After the two washed out affairs in central group on Thursday, Warwickshire and Somerset square off in the 3rd Central Group fixture of T20 Blast 2020.
Birmingham Bears start their new campaign in Central Group, leaving the disappointment of the last season. The only ambition of Bears is to reach at the knock stage for the latest edition. The hosts have the quality experienced unit likes of Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Jeetan Patel and Oliver Hannon Dalby. The old army needs to push them ahead in the batting unit and provide a best outcome at the home ground. Adam Hose and Sam Hain wil provide the base in top-order prior to Olly Stone in middle-order. English Test player Dom Sibley has also joined the squad. Jeetan Patel is an experienced player in spin but the absence of Chris Green and Ashton Agar would hurt Birmingham most.
Meanwhile, Somerset had a mixed campaign last season, riding on the dominating performances from the openers Babar Azam and Tom Banton. The duo will be unavailable for first few matches due to their national duties. Somerset could try Eddie Byrom who had the blistering strike rate last season along with Tom Lammonby, who recently got a maiden hundred in the Bob Willis Trophy. Tom Abell might be promoted up in the order who scored hundred last season against Middlesex. James Hildreth, Roelof van der Merwe and Gregory would provide the strength in middle-overs. The bowling issues can trouble Somerset but they are still favourites on Friday.
Edgbaston, Birmingham will host the match between Warwickshire and Somerset. The ground hosted the knock out matches of last season. The track is good to bat but spin can also take advantage in middle-overs. Weather is pretty cloudy in Birmigham, a pure batting condition. We expect a good score around 160-170 on Friday.
Dom Sibley, Sam Hain, Ian Bell, Adam Hose, Matt Lamb, Will Rhodes (C), Michael Burgess, Henry Brookes, Jeetan Patel, Olly Stone, Olly Hannon-Dalby
Tom Banton, Babar Azam, James Hildreth, Tom Abell, Ed Byrom, Lewis Gregory (C), Tom Lammonby, Craig Overton, Roelof van der Merwe, Jamie Overton, Max Waller
* Tom Banton, Babar Azam & Gregory will be unavailable after England-Pakistan T20 series.
Last Season – M: 12, Wickets: 13, Avg: 24.69
Last season – M: 12, Runs: 459, Avg: 41.72
Last season – M: 13, Runs: 354, Avg: 44.25
Roelof van der Merwe
Last Season – M: 13, Wickets: 15, Avg: 25.80