NatWest T20 Blast betting tips: Warwickshire v Worcestershire preview and more

Wayne Madsen in NatWest T20 Blast action against Nottinghamshire

Local pride is at stake in the NatWest T20 Blast at Edgbaston on Friday but Ian Ogg is looking further afield for his best bet.

Recommended bets

1pt win Derbyshire Falcons v Nottinghamshire Outlaws at 6/4

1pt Worcestershire to post the highest scoring first six overs at 11/10

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Birmingham Bears v Worcestershire Rapids - 1900 BST, Sky Sports Cricket

The Bears, or Warwickshire, have enjoyed some welcome respite from a disappointing season in the NatWest T20 Blast and have now won their last four with impressive defeats of Lancashire and Nottinghamshire the last twice.

It's no surprise, therefore, that they head into this game as strong favourites against the struggling Rapids, who have picked up just five points thus far. Their five defeats include an eight wicket defeat at New Road to their local rivals but they do, at least, come into this on the back of a comfortable win over a struggling Durham side thanks to a fine 124* off just 53 balls by Joe Clarke.

Whether that is enough to belatedly kick-start their campaign remains to be seen but neither side makes a great deal of appeal in the outright markets.

Warwickshire have good strength in depth with their trio of experienced New Zealanders joining the likes of Ian Bell while new signing Adam Hose made an instant impression against Lancashire and chipped in again against the Steelbacks.

At around 8/13 they are easy enough to resist though and there might be more mileage in taking them on in the highest scoring first six overs market.

It's worth noting that the Rapids are favourites to score the most sixes and while that doesn't correlate directly to the first six overs, it is representative of their power with the bat. The inexperienced Ed Pollock and Ian Bell have been opening for the Bears and while the former looks to get after the bowling from the off, the latter is usually more measured in his approach.

Their strike rates for this season's tournament are in the region of 144 and 118 while John Hastings and Joe Clarke, who opened for Worcestershire last time, boast numbers of 152 and 196.

Of course, plenty can happen in those opening overs but if the Rapids' top two get set then they could make the 11/10 (Birmingham are 8/13) look a very decent price.

Best of the rest

Surrey were due to visit table-topping Glamorgan last week only for the game to be abandoned. I argued last week that Glamorgan had been underestimated by the bookies despite their fine season and that again looks to be the case with Surrey 4/6 and Glamorgan around 5/4.

Surrey have won three of their four games at The Oval though and I'll pass up the opportunity to take them on again with Derbyshire's price catching the eye against Nottingham.

The Outlaws have regularly reached the knockout stages in this competitions' various guises - whereas Derbyshire rarely emerge from the groups - and are again among the bookies' favourites for the tournament.

They're priced accordingly for this fixture at 4/7 but their seasonal tally of four wins and three defeats (two no results) doesn't entitle them to be that short against a side who have picked up a point more from the same number of games with a 5-3-1 record.

The Falcons were on the losing end when these teams met at Trent Bridge but only by five runs in a tense and record breaking encounter. Nottingham have only managed to win one of their games away from home, at bottom of the table Durham (who have managed to achieve a negative points tally!) and are worth opposing at the County Ground.

Derbyshire have already beaten leading T20 protagonists Yorkshire (who they are due to play again on Thursday evening) and Northampton so although their record is a little mixed, they do have what it takes to beat the bigger sides.

Wayne Madsen has enjoyed a fine season with 335 runs (including 86* against Notts) while Imran Tahir has been a brilliant addition to the bowling ranks. Of course, Nottingham have plenty of talent in their line-up and are a stronger side across the boards but that hasn't been backed up by their results this season and the hosts are worth an interest at the prices.

Posted 1517 BST on 03/08/2017

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