego, Hildreth, and Abell have all had good seasons with some very good innings at different times in the competition. The ability for one or the other player from the Somerset side to perform has been their biggest strength and what makes them so dangerous.
Somerset will need every bit of this batting strength against Sussex because they have a bowling attack that keeps on coming at you. We would back the experienced Myburgh or Hildreth to be the highest scorer for Somerset in the semi-final.
While Somerset’s batting has received a lot of deserved attention, its batting is not too bad either. Jamie Overton has shown the ability to bowl at pace and pick wickets. He is the second highest wicket-taker in the tournament right now.
Overton is also well supported by Jerome Taylor, Roelof van der Merwe, and Max Waller.
Roelof van der Merwe has been very difficult to score off throughout the tournament. He often bowls in the powerplay or the death overs which makes his incredible economy rate even more impressive. He has also contributed with the bat in a couple of games.
Somerset seems to have most bases covered but it is taking on a very strong side that is quite well-balanced itself. The winner of this match could well be the one to lift the trophy in our opinion.
SM Davies, JG Myburgh, PD Trego, JC Hildreth, TB Abell, Corey Anderson, Lewis Gregory, Jerome Taylor, RE Van Der Merwe, Jamie Overton, MTC Waller.
The team winning the toss is likely to field first
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There has been some rain around in Birmingham but a relatively dry day has been forecast for finals day. We are really hoping that the weather does not interfere in what should be an incredible day of cricket with some of the best T20 talent in England on display. Edgbaston has been an excellent batting pitch and we are sure it will be no different for this match.
The ball does tend to do something as September approaches in England so the new ball could be a little tricky to face. Overall, though, the conditions should be in favor of the batsmen and a score of around 180 should be considered par.
Somerset has won the last two matches played against Sussex, although the record is 3-2 in favor of Somerset over the last five games between the two. Both the teams have been very good this season and bring very different qualities to the contest.
We think that Somerset’s batting depth and a better-balanced side overall should be enough for it to get over the line.
Back Somerset to win.