Hampshire, Somerset, Sussex & Yorkshire battle for T20 glory

Simon Katich, Marcus Trescothick, Luke Wright and Andrew Gale

T20 finals day

Venue:
Swalec Stadium
Date:
Saturday, 25 August
Start:
11:00 BST
Coverage:
BBC Sport online, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC local radio

Hampshire, Somerset, Sussex and Yorkshire will be vying for FL t20 glory on Saturday when finals day takes place in Cardiff.

Two semi-finals will be played followed by the final in what promises to be a thrilling day at the Swalec Stadium.

Sussex and Hampshire are aiming to lift the trophy for the second time after respective successes in 2009 and 2010.

Somerset have lost in each of the last three finals, while Yorkshire have reached finals day for the first time.

Sussex and Yorkshire meet in Saturday's first semi-final at 11:00 BST, followed by the Hampshire v Somerset match at 14:30 BST, with the final scheduled to start at 18:45 BST.

BBC Sport reviews the chances of each of the four teams involved.

SEMI-FINAL 1: SUSSEX v YORKSHIRE

SUSSEX
Most runs - Luke Wright 309Most wickets - Chris Liddle 15
Highest total - 230-4 v GlosBest score - Scott Styris 100 not out

BBC Sussex's Simon Levenson: "Michael Yardy leads Sussex at Cardiff for the final time with his side favourites to regain the T20 title they won in 2009.

Sussex

"The Sharks were defeated once in the group stages - and that came in a rain-affected five-over game against Surrey.

"They boast a batting line-up that has posted totals of 200 or more three times in this year's campaign and in Matt Prior, Luke Wright and New Zealander Scott Styris, they possess three of the most destructive batsmen in the game.

"Opener Chris Nash, Murray Goodwin and Joe Gatting complete a formidable top six.

"Chris Liddle, with 15 victims, is the leading wicket taker, while skipper Yardy can always be relied on to tie the batsmen down. The Sharks have plenty of options, with Amjad Khan and leg spinner Will Beer."

YORKSHIRE
Most runs - David Miller 271Most wickets - Mitchell Starc 21
Highest total - 212-5 v WorcsBest score - Adam Lyth 78

BBC Sport's Yorkshire correspondent Dave Callaghan: "This is Yorkshire's first, and very much long overdue, appearance at a finals day.

Yorkshire

"That inexperience could actually play into their hands as the other teams will feel the weight of expectation more. You get the sense that no one outside of Yorkshire really thinks they can win this.

"Having said that, their form this year has been sensational and their fielding has been the best in the competition.

"They've relied heavily on young overseas players Mitchell Starc and David Miller, who are both up and coming and keen to prove themselves at this level.

"Losing Starc is a real blow but the presence of Tim Bresnan and Ryan Sidebottom should help to make up for that, and if Jonny Bairstow can repeat his England heroics from Monday then you'd be a fool to back against them.

"I would not be surprised if Yorkshire pull this off. As we saw with Leicestershire last year, finals day can throw up some surprises."

Route to finals day
SussexYorkshire
12 June v Kent - no result15 June lost to Durham by 2 runs
14 June v Hampshire - no result17 June bt Leics by 22 runs
17 June bt Middlesex by 11 runs18 June bt Derbyshire by 41 runs
21 June bt Middlesex by 21 runs22 June bt Durham by 12 runs
24 June bt Essex by 19 runs24 June v Notts - no result
28 June bt Essex by 4 wkts27 June bt Leics by 4 runs
29 June bt Kent by 83 runs29 June bt Lancashire by 19 runs
3 July bt Surrey by 6 wkts5 July bt Notts by 6 wkts
6 July v Hampshire - no result6 July v Lancashire - no result
8 July lost to Surrey by 7 wkts8 July bt Derbyshire by 21 runs
24 July bt Glos by 39 runs25 July bt Worcs by 29 runs

SEMI-FINAL 2: HAMPSHIRE v SOMERSET

HAMPSHIRE
Most runs - James Vince 211Most wkts - Dimitri Mascarenhas 11
Highest total - 182-6 v NottsBest score - Neil McKenzie 79no

BBC Radio Solent's Kevan James: "Hampshire's passage to the 2011 semi-final was built on their impressive home record.

Hampshire

"They won all eight of their home matches, but their qualification for this year's semi-final has been solely due to their away form, with five wins from five.

"Hampshire will miss their match-winning Aussie Glenn Maxwell (179 runs), who single-handedly won two away games with the bat, but Michael Carberry's return from injury should go some way to compensating.

"The only surprise in the bowling department is that spinner Danny Briggs has only taken four wickets so far, although he continues to be miserly.

"Hampshire beat Somerset in the 2010 final and then lost to them in last year's semi-final.

"Who would bet against Hampshire this year? After all, they are playing away from home."

SOMERSET
Most runs - James Hildreth 222Most wickets - George Dockrell 9
Highest total - 191-6 v WarwicksBest score - James Hildreth 107no

BBC Points West's Alistair Durden: "Somerset are still a formidable force in the short form of the game and this is the fourth season in a row they've made it to finals day, finishing as runners-up in the last three years.

Somerset

"Although they have put a brave face on those disappointments, inside they will be desperate to shed the 'bridesmaids' tag.

"Many regard this as a golden era for the county, but they haven't rubber-stamped it by winning silverware.

"Their batting line-up, if everyone is fit and available, is fearsome and any one of the top six could win them the game single-handedly.

"Injuries have disrupted their season, although Marcus Trescothick returned from a long-term injury for their quarter-final win over Essex, and his presence could be key."

Route to finals day
HampshireSomerset
14 June v Sussex - no result13 June bt Warwicks by 63 runs
18 June lost to Middlesex 6 wkts14 June v Glos - no result
22 June lost to Kent by 3 runs17 June bt Northants by 5 wkts
24 June bt Kent by 6 wkts21 June v Warwicks - no result
27 June bt Middlesex by 4 wkts22 June bt Glamorgan by 4 wkts
29 June bt Essex by 6 wkts26 June bt Northants by 7 wkts
30 June bt Surrey by 7 wkts29 June lost to Glos by 9 wkts
2 July bt Surrey by 19 runs1 July lost to Worcs by 54 runs
6 July v Sussex - no result6 July v Glamorgan - no result
8 July v Essex - no result8 July bt Worcs by 7 wkts
25 July bt Notts by 4 wkts24 July bt Essex by 27 runs

TOURNAMENT HISTORY

YearWinnersRunners-up Semi-finalistSemi-finalist
2003SurreyWarwickshireLeicestershireGloucestershire
2004LeicestershireSurreyLancashireGlamorgan
2005SomersetLancashireSurreyLeicestershire
2006LeicestershireNottinghamshireEssexSurrey
2007KentGloucestershireLancashireSussex
2008MiddlesexKentEssexDurham
2009SussexSomersetNorthantsKent
2010HampshireSomersetEssexNottinghamshire
2011LeicestershireSomersetLancashireHampshire

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