Peter Wright

What to look out for on T20 finals day

This weekend heralds one of the most vibrant days in the domestic cricket calendar: T20 finals day at Edgbaston, which sees the two semi-finals and final played back-to-back.

We’ve looked back at every previous finals day match played at the venue to pick out some insights into who could be lifting this year’s trophy.

You’ll need to keep your eyes on the action if you’re sitting near the pitch, as an average of around 28 boundaries and seven or eight sixes are rattled in over the course of a match. There’s also a better than four-in-five chance of seeing an individual batsman reach 50 runs, with the average winning team hitting 158 in total.

The powerplay is a reliable indicator of whether a team will go on to win: if a team secures fewer than 40 runs from their first six overs or loses more than one wicket, then their chances of victory are pretty low. Likewise, those who score under 30 in their last five overs and drop two or more wickets are unlikely to prevail.

This season we have one all-Northern and one all-Southern semi-final, meaning that we’re guaranteed a North versus South climax. Since the competition was founded in 2003, there have been four semi-finals contested between two Northern teams and in three of these it’s the team who finished lower in the division during the regular season who progressed to the final.

This is good news for Lancashire, who finished third in the Northern division behind winners Worcestershire, and the Southern half of the draw also bodes well for the underdog.

In the five all-Southern semi-finals that have been contested to date, the team which finished lower in the Southern division that season has always triumphed. History is therefore on Sussex’s side as they take on Somerset, having also finished in third while their opponents topped the table.

Whoever makes it to the final will have to break another pattern, with three of the four finals between a Northern and a Southern team ending in victory for the former.

The pattern of previous success being a hindrance on finals day extends far beyond local rivalries. In the six years where the qualifying format has been the same as this year, eight of the 12 finalists finished third or fourth in their division. Teams making their debut in the competition have also fared better than returnees, while previous winners of the tournament have been less likely to repeat the feat, which adds up to plenty of encouragement for fans of debutants Worcestershire.

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