Twenty20 Blast: Top picks for latest round of matches

Ed Hawkins

Wednesday, July 25, 2018 3:00 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jul. 25, 2018 3:00 PM UTC

Hampshire can make late bid while Durham are overpriced to defeat the holders

<h2>Middlesex v Hampshire</h2><p>These two grand old stagers meet on Thursday and it is child’s play to decide where to put our money. Hampshire.</p><p>It is true that the Southampton-based outfit have suffered a terrible start to their campaign – having been well-fancied for a tilt at the title – but they couldn’t have picked a better opponent to kickstart their season which has seen them win one from five with one tie.</p><p>Middlesex have a horrible record in this tournament and consistently fail to live up to their reputation as power club. Their record in qualifying for the business end is pathetic for a team of their clout.</p><p>Recently, a fair bit of blame can be apportioned on whoever made the decision to hire Daniel Vettori as coach. Wherever he goes he leads a team to mediocrity. Sometimes worse. Middlesex are bottom of South Group and they have lost four from six.</p><p>Their batting has proved to be well below the standard required in a tournament which is known for fast scoring rates. Indeed, it’s the quickest in the world. Three times out of four they have batted first and failed to defend.</p><p>Hampshire also beat them right at the start of the competition without breaking sweat. It was their eleventh win out of 17 on the head-to-head. The 8/11 about Hampshire looks skinny but we’re happy to go low against a poor outfit.</p><h2> </h2><h2>Nottinghamshire v Durham</h2><p>Durham face a stern test of their title credentials on Saturday against last year’s champions and they are worth risking to pass it. The 6/4 offered <a href="https://a.bookmakersreview.com/record/v?c=132&amp;a=87e126f9-4229-4364-9464-7fbff2763146&amp;f=2">by William Hill</a> is an excellent price.</p><p>The North East county are flying in second position in North Group with four wins from six. It would have been reasonable to assume that Notts, given their pedigree, would have been one of the teams making the early running but they have not found their rhythm.</p><p>They have an even-money record with three wins and three losses. One of those defeats came against Durham, who breezed past them by a healthy 34 runs.</p><p>Batting first Durham made 184 with Tom Latham unbeaten on 98. They then held their nerve defending despite some big hitting. Eventually Imran Tahir proved the difference with two wickets and an economy rate of just five.</p><p>We expect Tahir to be the main man again to give Durham the edge. It is also worth checking his price for man of the match. Anything bigger than 10/1 is a play.</p>
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