Friday sees seven matches as we head towards the end of the group stages. All times are BST, all prices are from Bet365
Durham v Worcestershire
Durham have two wins from their ten games, though one win was in one of the single biggest upset results of the tournament so far when they held on to beat Yorkshire by one run last Friday night
Worcestershire lost their first four games, then ran into some form to rekindle qualification hopes before winning two and losing two of their last four games.Their batting line up has at last posted some scores but the bowling line up has been below par all competition
For two teams out of contention for the quarter-finals odds are Durham 6/5 and Worcestershire 5/6. The visitors at 5/6 appeal more though neither team is that reliable a betting prospect.
Northants v Leicestershire
Northants the defending champions have been in the top four of the group since the start and are currently second in the table and well set again. An experienced T20 outfit where every player fulfils their roles well here they host Leicestershire in a local derby.
Leicestershire won their first three games but have fallen away since with 4 wins and a no result from their ten games. They have faint hopes of qualification for the knockout stages but really need to win out, which is easier said than done against opponents of this calibre.
Odds here are Northants 4/6 Leicestershire 13/8 and I expect the hosts to win.
Notts v Warwickshire
Notts sit top of the North Group table with sensational batting form, particularly from Hales and Wessels making them a very tough proposition to face indeed. In the 2017 T20 Blast Nottinghamshire have scored 670-8 in 59.1 Powerplay overs at a run rate of 11.32 Runs per over & an average of 83.75. I the last game Nottinghamshire’s Powerplay score of 106-0 was the highest Powerplay score in T20 history.
Warwickshire will be canny opponents for the table toppers, with Jeetan Patel one of the best T20 slow bowlers around. Warwickshire are fourth in the table,only a point behind Notts with the play off spots only likely to be settled on or around the last games
Notts are 8/13 favourites here, Warwickshire 13/8. As much as the 13/8 tempts, its no bet for me between two strong teams
Yorkshire v Lancashire
The second roses match of the competition sees Yorkshire, who led the table, now outside the top four positions in fifth after a surprise loss to Durham last Friday night and a defeat to Derbyshire the night before
Lancashire are in sixth, equal on points with Yorkshire and this really is the equivalent of a football “six pointer” with the loser likely to struggle to make it through the group. Lancashire lost two games in a row before bouncing back to beat Leicestershire to stay in the hunt
Odds here are Yorkshire 5/6 and Lancashire 11/10. No bet again, two talented big name teams wheremuch will come down to who performs on the night.
Essex v Middlesex
Essex have been a real disappointment this season in the competition, bottom of the south group with three wins and two no results in ten games despite the skills of Mohammed Amir and a big hitting middle order
With four games to play in the group stages, Middlesex have had a disappointing tournament with only 8 points from their ten games to date. They are second bottom in their group. They play Sussex at home on Thursday night ahead of this game
In their last game, at home to Hampshire, they fielded a much weakened side minus McCullum, Stirling, Malan (on international duty) and Finn and were dismissed by the visitors for 136. With a very young bowling line up much depends on the batting to set challenging totals and at the moment much rests on Eoin Morgan who is top scorer so far for the team with 271 runs
This is a tough game to price. Essex typically have a considerable home advantage on their small home ground but it hasn’t played out that way this season. Essex have been installed as 10/11 favourites and I will take a chance on them against weakened opponents
Kent v Hampshire
Kent are seventh in the south groups with four wins and a no result from their ten games. A high powered batting unit has been let down by a bowling line up that has struggled to restrict opponents.
Hampshire won their first three games then slumped. Form since has been mixed with facile wins over Middlesex and Gloucestershire interspersed with losses to Kent and Essex
Hampshire have four overseas players, effectively, thanks to Kolpak registration rules and in Roussouw, Bailey and Abbott they have potential match winners in those ranks.
Hampshire travel here from a home game against Glamorgan on Thursday night and are even money favourites (Kent 9/8) to win, which I expect them to do
Sussex v Gloucestershire
Sussex were bottom of the table during the first half of the group stages. Since then three wins, against Hampshire, Surrey and Kent and two no results have produced another eight results and lifted them up to fifth in the table, a point off a quarter final spot with a game in hand on the side above them
This improvement in form has come primarily from the batting line up hitting form chasing 165 to beat Kent with an over to spare and overhauling Surrey’s 150 with no less than seven overs to spare.
They travel to Lords to play Middlesex on Thursday night ahead of this game
Gloucestershire are another surprise team in the competition this season, currently third in the table and set for the knockout stages. St recently they beat Smerset comfortably and Glamorgan in an important match that was rain affected
At Sussex 5/6 and with form rocketing I prefer them to Gloucestershire at 11/10, reliant on their key batsman Klinger.