Last year’s semi-finalists Somerset are set to face defending champions Hampshire Hawks on May 24 at the Cooper Associates County Ground in what should be a thrilling 2023 Vitality Blast match. Somerset have a better record against Hampshire in the Blast, but will they be able to defeat the three-time champions?
The South Group Match between Somerset vs Hampshire will take place on May 2nd, 2023 at Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.
Match Details to Note
Match: Somerset vs Hampshire, South Group Match, T20 Blast 2023
Date: May 24, 2023 (Wednesday)
Time: 11:30 PM IST
Venue: The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton
The big question is whether Somerset will be able to consistently perform well throughout the competition. They last won the T20 championship 18 years ago and will need a lot of things to go their way if they are to come close to winning it again. Despite sailing through the group stage with impressive performances, they came up short against Hampshire in the crucial semi-final last year, failing to live up to their true potential. This was not the first time they struggled on Finals Day, when everything was on the line.
Ben Green, an exceptional all-rounder, is at the forefront of the players to watch this year. During the previous season’s limited-overs matches, he demonstrated his prowess with both bat and ball as Somerset’s One-Day Cup captain. Notably, he scored 157 runs in a 50-over game against Durham in Taunton, while also becoming his team’s leading wicket-taker in the Blast thanks to his deft seam bowling. Green, who currently plays white-ball cricket, has the ability to deliver powerful shots and pose a formidable challenge to even the most accomplished batsmen.
Somerset also has power hitters at the top of the order like Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Tom Banton, and Will Smeed, as well as other players like Lewis Gregory, Ben Green, and Craig Overton who can all smack the ball a long way. Last year, Captain Banton had a good season, scoring 359 runs in 16 innings with a strike rate of nearly 130. Cadmore is coming off a fantastic PSL 2023 season in which he scored 325 runs in 12 innings while striking out 160 times.
The key to securing a spot on Finals Day is taking wickets effectively on Taunton’s true pitches. Along with Green, New Zealand fast bowler Matt Henry could be a key cog in Somerset’s bowling attack.
Tom Abell (c), Kasey Aldridge, Sonny Baker, George Bartlett, Tom Banton, Shoaib Bashir, Jack Brooks, Josh Davey, Steven Davies, Sean Dickson, Lewis Goldsworthy, Ben Green, Lewis Gregory, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Tom Lammonby, Jack Leach, Ned Leonard, Roelof van der Merwe, George Ogborne, Craig Overton, James Rew, Peter Siddle (Australia), Will Smeed, George Thomas, Andy Umeed
Players to watch out for:
At the end of the 2022 season, the 21-year-old gave up red-ball cricket to focus solely on the shorter formats. In T20 cricket, he has a career strike rate of 145.57.
The keeper-batter was expected to dominate world cricket in this format a few years ago, but his progress has slowed. On his day, he is still a very destructive batter.
The bowling all-rounder has a good range of slower balls and knows how to use the crease well. He has competed in numerous T20 tournaments.
Possible Playing XI:
Will Smeed, Tom Banton (wk), Tom Abell, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Lewis Gregory (c), Tom Lammonby, Ben Green, Lewis Goldsworthy, Roelof van der Merwe, Jack Brooks, Peter Siddle/Matt Henry
As captain and star batsman, James Vince will play a key role in Hampshire Hawks’ bid to defend their championship title, making them strong contenders. Vince led the league in runs scored last season, with 678 in 16 innings pitched at an average of 48.43 and a strike rate of 146.12.
Tom Prest is another player who has the potential to be Hampshire’s standout performer. Last season, the 20-year-old scored 316 runs at a strike rate of 122.48. Then there’s Ben McDermott, who put up 494 runs in 17 innings with a strike rate of 146.15 last year.
What truly distinguishes the Hawks is their faultless bowling unit. Last season, their bowlers consistently dominated in the powerplay, squeezed through the middle, and defended at the death. Last year, their standout bowlers were James Fuller (23 wickets), Brad Wheal (22 wickets), and Chris Wood (21 wickets), and they will be a handful again this year. Hampshire’s bowling looks to be the best in the competition by a long shot now that they’ve added Benny Howell, who has more Blast wickets than 11 others.
James Vince (c), Mohammad Abbas (Pakistan), Kyle Abbott (South Africa), Toby Albert, Keith Barker, Ben Brown, Jack Campbell, Mason Crane, Scott Currie, Liam Dawson, Aneurin Donald, Joseph Eckland, Nathan Ellis (Australia), James Fuller, Nick Gubbins, Ian Holland, Benny Howell, Ben McDermott, Fletcha Middleton, Felix Organ, Harry Petrie, Tom Prest, John Turner, Joe Weatherley, Brad Wheal, Ross Whiteley, Chris Wood
Players to watch out for:
The England international is still highly regarded by many cricket experts, and he continues to score big on the T20 circuit.
The bowling all-rounder was called up to the England T20 squad last year and bowls with pinpoint accuracy while also scoring crucial runs.
The overseas bowler is often able to find movement where others fail. In this format, his best figures are 3-22.
Possible Playing XI:
Ben McDermott (wk), James Vince (c), Tom Prest, Joe Weatherley, Benny Howell, Ross Whiteley, James Fuller, Liam Dawson, Nathan Ellis, Chris Wood, Brad Wheal
Somerset vs Hampshire Head to Head
Hampshire Hawks have won the last two T20 Blast matches against Somerset, but they trail in the overall head to head 15-9.
Somerset vs Hampshire Head to Head Stats in T20s
|Matches Played||SOM Won||HAM Won||Tie||NR|
Somerset vs Hampshire Toss Prediction
The team batting first has won 63% of the games played at the Cooper Associates County Ground. This will be the first match of the season, and the team that wins the toss will most likely bat first.
Somerset vs Hampshire Pitch Report
In the Blast, the average score for batting first at Cooper Associates County Ground is 200. Somerset’s highest total at the venue is a colossal 265-5 against Derbyshire in last year’s 4th Quarter-Final. Somerset chased the highest target in the Vitality Blast at the Cooper Associates County Ground, 174, against Glamorgan. The team batting first in this game is expected to score 180-190 runs, and we could be in for a run-scoring feast.
The Cooper Associates County Ground pitch in Taunton is a sporting surface with something for both batters and bowlers. Given the small size of the field, expect plenty of fours and sixes. The weather in Taunton is expected to be partly cloudy with periods of sun during the game. The actual temperature will be 22°.
Somerset vs Hampshire Prediction
Somerset leads Hampshire 15-9 in head-to-head play. Playing at home will be an added benefit. Hampshire has won three of the last five meetings between these two teams, while Somerset has won two. Somerset’s lineup is well-balanced, with plenty of power hitters. However, the defending champions have an advantage in this contest thanks to run-machine James Vince and their incredibly good bowling attack. Check out the odds at Cricbaba!
Hampshire is the favourite to beat Somerset at the odds of 1.90.
Somerset vs Hampshire Most Recommended Player for Bet:
James Vince is a seasoned T20 player with over 8700 runs in this format, and we believe he should be Hampshire Hawks’ leading run scorer against Somerset.