Saturday sees the final showpiece occasion of the domestic season as Surrey take on Warwickshire in the Royal London One Day Cup Final, a 50-over affair at Lord's. Making his Betting.Betfair debut, cricket writer James Buttler previews the action and picks out his best bets...
"Six of the last seven matches at Lord's involving Surrey have been won by the chasing side, while six of the last eight finals have been won by the team batting second, with Gloucestershire in 2015 the only team to have defended a score."
Surrey v Warwickshire
Saturday September 17, 10:30
TV: Live on Sky Sports 2
Surrey make their second successive appearance in the Lord's showpiece and will be keen to avenge their narrow 2015 defeat to Gloucestershire.
After scraping into the quarters with a fourth place group finish, victory over Yorkshire in the semi-final was largely thanks to a 130 stand between Steven Davies (104) and Ben Foakes (90) who enabled a competitive total of 255 for seven. Despite a late Tim Bresnan revival, Yorkshire fell short.
Jade Dernbach's 15 wickets at an 11.9 average have been vital and veteran spinner Gareth Batty has 14 wickets and could yet be on England's plane to the subcontinent.
England opener Jason Roy and Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara are the prized scalps. And look out for the young Curran brothers, Tom and Sam, destined for big careers.
This is the fourth time in seven seasons that Warwickshire have reached a Lord's final. They lifted the trophy in 2012 and fell short in 2010 and 2014.
Captain Ian Bell showed he still has the big game mentality in the semi-final win over Somerset with 94 off 90 deliveries to steer the Bears to a 284 total. Sam Hain added 86 and Jonathan Trott made 44. It's an impressive top three.
Jeetan Patel took 5-43 to stifle Somerset's reply and the spin wizard is always the main threat. Patel has bowled more overs than anyone else in the competition and taken 20 wickets. With Chris Woakes back after an exceptional summer with England, Oliver Hannon-Dalby and Chris Wright always reliable, Warwickshire's attack looks strong.
This promises to be a tight encounter - the Betfair market can't split the teams, with both around the even money mark. These two have four wins apiece in the last eight matches they've played. The only Warwickshire and Surrey final came in 1982 with the Londoners winning by nine wickets.
The contest between Warwickshire's stronger looking batting unit and Surrey's bowlers will be key. The toss could be decisive and a punt on the team batting second is the best way to play the match odds market, particularly with evening rain forecast, providing a possibility of a reduced chase.
The stats are on our side here. Six of the last seven matches at Lord's involving Surrey have been won by the chasing side, while six of the last eight finals have been won by the team batting second, with Gloucestershire in 2015 the only team to have defended a score.
The RLODC has existed in its 50-over format since 2014 after previously being a 40-over affair. There have been 12 RLODC games played at Lord's, including games hosted by Middlesex. Two were rain affected, so here are the remaining 10 first-innings scores (1-2 denotes game won by side batting first or second): 240-1/286-2/255-2/368-1/165-2/295-1/241-2/238-2/219-1/220-1. The average is 253. Play anything between 225 and 250 with confidence.
There have been 10 centuries scored in those 10 games. You do the maths. The 13/8 being offered on the Sportsbook is very fair.
Roy has been in scintillating one-day form for England this summer. The opener hit 162, his third and highest ODI ton, against Sri Lanka in June and will be full of confidence after a Championship ton for Surrey this week.
Sri Lankan supremo Sangakkara top scored with 60 in last year's final defeat and is always the key wicket. Otherwise, Foakes, Davies and Rory Burns have enjoyed good campaigns. The Surrey batting order can smile broadly, but can also appear toothless. Don't trust the rest - back Roy (11/4) and Sanga (3/1) as the market favourites.
Former England stars, Trott (3/1) and Bell (16/5) will attract the cash in this market. Bell has the desire to reclaim an England place and a Lord's final would be the perfect stage to show off. But Aussie born Hain is eligible for England come the end of the season and is the one to look out for after scoring more runs than anyone else in the competition. Hain at 7/2 provides more value than his more illustrious teammates.