Sussex set for Silverware
William Hill's man-in-the-know gives us his Friends Provident Trophy tips for Saturday's final.
Saturday sees county cricket's showpiece day out as Hampshire Hawks take on the Sussex Sharks in a south-coast battle for the Friends Provident Trophy at Lord's.
William Hill's cricket supremo Rob Dixon believes Sussex may have what it takes for the trophy.
"This is a very tight game as the odds suggest, both teams have been very impressive so far in getting to the final and I honestly believe that it could take one innings or one bowling performance to separate these two sides and lift the trophy.
Hampshire were soundly beaten in the 2007 final by Durham and at least six of that team are likely to make the final XI again this year.
Their opening partnership of Jimmy Adams and Michael Lumb saw them to victory against Lancashire in the semi-final and much will depend on them getting the team off to a good start and allow the strokemakers like Sean Ervine and Dimi Mascarenhas to flourish at the end of the innings.
The bowling attack is led by the evergreen Dominic Cork who will surely enjoy a chance of starring at a major final.
Both sides have strong batting line-ups on paper, Sussex can recall Matt Prior from England duty and he will fit into a line-up which consists of England fringe players Luke Wright, Ed Joyce and Michael Yardy as well as Murray Goodwin and West Indian Dwayne Smith.
This is where Sussex have the edge and I believe this will tip the balance in their favour.
Their bowling line-up as well looks a bit stronger with James Kirtley and Yasir Arafat quality one-day bowlers and a promising young spin option in Will Beer.
I believe that this game could go down to the wire and could be one of the classic Lord's finals, as for the winner then I believe the trophy will be heading back down to Sussex by the sea."
Sussex - Friends Provident Trophy - 10/11
Top Sussex Batsman - Matt Prior - 11/2