T20 Team of the Week
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
All Birmingham Bears Charlie Jennings Durham Essex Glamorgan Gloucestershire Joe Root Kent Kohler-Cadmore Lancashire Leicestershire Matt Quinn Michael Klinger Northamptonshire Nottinghamshire Phil Mustard Ravi Bopara Ross Taylor Sam Hain Somerset Surrey Sussex T20Blast VFTOtotw Worcestershire Yorkshire