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Max's Vitality Blast Preview

Max Waller has played more than 100 T20 fixtures for Somerset, and with 124 wickets to his name in the format, few are better placed to give an expert opinion on the shortest form of the game.

We sat down with Max this week to get his opinion on Somerset’s opponents in this years Vitality Blast.

Birmingham Bears

COMPETITION BEST: Winners 2014

“I think that their most destructive player is Adam Hose, who is of course an ex-Somerset player. He’s a very clean ball striker in their middle order and he can be really dangerous. Ed Pollock is also capable of getting them off to a flyer at the top of the order. If we can keep those two guys quiet then we will have a good chance.

“We haven’t played against them a huge amount in T20 cricket but Edgbaston is a great ground, although it will be strange playing there without a crowd.”

Northants Steelbacks

COMPETITION BEST: Winners 2013, 2016

“I think Northants will be strong in white-ball cricket again this year. They’ve shown that they are suited to the format in the last few years. They’re a dangerous T20 side and they have a lot of guys who fulfill their role within the team well. They’ve got some destructive batters with the likes of Richard Levi and Josh Cobb at the top of the order and they use the home conditions to their advantage well.”

Glamorgan

COMPETITION BEST: Semi Finalists 2017, 2004

They are another side that I think are best suited to T20 cricket. It’ll be a tough test against them as it always is. They’ll be keen to do a job on us after the recent Bob Willis Championship match. They’ll be looking to get their own back and they’ve got some powerful hitters who will be dangerous. Chris Cook is someone who is a real threat.”

Worcestershire Rapids

COMPETITION BEST: Winners 2018

“I think they could be one of the strongest sides in the competition this year. Their side is very much set up for T20 cricket and they’ve been successful in the last few years. They’ve done it on the big occasions recently and they’ve got lots of bases covered. We know what the likes of Ben Cox, Ross Whiteley and Moeen Ali can do and I’m sure they’ll give us a good game.”

Gloucestershire

COMPETITION BEST: Runners up 2007

“The big local derby is always a tough test. They’ll be competitive again this year and I’m sure they’ll be determined to beat us just like we’re determined to beat them. The rivalry will always be there and this is a game we’re always desperate to win.

“Whenever the fixtures come out we always look to see when we’re playing Gloucestershire. You always want to get one over on your local rivals and hopefully we can do that this year”

Somerset begin our 2020 Vitality Blast campaign with a match against 2014 winners, Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston on Friday August 28th followed by a trip to two-time winners Northamptonshire two days later.

Our first home match of the competition takes place on Tuesday September 1st when we welcome Glamorgan to the Cooper Associates County Ground.

Local derbies are an integral element of the Vitality Blast and 2020 is no different.

Once again Somerset and Gloucestershire will lock horns in the group stage of the competition.

Gloucestershire make the trip to the Cooper Associates County Ground on Sunday September 13th with the return fixture at the Bristol County Ground on Sunday September 20th.

Here is the full list of our Vitality Blast fixtures:

The England and Wales Cricket Board has confirmed that this summer’s shortened domestic season will culminate with Vitality Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston on Saturday 3 October.

The Vitality Blast has been regionalised into the same three groups used in the Bob Willis Trophy with each county set to play 10 group-stage matches behind closed doors. The quarter-finals will all be played on Thursday 1 October.

BBC Radio will cover every match of the Vitality Blast while all 18 First-Class Counties have been scheduled to play in front of the Sky cameras during the group stage. Somerset’s trip to Worcestershire, hosted at Edgbaston on Thursday September 3rd, will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.

Somerset’s Vitality Blast home matches will be made available via our popular free live streaming service.

Emerald Headingley (North Group), Edgbaston (Central Group) and the Kia Oval (South Group) will host eight of the 10 Sky televised group-stage matches, which will include neutral double-headers at each of those venues.

The Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford, which have hosted men’s England internationals this summer, will also stage televised derby matches. One quarter-final and Finals Day will also be televised by Sky.

All white-ball knockout matches, including the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy final and Vitality Blast Finals Day have been assigned reserve days.

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09/07/2022 19:00 - The Cooper Associates County Ground