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Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Notts openers could tie up Finals Day spot

Outlaws may overpower Somerset bowlers

Riki Wessels was one of the top five runscorers in the T20 Blast group stage
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Nottinghamshire v Somerset
Sky Sports Cricket, 6.30pm

Nottinghamshire's T20 Blast campaign started with a thumping defeat to Yorkshire at Headingley but the Outlaws recovered impressively, storming to the top of the North Group.

That earned them a home quarter-final against Somerset and Notts are the shortest-priced favourites of the last-eight stage.

They are 8-15 to return to Finals Day, having lost narrowly to Northamptonshire in last season's semi-finals, and the One-Day Cup winners certainly have the potential to complete a limited-overs double.

Home advantage could a huge factor for Notts, who have relished the batsmen-friendly conditions at Trent Bridge this summer.

They fell two runs short of a target of 204 against Leicestershire in their last game, when a home tie in the quarter-finals was already assured.

In their previous three Blast home games they had chased down 181 to beat Birmingham, 184 against Durham, and 224 - with five balls remaining - in an extraordinary win over Yorkshire.

Top two Alex Hales and Riki Wessels have played a major role in the Outlaws' success.

The pair have opened in the last 11 Twenty20 games for Notts, putting on two century partnerships as well as stands of 87, 92, 69 and an unbroken 52.

Both men relish the pressure of a big limited-overs game - Hales scored a stunning 187 not out to win the One-Day Cup final against Surrey while Wessels was among the top five runscorers in the group stage of the Blast - and a runs line of 24.5 looks well within their powers.

Somerset dismissed Hampshire for 91 in their final South Group game to sneak into the quarter-finals on net run-rate.

However, their bowlers may struggle to contain a powerful Notts batting line-up, with Dan Christian, Samit Patel, Brendan Taylor and Steven Mullaney in support of Hales and Wessels.

Recommendation
Nottinghamshire to have an opening stand of over 24.5 runs
3pts 5-6 Betfred

Notts had chased down 181 to beat Birmingham, 184 against Durham, and 224 - with five balls remaining - in an extraordinary win over Yorkshire
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