A look at some of the best shots from Harry Brook's innings of 72 against Lancashire Lightning in the Vitality Blast group stages

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A look at some of the best shots from Harry Brook’s innings of 72 against Lancashire Lightning in the Vitality Blast group stages

A look at some of the best shots from Harry Brook’s innings of 72 against Lancashire Lightning in the Vitality Blast group stages

The first domestic showpiece final of the English cricketing summer arrives on Saturday as the thrilling Vitality Blast draws to a close on Finals Day at Edgbaston.

Records were broken amid drama and despair as the final four claimed their places during last week’s quarter-finals, and there will no doubt be more theatre across the three remaining fixtures.

The action will begin with another clash of the Roses as Yorkshire take on Lancashire, before Hampshire face Somerset in the second semi-final later on.

For once, it can be confidently said that weather will not cause any interruptions – at least of the traditional English type – in Birmingham, with perfect sunshine and highs of 27 degrees forecast as a nation-wide heatwave continues.

The release of a few England players from international duty for the day has added some star power to what was already guaranteed to be a hugely entertaining day.

Yorks vs Lancashire

July 16, 2022, 10:30am

Live on Sky Sports Cricket HD

Every ball will be live on Sky Sports Cricket, with build up starting from 10:30am, ahead of the first match, which begins at 11am.

2022 Vitality Blast Finals Day schedule

11am – Yorkshire vs Lancashire

2:30pm – Hampshire vs Somerset

6:45pm – Final

Yorkshire

How did they get here?

Highlights of the T20 Vitality Blast quarter-final between Yorkshire Vikings and Surrey

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Highlights of the T20 Vitality Blast quarter-final between Yorkshire Vikings and Surrey

Highlights of the T20 Vitality Blast quarter-final between Yorkshire Vikings and Surrey

After needing a points deduction from Leicestershire to help them to the knockout stages, Yorkshire sprung a surprise in the quarter-finals by becoming the first – and only – team to beat Surrey at The Oval in this year’s competition.

In what was the tightest of the last eight-ties, Jordan Thompson brilliantly defended five runs from the final over to seal victory and keep alive Yorkshire’s hopes of winning the Blast for the first time.

Players to watch:

Yorkshire – and everyone attending or watching Finals Day – have been handed a massive boost by England’s decision to release batter Harry Brook to play.

The 23-year-old’s average of 43.40 in this year’s competition tops his side’s chart, and he will want to use the opportunity to further showcase his huge talent.

Yorkshire will be without captain David Willey, who remains with England ahead of Sunday’s ODI series decider against India, along with Joe Root, Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow.

Yorkshire bowler Jordan Thompson believes being without England international David Willey for the Vitality Blast finals day is a massive blow

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Yorkshire bowler Jordan Thompson believes being without England international David Willey for the Vitality Blast finals day is a massive blow

Yorkshire bowler Jordan Thompson believes being without England international David Willey for the Vitality Blast finals day is a massive blow

With those absences, former England batter Adam Lyth, who is Yorkshire’s top run-scorer in this season’s blast, will have a key role to play.

Despite having been expensive throughout the tournament, Thompson, the team’s leading wicket-taker with 17 dismissals, showed what he is capable of under pressure against Surrey. Meanwhile, the spin of Dom Bess, who has taken nine wickets at a strong economy of 7.65, will also be a crucial factor.

Lancashire

How did they get here?

Watch highlights of the Vitality T20 Blast quarter-final between Lancashire Lightning and Essex Eagles at Old Trafford

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Watch highlights of the Vitality T20 Blast quarter-final between Lancashire Lightning and Essex Eagles at Old Trafford

Watch highlights of the Vitality T20 Blast quarter-final between Lancashire Lightning and Essex Eagles at Old Trafford

The headlines were stolen by Salt and Pepper playing a part in each other’s dismissals as Lancashire dominated Essex in the quarter-final to reach Finals Day for a record ninth time, but it was the team’s experienced core that sealed the win.

Steven Croft and skipper Dane Vilas, both 37, struck half centuries to help the Lightning race to a target of 162 at Old Trafford.

Players to watch:

While they will be without England stars Jos Buttler and Liam Livingstone, the release of Phil Salt and Matt Parkinson from international duty provides an enormous boost.

While Salt brings power and flair to the batting line-up, the experience of leading run-scorer Croft and Vilas will ensure a wily approach to any situation.

Richard Gleeson took three wickets in four deliveries on an England debut to remember at Edgbaston, removing Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant

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Richard Gleeson took three wickets in four deliveries on an England debut to remember at Edgbaston, removing Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant

Richard Gleeson took three wickets in four deliveries on an England debut to remember at Edgbaston, removing Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant

With the ball, Lancashire will welcome the return of Richard Gleeson after his international debut for England’s T20 side earlier this month. Gleeson’s 23 dismissals leave him one behind the tournament’s leading wicket-taker going into Finals Day, and perfectly placed to claim that honour.

Spin from Parkinson and all-rounder Tom Hartley will also be crucial to limiting Yorkshire’s scoring.

Hampshire

How did they get here?

Watch the last over from Hampshire Hawks' thrashing over the Birmingham Bears in the T20 Blast quarter-final

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Watch the last over from Hampshire Hawks’ thrashing over the Birmingham Bears in the T20 Blast quarter-final

Watch the last over from Hampshire Hawks’ thrashing over the Birmingham Bears in the T20 Blast quarter-final

Hampshire will return to Edgbaston with positive vibes after stunning the Birmingham Bears in the last eight and denying them a home Finals Day in the process.

Ben McDermott and Joe Weatherley starred with the bat as Hampshire set a big total that Birmingham made a feeble attempt of chasing, confirming a record (alongside Lancashire) ninth Finals Day appearance.

They will also be keen to get their revenge against Somerset in a repeat of last year’s semi-final, which they lost by just two wickets.

Players to watch:

The stats suggest Hampshire’s batting revolves heavily around one player, captain James Vince. The former England batter is the tournament’s leading run-scorer this season, with 653 runs at an average of 54.41.

While Vince going well will undoubtedly boost Hampshire’s hopes, McDermott and Weatherley’s quarter-final showings prove all is not lost if the skipper misses out.

Hampshire's James Vince put on a batting masterclass with an unbeaten 129 in their T20 Blast South Group match with Somerset

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Hampshire’s James Vince put on a batting masterclass with an unbeaten 129 in their T20 Blast South Group match with Somerset

Hampshire’s James Vince put on a batting masterclass with an unbeaten 129 in their T20 Blast South Group match with Somerset

However, even with a modest total, Hampshire can be a danger due to perhaps the most balanced bowling attack in the competition.

They have six bowlers who have taken more than 10 wickets, with four of those having claimed 17 or more dismissals.

The pace quartet of Nathan Ellis, Chris Wood, James Fuller, Brad Wheal combined with spin duo Liam Dawson and Mason Crane leave Vince with a formidable variety of options to choose from.

Somerset

How did they get here?

Highlights of the T20 Vitality Blast quarter-final between Somerset and Derbyshire

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Highlights of the T20 Vitality Blast quarter-final between Somerset and Derbyshire

Highlights of the T20 Vitality Blast quarter-final between Somerset and Derbyshire

Hampshire’s bowlers will need to be at their best in the last four, as they go up against a record-breaking batting line-up.

Somerset booked their place at Finals Day smashing the tournament’s all-time record score – 265 – as they trounced Derbyshire.

Somerset captain Tom Abell believes losing to Kent in last season's Vitality Blast final fires their fuel for success this year

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Somerset captain Tom Abell believes losing to Kent in last season’s Vitality Blast final fires their fuel for success this year

Somerset captain Tom Abell believes losing to Kent in last season’s Vitality Blast final fires their fuel for success this year

South African Rilee Rossouw maintained his brilliant form by smashing 93 from 66 balls, before Somerset went on to secure a mammoth 191-run victory.

Players to watch:

Rossouw’s brilliant innings took him to 600 runs for the tournament and an average of 50, but he isn’t the only batter Hampshire need to worry about.

Mattie McKiernan had an over to forget, as Rilee Rossouw hit the Derbyshire man for five sixes and one four to give Somerset a huge advantage in their quarter-final

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Mattie McKiernan had an over to forget, as Rilee Rossouw hit the Derbyshire man for five sixes and one four to give Somerset a huge advantage in their quarter-final

Mattie McKiernan had an over to forget, as Rilee Rossouw hit the Derbyshire man for five sixes and one four to give Somerset a huge advantage in their quarter-final

After what has been a largely underwhelming season, which has seen him miss out on England selection, Tom Banton found some form with 73 from 41 balls in that spectacular quarter-final showing, while captain Tom Abell will also be keen to contribute.

With the ball, all-rounder Ben Green has led the way with 20 wickets, while the experience of Australian veteran Peter Siddle will also be needed.