Hampshire will face Somerset in the first semi-final of the 2021 Vitality T20 Blast at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Saturday 18 September.
Hampshire finished fourth in the Group South table with 15 points, while Somerset finished second with 18. A close quarter-final victory against Nottinghamshire helped Hampshire take another step towards the Vitality T20 Blast title. They were restricted to hitting 125/9 first. Tom Prest (44) and James Fuller (30) were the only significant contributors.
However, the Hampshire bowlers responded brilliantly to the challenge of defending such a low total under pressure. Liam Dawson, Brad Wheal and Scott Currie led the charge as Hampshire tied the Notts with just 123 runs for a thrilling two-run victory.
Somerset, on the other hand, recorded a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Lancashire. Roelof van der Merwe and Marchant de Lange took four and three wickets respectively as Lancashire put up a challenging 184 on the board. Crucial punches from Will Smeed, Tom Abell and Tom Lammonby brought them to the other side of the line to prepare for their entry into the semi-final.
Both parties will be eager to take one more step towards the finale of Vitality T20 Blast and it looks like there is some exciting competition on the cards.
Match: Hampshire vs Somerset, Vitality T20 Blast 2021
Date: September 18, 2021 (Saturday)
Weather: 3:30 PM (REAL)
Campus: Edgbaston, Birmingham, England.
The weather will be good for a full game of cricket. The forecast suggests that it will be partly cloudy but there are no rain predictions. Temperatures will vary between 19-20 degrees Celsius.
The average score for this wicket is around 160-170 runs. Fast bowlers can also get help from the surface and bowling first should be a decent option to take advantage of conditions well.
Playing XI predicted
Tom Prest scored 44 runs in his previous game and will be looking to keep up his form. Skipper James Vince and D’Arcy Short have been between races in this edition of the Vitality T20 Blast and will have to shoot over the top. Vince, who has 371 runs, is also their top run scorer.
Liam Dawson collected three wickets in the quarterfinals, while Brad Wheal and Scott Currie ripped two wickets. The bowlers did well as a unit last time out and will be looking for a similar performance.
Planned XI: Tom Prest, D Arcy Short, James Vince (c), Joe Weatherley, Lewis McManus (week), James Fuller, Liam Dawson, Chris Wood, Scott Currie, Mason Crane, Bradley Wheal.
Will Smeed has had an excellent Vitality T20 Blast season with the bat. He scored 44 runs in the quarterfinals and has accumulated 327 runs with a strike rate of 134.56. Tom Abell was undefeated at 78, while Tom Lammonby also played a vital role at 47.
It will be important for Tom Banton to score high. Roelof van der Merwe and Marchant de Lange were the ones chosen by the bowlers in the previous game and will need the support of the rest of the bowling unit.
Planned XI: Tom Banton (week), Will Smeed, James Hildreth, Tom Abell, Tom Lammonby, Lewis Gregory (c), Ben Green, Roelof van der Merwe, Marchant de Lange, Jack Brooks, Josh Davey.
Somerset’s hitting has been much more consistent than Hampshire’s this season in the Vitality Blast. Hampshire has relied heavily on players like D’Arcy Short and skipper James Vince. Hampshire also managed a narrow victory to reach the semi-finals, while Somerset dominated. Somerset will keep the lead and are more likely to reach the final.
Live and TV broadcast details
TV: N / A
Live broadcast: Fan code