T20 Team of the Week
5/28/2016 0 Comments
Martin Guptill – Lancashire Lightning: Although his outstanding effort of 72 from 46 balls came in a losing cause as Durham Jets overhauled Lancashire's total, Lancashire's overseas signing showed the Red Rose fans why to be excited about his signing. His innings accounted for just under half of Lancashire's total and included some typical Guptill-style hitting – 10 fours and a solitary six to be exact. Guptill held together the Lightning innings, and after his departure in the 13th over Lancashire slid away to a paltry total, but it was largely down to the debutant that their score was, at least, something possible to defend.
Phil Mustard- Durham Jets: The former England man set the Durham innings off to a flyer, smashing 23 from the opening over of the Jets' chase of 150. Mustard powered his way to an eighteen-ball 46 before departing at the end of the powerplay overs. Mustard had the Jets well on their way towards their target which they eventually reached with plenty of time to spare – this innings was a crucial one from the veteran, and his powerful form set the tone for Durham's first win of the competition.
Dawid Malan – Middlesex: The South Africa-born Englishman propelled the Middlesex innings with a stunning 93 – producing some of the incredible form we saw last season from the opening batsman. All the more impressive is the fact that this was Malan's first experience of captaining the London side – and boy was this a captain's innings! 10 fours and six sixes were hit by the 27-year-old – four of which came off a helpless Tino Best's 1st over, the second of the innings. Some would say Malan deserved his century, but such is the nature of T20 cricket – the captain departed seven runs shy to the experienced Gareth Andrew, but plenty damage had already been done and Middlesex's score of 192 was, in fact, disappointing after a tight final few overs.
Brett D'Oliveira (c) – Worcestershire Rapids: A tremendous all-round display from the exciting Englishman led his side to a comfortable five-wicket victory over local rivals Birmingham Bears. D'Oliveira's performance began by bowling four economical overs in the Bears' innings, only conceding a minuscule 17 runs and also taking one wicket – that of Irishman Will Porterfield. The grandson of the late Basil D'Oliveria then followed up his impressive display of spin bowling with a perfectly paced batting effort to guide the Rapids' chase to what eventually turned into a stroll to victory. D'Oliveira mixed his clever exploitation of the field with the timing and shot selection that comes with his famous surname. Dolly, as known to his teammates, then brought up the victory in style, smashing Oliver Hannon-Dalby for a huge six – but the foundations were set for the win earlier on, in truth. His innings reached a healthy 62 not out, and came from 38 deliveries – including 4 fours, and 3 sixes; each of which seemed perfectly timed for the situation and full of thought. As classy a performance as you'll see.
Josh Cobb – Northamptonshire: Cobb, too, put an important performance in leading his Northants side to a record chase of 197 with two balls left. Cobb's innings of 35 came from 23 balls, and the eventual winning captain hit four fours and a six in that vital contribution. The former Leicestershire man's partnership with Richard Levi was crucial in setting the tone for a monumental chase. Cobb, too, provided two useful wickets earlier in the piece – his part-time off spin is often called upon in this format and seldom disappoints. The important wickets of Chesney Hughes and Wayne Madsen broke up the Derbyshire innings and left Northamptonshire with a more reachable target than what could have been, and Cobb's 2-21 from two overs was pivotal in restricting the Falcons as much as possible.
Kevin O'Brien – Leicestershire Foxes: The internationally experienced all-rounder put in a great performance in his team's dominant victory over the Yorkshire Vikings. The younger of the two O'Brien brothers, Kevin impressed more so with the ball than the bat – adding only 21 in his 16 ball stay, however, bowling figures of 3-27 are more than impressive. These bowling figures were key underpinning Yorkshire's effort to reach the target they had been set, a difficult looking 175. O'Brien removed key men, Alex Lees and Gary Ballance, before later adding Andy Hodd's dismissal to his haul. The Irishman's contribution was vastly important in pushing the Foxes onto their big victory.
Ben Raine – Leicestershire Foxes: A perfect day for the Leicestershire Foxes was highlighted by Raine's career-best performances with both bat and ball. The 24-year-old top-scored with the bat, ticking his innings along nicely for a score of 48, coming from a steady 43 balls. If there were any doubts about the pace of the innings, then those were abruptly put to rest with Raine's bowling efforts. His figures of 3-7 from 3.4 overs included an elusive maiden, as well as the big wickets of Adam Lyth and Adil Rashid. It was truly a day that could not have gone any better for the youngster more known for his bowling attributes, and the honour of finishing off the match was left to Raine – who bowled young Ben Coad to curtail Yorkshire's innings on a disappointing 120, in pursuit of 175.
Barry McCarthy – Durham Jets: An impressive bowling performance came from the Irishman who has burst onto the scene this season. McCarthy took 3-23 from his four overs, impressive figures for a bowler of relative inexperience at this level. McCarthy took the pivotal wicket of Martin Guptill who was threatening to power Lancashire to an intimidating total, and followed that up with the scalps of Steven Croft and Alex Davies to leave Lancashire struggling to make a significant score, eventually setting Durham 150 to win – a score that was polished off with relative ease.
Ed Barnard – Worcestershire Rapids: Another impressive performance from another Worcestershire youngster clawed back the momentum from the Birmingham Bears who had blasted their way to a score of 50 from the first five overs. Barnard entered the attack at the end of a powerplay which the Bears had dominated, but the youngster quickly set about his plans – conceding only 5 from his first six balls. In his next over he had the dangerous Will Porterfield caught attempting a big hit, and again only conceded an economical 3 runs. Barnard continued to bowl right through his spell, conceding only the one boundary in his final two overs, and even more impressively the last of his overs went for only a single run. His figures finished up reading 1-14 from 4 overs, and in combination with the aforementioned Brett D'Oliveira slowed the Bears to a halt during the key middle overs of the innings, restricting them to a below-par total that was chased down later on with ease.
Usman Arshad – Durham Jets: A fine four-over spell from the youngster gave him good figures of 3-30. Arshad began in extraordinary form, removing Alviro Petersen and the dangerous Karl Brown in consecutive balls – the latter for a golden duck. Arshad then continued on his merry way in taking the huge wicket of Jos Buttler, having him caught by veteran Paul Collingwood. Arshad's final over was the 19th of the innings, and he prevented the Red Rose from posting a dangerous score by restricting them to just six in that penultimate over. Arshad's performance was a far cry from his form last season, where his economy stood at just under eight – he will be looking to push on and carry on this good form and lead Durham to hopefully better fortunes than last time around.
Timm Van Der Gugten – Glamorgan: Dutch debutant Van Der Gugten astounded an Oval crowd by taking 4-14 from his first four overs in English T20. The dutchman began economically, with the first over of the match going for only five – but it was his second over that really set Surrey back. Van Der Gugten removed Steven Davies with the first ball and then removed Kumar Sangakkara with the fifth to leave their London counterparts reeling at 30/2. Remarkably, the man from Netherlands' third over also brought another pair of wickets – Gary Wilson and James Burke sent back for 5 and 0 respectively in what turned out to be a double wicket maiden. Glamorgan romped through Surrey's batting lineup to have them all out for 93, which was chased down impressively by their batsmen, but in truth, it was Van Der Gugten who had done the damage to earn the victory for the Welsh side.
Star performer: Brett D'Oliveira
Written by Charlie Jennings (@AVCJX)
5/21/2016 0 Comments
A thrilling opening evening of the Natwest T20 Blast left little to desire – a night of massive hits, massive totals, nerve-jangling chases and as tight a Duckworth-Lewis result as you'll find! In Worcester, the Royals comfortably saw off Durham Jets by 38 runs – a massive 225-6 was always out of reach. Elsewhere in the North Group, Birmingham Bears opened up their account for the season with a tense 6 wicket win over the Nottingham Outlaws – chasing down 180 with two balls to spare. And it was also a close affair at Grace Road as Northamptonshire negotiated a tricky 7 runs required from the final over to seal a 5 wicket D/L win over Leicester Foxes.
In the South Group, it was also a tale of some big totals – at Canterbury, Kent eased home past Somerset, chasing down 198 with 16 balls remaining. Elsewhere, rain interrupted what looked to be a thriller in Bristol, as Gloucestershire's innings was curtailed by rain having set off on a monumental chase of Sussex's 243, falling agonisingly short by one run on Duckworth-Lewis after 7.3 overs. Surrey, too, opened up their campaign with a victory, squeezing home in a nervy affair against the Essex Eagles by 8 runs.
Here are my selections for team of the week, following some incredible individual performances:
Tom Kohler-Cadmore (Worcestershire Royals): An outstanding display of power hitting from this young Englishman propelled the Royals to a monstrous total of 225-6. His 127 came from 54 balls, including 8 maximums and 14 fours – dispatching one Barry McCarthy over for 28 whose four overs eventually cost 63. Kohler-Cadmore did eventually depart midway through the 15th over, but the damage had already been done with the young opening batsman setting the foundations for a dominant performance from the hosts – who eventually came home as comfortable 38-run winners. The innings was all the more poignant as team-mate Tom Fell was given the all clear to resume his cricket career, following chemotherapy treatment for testicular cancer – Kohler-Cadmore had earlier this season pledged to shave his head in a fund-raising effort for Cancer Research and it was fitting that such an innings took place on what must've been an emotionally fuelled evening at New Road.
Sam Hain (Birmingham Bears): A cool, calm and well-paced innings from the Hong Kong-born batsman on T20 debut saw Birmingham home to a close six-wicket win. Hain never looked out of touch with the match situation, finding the boundary when necessary carrying his bat for 92 not out from 54 balls. It was a case of a cool head on young shoulders, when the youngster took his side to the brink of victory before Chris Woakes sealed it with a six in the final over. Hain's innings contained 12 fours, and 2 sixes and showed just what potential the young man has.
Jim Allenby (Somerset): A cracking 91 took Somerset to what looked like a match-winning total before being pipped to the post by an in-form Daniel Bell-Drummond and his Kent Spitfires side. Allenby contributed the majority of Somerset's total, clearing the boundary on three occasions and hitting 10 fours. His partnership of 139 with Peter Trego was crucial in Somerset posting an imposing total, however, bowling let the West Country side down and Kent stormed to an eight-wicket win, with 3 overs left in hand, leaving Allenby's efforts in vain.
Joe Denly (Kent Spitfires): Denly fired 75 in a first wicket partnership with Daniel Bell-Drummond (83*) of 150 – scoring his runs at a slightly quicker rate than his batting partner. His strike rate of 197.4 led the way for the Spitfire's in overhauling Somerset's challenging total of 197-7, eventually passing that target at a canter. Denly – who has five international t20 caps to his name – smashed six sixes in his perfectly paced innings, which along with his five fours kept his opponents always on the defensive and while it was left to Bell-Drummond to see the innings home, Denly had put his side well on top by the time he departed.
Ross Taylor (Sussex Sharks): New Zealand international Taylor was at his destructive best against a sorry Gloucestershire bowling attack, smashing a brilliant 93 not out off 48 balls – leading the way for Sussex to post the joint third highest total ever in English domestic T20, amassing a huge 242-5. Taylor's innings went at an incredible pace, and the Kiwi's 8 sixes doubled the amount of fours he hit. Sussex eventually did come home and get the win, although by a much closer margin than expected – Gloucestershire's rain-affected innings was abandoned after 7.3 overs and left them an agonising one run short of D/L par, with Michael Klinger stranded on 42*.
Phil Mustard (Durham Jets) Wicket-keeper: A valiant innings from the Durham keeper was in vain as Durham just didn't have the firepower to chase down a massive Worcestershire total. Mustard hit a measured 64 from 49 balls, holding together the Durham innings and maintaining any hope they had of forging an unlikely win. Bizarrely, there were no sixes in his innings – only 8 fours were struck but any hopes of victory were dashed when Mustard lacked the real support he needed. Durham eventually fell short by 38 runs, but Mustard can hold his head high as Durham's star performer on the day.
Azhar Mahmood (Surrey): The veteran made crucial contributions with bat and ball as Surrey edged past their Southern rivals Essex at Chelmsford. Mahmood's batting effort of 42 from 22 balls added late impetus to a stagnating Surrey innings, and in partnership with young Tom Curran fired 65 crucial runs in seven overs that eventually proved pivotal as the Londoners crept home by eight runs. Mahmood took the big wicket of Jesse Ryder, followed by promising young batsman Dan Lawrence next ball before curtailing Essex's late surge for victory, wrapping up the innings in the last over with two wickets in four balls. The T20 specialist ended up with figures of 4 for 38 from 3.4 overs and having seen his side home picked up the man-of-the-match award.
Jeetan Patel (Birmingham Bears): When Patel came to bowl the ninth over of Nottinghamshire's innings, Riki Wessels and Greg Smith were ticking along nicely at a steady run-rate of 7.50, Patel immediately made an impact, as so often the case for the Bears. The test-capped Kiwi's first over went for a measly five, but when his next went for 10 the off-spinner was under pressure. His third over changed the momentum of the innings, Patel removed Greg Smith for 43 in an over that went for just two, and in his last took the key wickets of set batsman Wessels for 52 and Samit Patel for just 4 – just two days after his namesake had smashed eight sixes off his bowling in a County Championship match. Patel ended up with outstanding figures of 3 for 23 from his four overs, helping the Bears restrict the Outlaws to a par-total, which was eventually chased down.
Joe Leach (Worcestershire Royals): Promising English paceman Leach picked up the first five-fer of this year's competition and saw his side to a comfortable victory over Durham. Leach opened the bowling for the Midlanders and quickly took the important wicket of Mark Stoneman for 25 in the 4th over. Leach then returned in the 14th over and took four wickets in his next 12 balls to put an end to any slim Durham hopes of victory. Leach removed the dangerous looking Phil Mustard for 64 before having Barry McCarthy caught at the wicket to seal his first T20 five-wicket haul.
Matthew Quinn (Essex Eagles): Another debutant impressed in the opening round of this year's Blast, young New Zealander Quinn took four wickets in his first appearance for the Eagles in taking impressive first figures of 4 for 35. Importantly for Essex, Quinn holds a British passport so does not count as an overseas player – despite spending much of his career in the New Zealand domestic game. Quinn did, however, start shakily, bowling two wides either side of a Jason Roy boundary but fought back later in the over to remove the dangerous Steven Davies. Auckland-born Quinn then struck with the first ball of his second, removing England opener Roy for 25 before following that up four balls later with the big wicket of Kumar Sangakkara, enticing the Sri Lankan into a top edge, having him caught at fine leg. Then he returned to remove Sam Curran to leave Surrey reeling at 82-6. Eventually, his efforts were not enough to stop Surrey from forcing victory, but his bowling performance will encourage his coaches and fans alike that wins will come as a result of his bowling
Seekkuge Prasanna (Northamptonshire): Sri Lankan spinner Prasanna’s relative unknown quantity proved the difference for Northamptonshire as his four overs went for a measly 21 runs before the leg-spinner strolled out to the wicket to seal the victory for Northants with a six from the only ball he faced after what had been a tense final over. Prasanna – who has one test cap to his name – took the important wicket of dangerous Irishman Kevin O'Brien as well as bowling eight dot balls in the course of his four overs. Impressively, Northamptonshire's overseas bowler only went for one boundary during his bowling spell – coming at the hands of Pakistani Umar Akmal who's contribution went just shy of obtaining a victory for the Leicestershire Foxes. Prasanna's leg spin could prove to be a handy asset for Northants with leg spin proving ever more dangerous in the shortest form of the game – as well as his variations coming in handy during those key middle overs; just as he showed against the Foxes.
Star Performer of The Week: Tom Kohler-Cadmore
By Charlie Jennings (@AVCJX)
Charlie Jennings - T20 Team of the Week Specialist
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