Sussex hoping to blast their way to second Twenty20 triumph
As the Twenty20 Cup hurtles towards the midway point, Sussex Sharks are the 3/1 favourites to be crowned champions for a second successive season.
The Sharks currently lead the South Group of the competition, with nine wins from their 13 matches to date.
They have an immensely powerful batting order which includes New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum, the explosive West Indian Dwayne Smith, and England’s big-hitting duo Matt Prior and Luke Wright.
The Hove-based club also have a strong bowling unit which contains Monty Panesar, West Indies veteran Corey Colleymore and Pakistan seamers Ran Naved-ul-Hasan and Yasir Arafat.
Nottinghamshire Outlaws, who are top of the North Group, are 7/2 to claim their first ever Twenty20 cup triumph. They have experience of playing at finals day, having been runners-up in 2006.
2008 champions Middlesex Panthers are 20/1 contenders for the T20 title, but they have been surprisingly lacklustre in their group games so far.
Despite boasting a batting line-up which includes Australian legend Adam Gilchrist and England’s innovative middle order specialist Eoin Morgan, they have mustered only five wins from their 11 games.
Inaugural winners in 2003, Surrey are a very tempting 16/1 to win their second Twenty20 Cup.
Prolific runscorer Mark Ramprakash was a part of the 2003 winning side, and he is joined in the current team by Australia’s barrel-chested all-rounder Andrew Symonds.
Both groups will be concluded by July 18th, with the top four sides from each section qualifying for the quarter-finals which will be held on Monday and Tuesday the 26th and 27th of July.
The semi-finals and final then take place at the Rose Bowl on August 14th, and the favourites Sussex will by hoping to become just the second team after Leicestershire to win the Twenty20 Cup for a second time.
Who do you think will reign supreme? Marcus Trescothick’s Somerset are 5/1 to win the Twenty20 Cup. See the full 2010 Twenty20 Cup market.