Now that the T20 quarter-finals have been finished we can really look forward to possibly the sixth most exciting day of the English domestic calendar: T20 finals day. In a perfect world, of course, the event would be next week at the latest. But given the farce that is the LVCC fixtures one should probably not expect too much from the ECB.
Somerset are in the semi-finals again and for the third year in a row (second in the semi-final) they will be playing Hampshire. It seems unlikely that the match will feature anything as thrilling as the last time the two sides played, but it still should be interesting. Somerset have James Hildreth, who scored 107* in the group stages and who scored 58 off 36 in the quarter-final. Hampshire, meantime, go into finals day off the heroics of Neil McKenzie and his unbeaten 79 against Notts. It’s always tricky to predict the result of a T20, but I think Somerset look the stronger side and should win. And, of course, they need to win if they are to finish in their traditional runners-up place.
The other semi-final features Yorkshire, through to finals day for the first time, against Sussex. This is another match which could be quite high scoring as Yorkshire have put up some very good totals this year (and went passed 200 in the quarter-final), but come up against Scott Styris. Styris hit an incredible 100* in the quarter final off only 37 balls including 38 off one over. Sussex also have Matt Prior, who is an underrated T20 player. Yorkshire’s bowling is decent, but I would guess (and with T20 it really is only a guess) that Sussex will win.
That would leave a Sussex v Somerset final. For all the jokes about Somerset finishing runners-up, I think they actually do look the better side, albeit not by a lot. It will possibly be their best chance to end their trophy drought, but whether they can take it is another matter.