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Cricket Betting Tips and Fantasy Cricket Match Predictions: Vitality Blast 2020 - Yorkshire Vikings vs Notts Outlaws

Emerald Headingley, Leeds.
Emerald Headingley, Leeds.
©Cricket World / John Mallett

The opening round match of the Vitality Blast 2020 will be played between Yorkshire Vikings and Notts Outlaws at Emerald Headingley, Leeds.

Yorkshire vs Nottinghamshire, North Group

Yorkshire Vikings finished at the 5th spot in their Vitality Blast group last year. The team ended the group stage with 4 wins and 5 losses from 14 matches.

They will be up against Notts Outlaws who finished at the 2nd place in their group after the league stage with 6 wins and 4 losses from 14 matches. They lost their semi-final match against Worcestershire.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore was the top scorer for Yorkshire Vikings in the last Blast season with 435 runs from 10 matches at an average of 62 and a strike rate of 141. He scored five half-centuries last year with the best of 96*.

Dawid Malan was the highest run-scorer for Middlesex last year with 490 runs from 14 matches at an average of 66.40 and a strike rate of 78.85. He scored one century and two half-centuries with the best of 117. He will be a valuable addition to the Vikings squad but is unavailable for the first 8 matches due to an England call-up.

Adam Lyth picked up 12 wickets for Yorkshire Vikings from 10 matches with best figures of 5/31. He bowled at an average of 12 and an economy of 8.16.

Alex Hales was the highest run-scorer for Notts Outlaws last year with 418 runs from 12 matches at an average of 38 and a strike rate of 140. He scored five half-centuries with the best of 83*.

Harry Gurney was their top wicket-taker and picked up 22 wickets from 12 matches with best figures of 5/30. He bowled at an average of 18 and an economy of 9.00.

Fashionista David Willey admits it is a “bittersweet” feeling  to be missing out on his Yorkshire captaincy debut at the start of the Vitality Blast.

Willey has thrown himself - lock, stock and barrel - into his new role as the Vikings leader, including even helping to design next year’s new T20 kit.

But he will be unavailable for as many as the first eight North Group games this year due to England commitments, a blow at least softened by Joe Root’s intention to play a number of games.

Make no mistake, dynamic all-rounder Willey is delighted his international career is back on track. 

After the heartbreak of being dropped from England’s World Cup squad last summer, he was recalled for three recent Royal London Series against Ireland at Southampton and ended up being player of the series.

But - having retained his place for the three-match Vitality IT20 series against Pakistan and more than likely six limited overs matches against Australia - there is some disappointment that he has to hand over the Yorkshire leadership reins to Tom Kohler-Cadmore.

Kohler-Cadmore will be in charge of Thursday’s televised North Group opener against Notts Outlaws at Emerald Headingley (6.35pm).

Willey said: “It’s funny because, with the backdrop of Covid, my career has taken a u-turn from where it was last summer.

“I’m back involved with England and have done alright, and I’ve got the Yorkshire captaincy.

“Hopefully I can build on the Ireland series and go well over the coming weeks.

“But it is disappointing to be missing the start of T20 with Yorkshire - it’s bittersweet.

“I was really looking forward to that, and had started to do some good work around the group.

“I’d be in and around the lads who didn’t play against Lancashire (Bob Willis Trophy) helping them prepare. I sort of almost led that, and I really enjoyed it. 

“So to not be able to go out on the field and build this new brand of Yorkshire T20 cricket is disappointing.”

Willey’s use of the word ‘brand’ is significant.

Here is an underachieving county who have never won the Blast and have only ever reached Finals Days twice. So things need to change.

And Willey, a two-time Blast winner with Northants Steelbacks and a winner of both the Big Bash and IPL with Perth and Chennai, is full of ideas.

He wants to foster an attacking and fearless style of play, which brings us to Yorkshire’s new kit plans for next summer.

 “I’m naturally quite opinionated anyway, and I’ve travelled the world playing T20 cricket for England and various teams and franchises,” said Willey, who is also planning to share his thoughts with the club’s marketing team on ideas surrounding spectator match day experience for 2021.

“I’ve seen what works well elsewhere, and the club were very keen to have my input into the T20 kit for next year - just so it marries up with how we want to play.

“It’s great to be on board with that, and I will help the club move forwards any way I can.

“The kit’s certainly ‘out there’, shall we say! We want to play in a certain manner, and I think it’s important everything looks that way as well.”

So what can Yorkshire fans expect over the next few weeks from a team shorn of Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid and Willey?

“I was sat down at an event just before we went off on pre-season to India in March, and I remember saying, ‘If we’re not at Finals Day, it’s a bad season’,” said Willey.

“But, with injuries, losing players to the new international schedule and not having the lead-up we thought we would, it looks very different now.

“There are going to be some brilliant opportunities for the young lads, and I want our focus to be on playing a certain way throughout the competition.

“If we do that, with the players we’ve got, we’ll be pretty close anyway. But I don’t want it to be all results driven.

“In the past, I think Yorkshire have sometimes been a bit safe in terms of how they play T20. 

“In my opinion, sometimes the balance of the side hasn’t been right and we’ve chopped and changed a lot.

“The big thing for me is we’ll have a consistent side throughout the competition who will go out there and play positive cricket.

“When you have young lads coming into the side, they are inevitably going to make some mistakes. But they have to be allowed to do that and learn from them. And they won’t have that chance if you drop them after a couple of games. 

“That’s why I say I don’t want this year to be all about results.”

Let's have a look at the probable playing XI of both teams: 

Nottinghamshire - Joe Clarke, Alex Hales, Ben Duckett, Jake Libby, Tom Moores (wk), Samit Patel, Zak Chappell, Chris Nash, Luke Fletcher, Matthew Carter, Harry Gurney

Yorkshire - Tom Kohler-Cadmore (c), Joe Root, Harry Brook, Jonathan Tattersall (wk), Jack Leaning, Will Fraine,  Adam Lyth, Mathew Pillans, Jack Shutt, Jordan Thompson, 



Cricket Betting Tips and Match Predictions* - PrePlay

 Who will win the toss? - Nottinghamshire

Who will win? – Nottinghamshire

Top Batsman (Runs Scored) – Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), Tom Kohler-Cadmore (Yorkshire)

Top Bowler (Wickets taken) – Harry Gurney (Nottinghamshire), Adam Lyth (Yorkshire)

Most Sixes – Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), Tom Kohler-Cadmore (Yorkshire)

Man of the Match – Tom Kohler-Cadmore

Team Scores Batting first – Nottinghamshire 180+, Yorkshire 170+

 Match Handicap Nottinghamshire

Live Cricket Streaming Vitality Blast 2020 - bet365's live cricket streaming page which enables you to watch live cricket. (BeGambleAware 18+)  Live Cricket Streaming from bet365 requires a funded account or for customers to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours. Geo-restrictions apply.

*NB these predictions may be changed nearer the start of the match once the final starting teams have been announced and we will be running ‘In–Play’ features, so stay tuned.


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