Lancashire and Yorkshire have the biggest rivalry on the county cricket circuit but no two counties have more of a T20 history than Somerset and Hampshire. They meet on Wednesday evening to open the South Group of the Vitality T20 Blast and Hampshire boy Neil Monnery is here with his unbiased preview of the game…

Somerset vs Hampshire Betting Tips – Wednesday 24 May, 2023

  • Back Hampshire to Win at Evens
  • Back Will Smeed to be the Top Somerset Run Scorer at 16/5
  • Back Liam Dawson to be the Top Hampshire Wicket Taker at 11/2

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Hampshire will win. Wait, what do you mean you actually need a proper preview and not just what I want to happen? As Coolio would say in the opening to Kenan & Kel, aww, here it goes.

In all honesty and taking off my Hampshire hat, these are two of the favourites to be lifting the trophy at the end of the season. The visitors are the defending champions having won it all last year in a dramatic finale where Nathan Ellis won the game but bowled a no ball and had to do it all over again.

The visitors have a formula that has served them well throughout what I’ll call the Jamie Vince era. They put up a total, it might be under par but they squeeze and find a way to defend it. Somerset on the other hand are full of absolute phenoms with the bat who like to hit in out of the postage sized ground that is Taunton. A belting track will surely be waiting for the two teams and plenty of runs should be on the cards.

Looking at the home side and once more that top of the order looks absolutely stacked. Tom Kolher-Cadmore has moved south from Yorkshire and is just another fantastic player who should pile on the runs this season. It comes as no surprise that he is the 11/4 favourite to top score for the home side and it is a real classy signing that will boost their form in both red and white ball cricket. Will Smeed at 16/5 however would be my top pick in this market. The fact Rilee Rossouw is not back after a quite magnificent campaign a year ago is not ideal.

When it comes to what Hampshire have in their squad and you’ll see every player from a year ago is back. Ben McDermott will open the batting with the imperious Jamie Vince. The former England Test batter scored a wonderful century here a year ago and has found good form in the red ball game in the past couple of weeks. He’s 11/5 to top score which I think is fair but always tough to back such a short price in T20.

Only one player is added to the squad and that is Benny Howell who adds just another big hitting lower order batter who can cause plenty of problems with the ball. Plenty of interest among Hampshire fans to see who he’ll come in for.

This is genuinely a toss-up game. In those situations always going with the team with the longer odds so I will back Hampshire at Evens. They lost their first four games last season but since Vince returned to the top of the order, they went on to only drop one more game in the campaign. If you want a value player prop then Liam Dawson to be the Hampshire Top Wicket Taker at 11/2 just leaps off the page. The England man has found his rhythm and has long been a tremendous bowler in the short form of the game. James Fuller at 13/2 is also significantly too long and is also tempting.

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