On Saturday the showpiece of the domestic county cricket season takes place. Think the Super Bowl or World Series but without the insane publicity. The Royal London One-Day Cup may not be a household name but at Lord’s, the home of cricket, things will get pretty intense. There may even be some shouting and cheering, which is pretty unusual for the quaint old place.
It is understandable that the bookies can’t quite work out who will win. After all, these two did not finish in the top two of their respective groups to qualify for the play-offs. They both came third, which makes them about the fifth and sixth best teams over that eight-game sample.
Nottinghamshire’s preparation has not been ideal. They have lost the services of England fast bowler Jake Ball, who is injured. And it would also be a major surprise if Stuart Broad, the leader of the attack, was also risked. Broad is fifty-fifty for England’s first Test against South Africa on Thursday.
How does that hurt Notts? Well, for a start it’s 15 wickets from their roster which is pretty significant. Broad is also their most economical bowler.
So there is a clear edge for Surrey if their bowling stacks up. Does it? Hell yes. They have an attack bristling with pace and variety. The Curran brothers, Sam and Tom, are potent with the former taking 17 wickets this season. Also in the mix is the experienced Jade Dernbach, whose death-over bowling is well respected. Wily spinner Gareth Batty keeps one end very tight.
With the bat, Kumar Sangakarra, the Sri Lanka legend, is in the form of his life at the twilight of his career. He just can’t stop scoring centuries. He has two in the tournament alone and with 515 runs is the top runscorer left standing. His team-mate, Ben Foakes, is not too shabby either with 481 in third behind Sanga.
Sangakkara could be worth following at +225 with Betfred and Stan James to be Surrey’s top runscorer in the match. Bit given Foakes’s record the +700 with Betfred and Paddy Power is arguably the value.
For Notts, Samit Patel has laid waste to attacks and he is the No 1 still playing. He is +450 with 888Sport to be Notts’ top bat.
On balance, we think the value is Surrey. There is not a huge amount to choose between the two but given Notts’ bowling woes we can’t have them as jollies here.