Friends Life t20

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Cricket for the Impatient

For some purists, this shortened version of ‘leather on willow’ is simply not cricket. Yet whilst the MCC members won’t be tuning in, for most of us, the summer of slogging will be a welcome distraction.

Here is how it works, and if you thought the recent Cricket World Cup was drawn out, it’s got nothing on this 20:20 tournament. The marathon gets going on June 1st, with eighteen teams divided into a northern and southern section. Clubs meet home and away with the top four from each group proceeding to the quarter finals. By the time the final four descend on Edgbaston on August 27th they’ll be competing in their 18th/19th games of the tournament and the 151st in total.

Last year, both finalists came from the Southern Division with the Hampshire Royals (who only sneaked into the last eight via the fourth spot from the group stages) eventually beating Somerset in the final. It was a thrilling game, which ended in a tie, but saw the Royals win by virtue of losing one less wicket. The opening game on Wednesday is a repeat of last years final.

Indeed, the Somerset Sabres have been runners-up in the past two years but could go one better this year having strengthened well over the winter. They are rightfully favourites and it would be a surprise if they failed to appear in at least the final four. Back them at 4/1 with Ladbrokes.

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