The T20 Group stages continue on Wednesday evening when high-powered Somerset visit Northants in a game to be covered live on Sky Sports. Somerset are always fancied for this competition, and Northants rarely competitive, but this year it is different


Recommendation

Northants to beat Somerset at 13/10 Bet365

The Midlands and West Group of this year’s T20 has an unusual look half way through the group stages with the top two qualifying.

Friends Life T20 – Midlands, Wales & West Group

Team Played Won Lost Tied N/R R/R Points
1 Glamorgan 5 4 1 0 0 1.35 8.0
2 Northants 5 4 1 0 0 0.835 8.0
3 Warwicks 5 2 3 0 0 -0.304 4.0
4 Somerset 4 2 2 0 0 -0.409 4.0
5 Worcs 5 2 3 0 0 -0.709 4.0
6 Gloucs 6 1 5 0 0 -0.726 2.0

Somerset and Warwicks are the two County Championship first division sides in what is seen as one of the weaker T20 groups but as we can see they are not having this group all their own way this year

Tonight Northants, unbeaten at home in their three games in the competition this season host Somerset. Somerset are priced as favourites and at first glance this is understandable

- Superb track record in the competition
- Big hitting batting side
- Experienced bowling line up including IPL experience

However this year Somerset have been underperforming across the domestic competitions. Key players such as Captain Marcus Trescothick have been out of form, there are signs of ageing in the team and dissension amongst the fan base.

Conversely Northants, an unfashionable county not normally noted for success in one day competitions, a function of resource primarily, are one of the major surprises of the season so far. This is evident in the T20 competition where several changes have taken place this year

- The recruitment of overseas signings Richard Levi and Cameron White has bolstered the batting line up enormously
- New coaching regime has transformed fitness levels and fielding
- Maturing home grown players such as David Willey and Alex Wakely are contributing

 

In addition to these factors this season has seen the emergence of Mohammad Azharullah a 29 year old Pakistani seamer who has not played professional T20 for four years. This is a real Cinderalla story of a man who backed himself financially to attempt once again a professional career in England on gaining British residence, with Northants without the financial budget to take him on. He is now one of the best “death” bowlers in domestic cricket with the full range of yorkers and slower balls to acompany his pace deliveries. He has taken 11 wickets so far in the T20 at under 10 runs a piece including 4-14 in the victory over table topping Glamorgan this past weekend.

Current prices for this match seem to ignore current form, and look instead to history and fashion in pricing Northants at 13/10 and Somerset 4/6. Of course on their day Somerset are a very dangerous team but I think odds-agains Northants is an excellent price for them to maintain their momentum in an excellent season.

Recommendation

Northants to beat Somerset at 13/10 Bet365