The Bob Willis Trophy is a one-off red-ball competition that sees all 18 First-Class Counties take part in three regionalised groups with the two teams with the most points advancing to the final. BettingPro.com offers our best tips for the action.
Bob Willis Trophy Predictions & Tips: Durham v Lancashire (August 8-11)
Both Durham and Lancashire will be looking for their first win of the Bob Will Trophy following disappointing defeats in their season openers. The rain couldn’t even help Durham as they crashed to a six-wicket defeat at the hands of Yorkshire. A first innings collapse saw Durham bowled out for 103, while their second innings effort saw the make 266. That left Yorkshire needing 171 to win, they knocked them off for the loss of four wickets as Dawid Malan (73) and Harry Brook (66 not out) guided them home. Lancashire looked like securing a draw in their opener against Leicestershire, but the Foxes captain Colin Ackerman had other ideas. Leicestershire needed 150 to win from a possible 17 overs on the final day, and Ackerman blasted an unbeaten 73 with 10 fours and one six as the young Lancashire bowling attack had no answers. Lancashire will be frustrated as they threw away the possibility of a draw, but they will learn from their mistakes and they should have too much for Durham over four days.
Bob Willis Trophy Predictions & Tips: Middlesex v Hampshire (August 8-11)
Middlesex come into this game on the back of a thumping win over Surrey as Sam Robson turned a probable draw into victory on the final day. Middlesex had set Surrey a target of 314 to win after declaring in both of their innings with 347/6 and 248/6 respectively. Robson took two wickets in the same number of balls as Surrey went from 119/5 to 119/7. That game Middlesex the impetus to go for the kill and they reduced Surrey to 123 all out with their last five wickets falling for just four runs. Hampshire’s opening match only lasted three days as they slumped to a 94-run defeat at the hands of Sussex. Ollie Robinson did the damage as he took five wickets as Hampshire crashed to 150 all out in their second innings as they chased 245 to win. It was a disappointing start to the Bob Willis Trophy for Hampshire, and I don’t think the second game will be that enjoyable. Back Middlesex to make it two wins from two.
Bob Willis Trophy Predictions & Tips: Gloucestershire v Warwickshire (August 8-11)
Gloucestershire will be looking to bounce back from a crushing defeat at the hands of Worcestershire when they take on Warwickshire in the second game of the Bob Willis Trophy. Gloucestershire suffered an eight-wicket loss as they could only set Worcestershire a target of 110 to win the game. Worcestershire led by161 runs after both teams had batted, but Gloucestershire could only make 270 in their second innings and it was never going to be enough. The only bright spot for Gloucestershire was the batting performance from captain Chris Dent as he registered scores of 92 and 67. Warwickshire, on the other hand, had to settle for a draw when in all honesty they should have won. They skittled Northants out for 142 in their first innings before posting 398/8. They were extremely confident about bowling Northants out again and knocking off a relatively small total, but that wasn’t the case. Centuries from Adam Rossington and Luke Proctor allowed Northants to bat to safety and Warwickshire were left to kick themselves. Back Gloucestershire to shrug off their disappointing loss and claim victory at the end of the four days.