The second quarter-final of the NatWest T20 Blast 2015 will see Warwickshire take on Essex at Birmingham. The Warwickshire v Essex betting tips & predictions can be found below.
Warwickshire won by 24 runs to make the semi-finals.
When the Birmingham Bears or Warwickshire began their NatWest T20 Blast season as defending champions, there were obvious hopes from them to do well during the league stage of the competition.
However, not too many would have anticipated the way it went for them, as they raced off to nine wins from 11 games in the competition before winning just one more in the last three.
Still, it was enough for the Bears to finish at the top of the points table on 20 – one more than the second-placed Worcestershire from their own group and one more than the South Group table-toppers as well.
It must also be added that they will be without Brendon McCullum for the rest of the tournament, after the New Zealand flew back home at the end of the league stage of the T20 Blast. While McCullum had a middling tournament by his own lofty standards, he still finished with 270 runs at 45 and had a strike-rate nearing 200.
His absence will be felt and Warwickshire will now look at William Porterfield and Varun Chopra at the top of the order to guide them through to a win.
As far as Warwickshire’s bowling is concerned, medium-fast bowlers Recordo Gordon and Oliver Hannon-Dalby have shared a total of 39 wickets between them in the tournament so far. They aren’t the big-ticket players who could have been expected to do well but that’s what has happened and will be a pair to watch out.
As far as Essex is concerned, their batting is clearly their strength. And why not? When a team has a top-order that consists of the likes of Ravi Bopara, Mark Pettini, Jesse Ryder and Ryan ten Doeschate, one or more of their players will come good.
Add to that the fire-power of quick bowler Shaun Tait and Essex is a side which can come good on their day. The question now is whether they have it in them to push the pre-tournament favourites into a corner?
Warwickshire v Essex T20s head to head:
The two have got together in only one previous match and that was won by Warwickshire. That made had come at the same stage of the T20 Blast last year, when Chopra’s 86 had driven Warwickshire to 197. Despite Ryan ten Doeschate’s 37-ball 61, Essex had been restricted to 178.
Warwickshire v Essex Betting Tips:
Essex to win: 11/8
Bopara to be Essex’s top batsman: 4/1
Chopra to be Warwickshire’s top batsman: 3/1
Match starts at 6.30 pm local time (1730 hours GMT) on August 13.