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Vitality T20 Blast has most of its matches of the opening round scheduled to be played on 27th August. There are a few teams in the competition, who will start their campaign on 28th August. Birmingham Bears and Somerset are two of those few teams that will keep the fans interested on the 28th as well.
Somerset and Birmingham Bears both failed to qualify for the knockout round last year and will be desperate to start well this year. The match between the two sides is to be played on the evening of 28th August 2020 at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Birmingham.
Birmingham Bears had a terrific start last year. They won three matches on the trot and their qualification to the next round looked almost certain. However, it was not to be. They not only failed to finish among the top four sides but also narrowly avoided the wooden spoon. Had it not been more a minimal difference in the net run-rate, of 0.004, they would have trumped Leicestershire Foxes to get the wooden-spoon.
It wasn't even the case of being unfortunate as far as the losses were concerned. Almost all of their losses were humiliating and by massive margins. They had experience oozing through their lineup, but lack of killer-instinct left them high and dry.
With most of the teams in the competition likely struggle with experience or lack thereof, this might play to the Bears' advantage. With Ian Bell, Dominic Sibley, and Sam Hain, their batting lineup looks solid. Sam Hain was the pick of their batsmen last year as well and a lot will depend on his performance this year as well. He scored 459 runs in 12 innings at a fantastic average.
Just like their batting, they have tons of experience in the bowling department. The presence of Tim Bresnan, Jeetan Patel, and Oliver Hannon Dalby ensures that they have all bases covered, as far as experience is concerned. Without a doubt, the richness in experience is their biggest strength. They'd need their experience players to bring out their 'A-game' and be aggressive, which they failed to be last year. If they can do that, Birmingham Bears, with class throughout, will be a hard team to get past.
Playing 11 not yet available.
Last year, no team was as dominating as Somerset in the South Group and therefore, it was rather strange to see them not qualify for the playoffs. Tom Banton and Babar Azam scored heaps of runs for Somerset and yet Somerset somehow managed to lose most of the matches. Between them, the pair scored a couple of centuries and eight fifties. They also got solid assistance from Tom Abell, who, too, scored a century.
This year as well, they'll have the services of their star batsmen for most of the tournament. However, with England hosting Pakistan, Babar Azam will be unavailable for the first few matches. The onus will be on the likes of Tom Banton, Tom Abell, and Lewis Gregory, who missed most part of the tournament last year. Gregory looked in superb form in the matches he played in the recent times and impressed with bat and ball both.
On paper, Somerset is one of the best batting sides in the competition. Despite the absence of Babar Azam from the first three matches, it will be difficult to keep Somerset from racking up a huge total. Their bowling, however, still appears to be a bit light. The absence of Jerome Taylor due to the pandemic doesn't help their cause either. They'd need the likes of Roelof van der Merve, Jamie Overton, and Craig Overton to lead the attack from the front. They are likely to have ample support available in Max Waller and Lewis Gregory should the quicks manage to make early inroads.
Without Babar Azam available, Somerset clearly won't have their strongest eleven on the field on Friday. Still, they arguably have enough fire-power to demolish any bowling attack. They'd need their bowlers to step-up their game, and if they are able to do that, there are not many teams in the tournament that would be equipped to stop this Somerset unit.
Playing 11 not yet available.
With rain expected to have an impact in this match and early assistance expected for the quick bowlers, batting first could be difficult. Being under the covers, the surface could be a bit two-paced and batting would ease out with every passing over. Therefore, we expect the captain winning the toss to field first.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
The Edgbaston Cricket Ground is one of the most famous grounds in England. It is a perfect venue for white-ball cricket with something available for both batsmen and bowlers. Friday is expected to be a rainy day, but we are likely to see a clear sky in the evening. Being under the covers for a good couple of days, there is expected to be assistance for the quick bowlers in the opening few overs. Post that, however, batting should be easy and there should be plenty of runs on offer. The team batting first should be aiming to put a total of at least 170 runs on the board.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy team lineup for the upcoming Vitality T20 Blast match between Birmingham Bears and Somerset. Don't forget to check back the latest team right after the toss.
This is a match between experience and exuberance. While Birmingham Bears are oozing experience throughout their lineup, Somerset has players who can smash the ball long and hard. The absence of Babar Azam is likely to be felt at the top of the order for Somerset. Considering that as well as the fact that Somerset's bowling is a little thin on fire-power, we think betting on a Birmingham win should be the way to go here.
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