Take it as Red in War of the Roses

  • By: Dave Tickner
  • Last Updated: June 6 2014, 8:10 BST

Dave Tickner fancies Lancashire to get the better of Friday night's NatWest T20 Blast clash with old rivals Yorkshire.

Jos Buttler: Returns to action for Lancashire on Friday
Jos Buttler: Returns to action for Lancashire on Friday

With the T20 Blast now having a regular Friday slot in the cricket calendar, we'll be focusing on the shortest form of the game with our previews this season.

Towards the end of the week we'll look ahead to the Friday round of matches, which will usually include a televised fixture - one we'll take a close look at given the TV games are often seen as good punting material.

Last week our man garnered good profits. Here's his look at this Friday's action:

Lancashire v Yorkshire, Sky Sports 2, 1830 BST start

This promises to be a cracker. Old Trafford should be close to capacity for this Friday night war of the roses, and the hosts should be confident.

While Andrew Flintoff is not yet ready for his Lancashire return, a far more significant player returns in the shape of Jos Buttler.

He's had quite a week: one of the greatest ODI innings ever played by an England batsman, a Mankading, and missing out on Test selection.

You suspect none of it will faze him.

With man-of-the-moment Buttler back it's a surprise to see the hosts chalked up as marginal outsiders here, even against a strong Yorkshire outfit.

Lancashire have won their last four NatWest T20 Blast games, while Yorkshire have a defeat, a washout and a victory over a woeful Derbyshire on their ledger.

The Vikings must also cope without England trio Gary Ballance, Joe Root and Liam Plunkett.

Lancashire won this fixture at an absolute canter last season, by eight wickets as they raced past a target of 125 in just 11 overs.

Best of the rest:

One 2005 Ashes hero may not be ready for his county return just yet, but another is in the shape of Kevin Pietersen.

He'll make his T20 Blast bow against Essex at The Oval, where you'd have to just favour the hosts at 5/6 in a 100% book. Both sides have two wins and a defeat from their three games, but Pietersen's return is significant.

While he didn't have a stellar IPL season, there was definitely an upward curve as his form and fitness returned. It would be no surprise to see a man who remains England's best batsman tear some counties apart over the coming weeks. Essex may be first on the receiving end.

Elsewhere, Kent may have come up short at Hampshire on Thursday but they should be confident of bouncing back at home to dire Middlesex on Friday night.

The 4/6 quotes for a home win are more than fair; Kent have two wins from their three games thus far, Middlesex five defeats from five.

  • Posted at 2205 BST on 05/06/2014.

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