Who Will Win Worcestershire vs Lancashire, Vitality Blast 2018?
The first semi-final of the Vitality Blast 2018 will see Lancashire Lightning take on Worcestershire Rapids. The match will be played on September 15 at the Edgbaston in Birmingham. Live telecast is scheduled to begin at 11 AM local time.
Lancsvs Worcs: Where to Watch/Live Streaming
TV channels: Sky Sports, Fox Sports, Sony Six, SuperSport
Eight of the last eleven T20 matches (one recent international between England and Australia and ten T20 Blast matches) played at Edgbaston have been won by the side batting first. Since the bowlers might find more assistance from the pitch later on in the day, the toss-winning skipper will probably elect to bat first.
Read on for team previews, betting odds, betting tips and match prediction for Lancashire vs Worcestershire semi-final, Vitality Blast 2018...
Lancashire Team News & Playing 11
LANCS Team News
Lancashire Lightning had went in with four changes in their previous match against Kent Spitfires - they replaced Karl Brown, Josh Bohannon, Danny Lamb and Mark Watt with Jos Buttler, Keaton Jennings, Jordan Clark and Toby Lester. Since they ended up winning that match quite comfortably, we don't expect them to tweak their winning combination for this semi-final against Worcestershire Rapids.
LANCS Key Players
With six half-centuries under his belt and averaging over 58, Alex Davies has been Lancashire's best batsman in this year's Vitality Blast and is one of the leading run-getters of the season. His opening partner Jos Buttler is another key man as he can be very dangerous in this format of the game. Keaton Jennings smashed a fifty in the reverse encounter at Manchester and is coming off a well-made 46 against Kent in the quarter-final. Matthew Parkinson, James Faulkner and Toby Lester are the main threats in this bowling attack and Lancashire will rely mainly on these three pacers to do the damage. Parkinson is amongst the most successful bowlers of the season with 23 wickets in 14 matches which includes an impressive three-wicket haul he took in the quarter-final. Lester snared a couple in that game while Faulkner has a total of 19 in his wickets tally.
LANCS Recent Form
Lancashire finished third on the Vitality Blast 2018 points table with eight wins and five losses from fourteen matches at the end of the group stage. They went into the knockout stage after facing a seven-wicket defeat at the hands of Birmingham Bears in their final group-stage game. They, however, got the better of Kent Spitfires in the quarter-final. After restricting Kent to 133/9, Lancashire cantered home in the penultimate over to win by six wickets.
Lancashire Predicted Playing 11
Alex Davies, Jos Buttler (wk), Arron Lilley, Keaton Jennings, Dane Vilas (c), Jordan Clark, Steven Croft, James Faulkner, Toby Lester, Matthew Parkinson, Zahir Khan
Worcestershire Team News & Playing 11
WORCS Team News
Worcestershire Rapids will be without the services of Martin Guptill for the remainder of the Vitality Blast season. The New Zealand batsman was all set to return from the ongoing Caribbean Premier League but he has been ruled out with a hamstring injury. Worcestershire had dropped Thomas Charles Fell for allrounder Brett D'Oliveira in their last match against Gloucestershire and the latter is likely to feature in the starting eleven against Lancashire Lightning. We thus expect them to go into this game with an unchanged line-up.
WORCS Key Players
Callum Ferguson has been the most consistent batsman for Worcestershire this Vitality Blast with 390 runs which includes a century and a couple of fifties. He struck an unbeaten 47-ball 64 in the quarter-final against Gloucestershire and the team will want him to continue his good form. Joe Clarke is having a strike rate of 158 and he could provide his team with a flying start. Moeen Ali is another key component in this line-up with his ability to score quick runs at the top in addition to making significant contributions with the ball. Patrick Brown has been the best bowler of the season. The pacer is leading the wickets charts with 27 wickets and the team will back him to put a dent in Lancashire's innings early on. Wayne Parnell has taken 13 wickets in 7 matches and the South African quick will be Worcestershire's next best option. Another one to watch out for is Brett D'Oliveira who claimed a four-fer in the quarter-final.
WORCS Recent Form
Worcestershire finished the group stage of the Vitality Blast 2018 as table-toppers of the North Group with nine wins and four losses from 14 matches. After securing a 15-run victory over Birmingham Bears in their final group-stage encounter, they defeated Gloucestershire in the quarter-final to confirm their first ever finals day appearance. Worcestershire have been very impressive with the bat this season and they have scored over 190 twice in their last three matches.
Worcestershire Predicted Playing 11
Joe Clarke, Moeen Ali (c), Callum Ferguson, Brett D'Oliveira, Ben Cox (wk), Ross Whiteley, Ed Barnard, Wayne Parnell, Daryl Mitchell, Luke Wood, Patrick Brown
Team Form in Last Five Matches (most recent first)
LANCS : W L W W W
WORCS : W W L L W
LANCS vs WORCS Head to Head
Lancs vs Worcs Head to Head
Lancashire and Worcestershire have played ten matches against each other in the English twenty20 tournaments with the former leading the scoreline 8-2.
The two counties faced each other twice in this year's Vitality Blast. While their most recent encounter was washed out due to rain, the first one was won by Worcestershire. After winning the toss and opting to bat first, Lancashire posted a challenging 188/6 on the board but Worcestershire chased down that total in the final over of the match to win by five wickets.
Worcestershire Rapids topped their group standings but they still find themselves as the underdogs for this semi-final clash at odds of 1.95 on Betway, 2 on Bet365 and 2.12 on Betfair. This could largely be due to the fact that they have a very ordinary record against their opponents Lancashire Lightning. Lancashire on the other hand begin as the bookmakers' favorites to win this match at shorter odds of 1.75 on Betway, 1.80 on Bet365 and 1.81 on Betfair.
Lancashire vs Worcestershire Prediction
Both teams have been consistent this year and both seem to be pretty evenly matched on paper. But neither has the home advantage on its side as they will be facing each other at a neutral venue. Worcestershire will take plenty of confidence from having beaten Lancashire earlier in the season but they will also be aware of the fact that it was only their second win in ten matches against them in the 20-overs format. Worcestershire are coming on the back of two successive wins and so they will be carrying sufficient momentum with them. But unlike them, Lancashire have not relied on just a handful of players to get them this far. Most of their players have contributed consistently which is why we feel they stand a better chance of making it to the final.
Final Verdict: Back Lancashire Lightning to beat Worcestershire Rapids in the semi-final at 1.75 on Betway, 1.80 on Bet365 and 1.81 on Betfair.