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The only team in the ultra-competitive South yet to win the domestic T20, Essex strike me as a team that could just as easily finish bottom of their group as clinch the title. I suspect it will all come down to that M word - momentum. Despite the absence of Ravi Bopara and Alistair Cook, who will be on international duty, the Eagles have some proven hitters. Graham Napier is the key man, perhaps, but the likes of ten Doeschate, Pettini, Shah and Wheater are potential dangers. With Scott Styris switching allegiances and signing for Sussex, Essex have plumped for another Kiwi all-rounder - James Franklin - to help boost their FLt20 campaign. Throw in David Masters and the slow left-arm of Tim Phillips, who took 26 wickets at an average of 13.23 in last year's T20, and the Eagles' attack looks very handy indeed.
Surrey clashes: 13 June (Wed) at the Kia Oval & 22 June (Fri) at Chelmsford
Twenty20 Cup odds: 14-1
Best finish: Semi finalists (2006, 2008 and 2010)
Biggest total: 242-3 v Sussex at Chelmsford 2008
Highest score: 152* - GR Napier v Sussex at Chelmsford 2008
Best bowling: 6-16 - TG Southee v Glamorgan at Chelmsford 2011

Bidding for a third successive appearance at T20 finals day, Hampshire will be keen to make up for their frustrating start in the County Championship. Michael Katich is likely to sit out the FLt20, but in Glenn Maxell, an explosive young batsman and occasional off-spinner, and Shahid Afridi, who needs absolutely no introduction, the Royals are strong as anyone in the overseas department. Michael Carberry has been a revelation in this year's Clydesdale Bank 40, making a fifty each time he has taken guard to outshine James Vince, who has often looked at home in the shorter forms of the game. If the CB40 is anything to go by, the fresh-faced spin duo of Danny Briggs and Liam Dawson should be difficult to get after. But, as much as anyone, Dimitri Mascarenhas, who is back from the IPL, and Neil McKenzie, who returns from taking a sabbatical, are key.
Surrey clashes: 20 June (Wed) at the Kia Oval & 30 June (Sat) at the Rose Bowl
Twenty20 Cup odds: 14-1
Best finish: Winners (2010)
Biggest total: 225-2 v Middlesex at the Rose Bowl 2006
Highest score: 124* - MJ Lumb v Essex at The Rose Bowl 2009
Best bowling: 5-14 - AD Mascarenhas v Sussex at Hove 2004

The emergence of Sam Billings in the opening weeks of the Clydesdale Bank 40 suggests that the loss of Martin van Jaarsveld, who topped the Spitfires' batting averages in last year's FLt20, might not be felt as keenly. Azhar Mahmood's return, from the IPL, will give Kent an added dimension with the bat, alongside the hard-hitting Darren Stevens and dependable Rob Key. But Brendan Nash is an unknown quantity in this form of cricket and Sam Northeast really could do with shaking off his "promising" tag. The bowling has benefited from the arrival of Mark Davies, from Durham. Azhar is a wily campaigner and, as he showed by taking 6-32 against Yorkshire in a recent CB40 game, Matt Coles is coming on in leaps and bounds. If the Spitfires have a weakness, it's their fielding, which, in such a strong group, is likely to come under pressure.
Surrey clashes: 17 June (Sun) at Beckenham & 5 July (Thu) at the Kia Oval
Twenty20 Cup odds: 20-1
Best finish: Winners (2007)
Biggest total: 217 v Gloucestershire at Gloucester 2010
Highest score: 112 - A Symonds v Middlesex at Maidstone 2004
Best bowling: 5-17 - Wahab Riaz v Gloucestershire at Beckenham 2011

The Panthers' price of 25-1 reflects not only the lack of an overseas player - Lasith Malinga was lined-up, but has picked up an injury - but, more importantly, the absence of Steve Finn and Eoin Morgan, who are wanted by England, plus the added blow of losing Tim Murtagh and Paul Stirling to Ireland; who have three ODIs during the group phase of the domestic T20. Middlesex will therefore rely on Joe Denly and Chris Rogers with the bat, unless, of course, Neil Dexter and Dawid Malan can put indifferent starts to this year's Clydesdale Bank 40 behind them. The bowling is an even bigger concern. With all due respect, Gareth Berg, Steven Crook and slow left-armer Tom Smith are not obvious match-winners. The Panthers have done little before or since their title-winning season in 2008. I don't expect that to change.
Surrey clashes: 14 June (Thu) at Lord's & 6 July (Fri) at the Kia Oval
Twenty20 Cup odds: 25-1
Best finish: Winners (2008)
Biggest total: 213-4 v Glamorgan at Richmond 2010
Highest score: 106 - AC Gilchrist v Kent at Canterbury 2010
Best bowling: 5-13 - M Kartik v Essex at Lord's 2007

Given the weapons Surrey possess, it's somewhat surprising that Jade Dernbach is the only Ovalite wanted by England for the forthcoming one-day series against the West Indies and Australia. Kevin Pietersen's decision to retire from ODI cricket means that, at times, the South Londoners will possess the most explosive top five on show - Hamilton-Brown, Davies, Pietersen, Roy and Maynard. If, for some reason, they should all fail, the resourceful duo of Matthew Spriegel and Zafar Ansari are due in at six and seven. With the ball, Surrey have two overseas players - Murali Kartik and Dirk Nannes - with heaps of T20 experience, a soon to be fit again Chris Tremlett and no end of spin options. It's little wonder Surrey are expected to reach their finals day since 2005, when they crashed out to Lancashire in the first semi-final.
Twenty20 Cup odds: 6-1 joint favourites (with Somerset)
Best finish: Winners (2003)
Biggest total: 224-5 v Gloucestershire at Bristol 2006
Highest score: 101* - JJ Roy v Kent at Beckenham 2010
Best bowling: 6-24 by TJ Murtagh v Middlesex at Lord's 2005

In addition to being one of only two unbeaten teams in this year's Clydesdale Bank 40, Sussex have reached the last eight in the domestic T20 in four out of the previous five tournaments; winning it in 2009. Last year's surprise package was left-arm seamer Chris Liddle, who took 21 wickets at 17.19 runs apiece. But if their CB40 form is anything to go by, spin - in the shape of Beer, Nash, Panesar and Yardy - could be the Sharks' secret weapon. Having gone for two overseas all-rounders - New Zealand's Scott Styris and South Africa's Rusty Theron - what the Martlets lack in terms of a gun batsman is compensated for in batting depth. Matt Prior and Luke Wright have been omitted from England's ODI squad, which is an added boost. But the likes of Gatting, Goodwin and Joyce will also need to produce.
Surrey clashes: 3 July (Tue) at the Kia Oval & 8 July (Sun) at Hove
Twenty20 Cup odds: 10-1
Best finish: Winners (2009)
Biggest total: 239-5 v Glamorgan at Hove 2010
Highest score: 117 - MJ Prior v Glamorgan at Hove 2010
Best bowling: 5-11 - Mushtaq Ahmed v Essex at Hove 2005.

Twenty20 Cup - Surrey records 2003-2011 
Twenty20 Cup - Surrey results 2003-2011 
Twenty20 Cup - Records at a glance 2003-2011