T20 Team of the Week
7/2/2016 0 Comments
Michael Klinger Gloucestershire – Captain Klinger led by example yet again for his West Country side as they again took the spoils over local rivals Somerset. The Australian's match-winning century guided Gloucestershire to a comfortable derby victory, sealing it with four balls remaining. The skipper hit four sixes and ten fours in his perfectly paced 71-ball 101 and only departed in the penultimate over before Chris Dent assured victory. Klinger yet again showed just why he has earned the reputation that has seen him touted by some for a national call up, and on this form, he should not be far off.
Ravi Bopara Essex – As destructive an innings as you'll see across the Blast this season. The experienced Englishman dominated a sorry Kent attack to strike a 43-ball 81. His innings included six sixes as well as four fours, and in partnership with Ashar Zaidi, the duo added 131 in just under ten overs to guide their side to a huge score of 204-3 from their 20 overs. Perhaps most impressively, Bopara took to young South African Kagiso Rabada in the penultimate over of the innings, striking a six and four in consecutive balls. Such an innings has become common fair for Essex fans, the experience and nous of Bopara often bearing fruit either with the bat or in the field.
Matt Machan Sussex – Sussex's Scot led them to an easy victory in their encounter with Middlesex. Machan struck 41 of the 147 required and guided his Sharks, alongside Kiwi Ross Taylor to a seven-wicket win. Of the two, Machan was the aggressor – Taylor scoring at just over a run a ball while the Scot hit 3 fours and a single six in his 30-ball stay. That partnership with Taylor was worth 74 runs and it proved to be an invaluable one after the departures of Phillip Salt and Luke Wright in the space of five balls had the Sharks wobbling. Machan and Taylor calmed the innings, though, rotating the strike and milking the Middlesex bowlers for easy runs before the victory was sealed in the penultimate over of the match – Middlesex left to rue another batting collapse after Paul Stirling's breezy 24-ball 52 had propelled them to a strong position before the last seven wickets fell for just 73.
Wayne Madsen Derbyshire – An outstanding half century brought Derbyshire a valuable victory over the Worcestershire Rapids at New Road in their quest for qualification from the North Group. Madsen struck a not out 59 from 33 balls that turned the match in the Falcons' favour. It was the 18th over of the Derby innings that sealed the Rapids' fate; Madsen, who continued his fine form in this year’s competition, struck the usually reliable Joe Leach for a six and two fours. The Falcons’ skipper added 99 with Chesney Hughes to take Derbyshire to their third victory of the campaign and take them to within three points of local rivals Nottinghamshire, the current occupants of the final qualification place in the North Group.
Ashar Zaidi Essex – Former Sussex man Zaidi played second fiddle to his skipper but also struck a quick-fire fifty to help guide Essex to a huge total and a comfortable victory over Kent. Playing as a specialist batsman despite being a useful spin option, Zaidi displayed the form he has shown throughout the Blast so far. His 54 came from 33 balls and included five boundaries along with three sixes. His partnership with Bopara, which was worth 131, took the game far away from Kent and in their reply they struggled to mount a serious challenge to the 204 Essex had amassed – which indeed was largely thanks to Zaidi and his captain Bopara.
Ben Cox Worcestershire – A rapid fifty from Worcestershire keeper Cox pushed his side to a total of 185 from their 20 overs. Although Cox's innings did turn out to be in vain, he punished the Derbyshire bowler with an array of shots that brought seven fours and two sixes. The last over of the innings saw Andy Carter take particular damage, four fours in succession saw the over go for 19, which, at the time gifted all of the momentum to the Rapids.
Matt Taylor Gloucestershire – An economical three wicket-haul for the opening bowler turned the screw for the Bristolians in their West Country derby at Taunton. Taylor took 3-16 from his four overs including the big wickets of Jim Allenby and Mahela Jayawardene. The other batsman to fall to Taylor's bowling was young Scotsman Michael Leask, and as wickets fell at regular intervals during the hosts' innings they struggled to post a score that would challenge Gloucestershire who eventually got home with four balls remaining largely thanks to Michael Klinger's impressive century.
Danny Briggs Sussex – Slow left-armer Briggs underpinned the Middlesex innings in taking 3-24 from his four overs, including one over at the top of the innings. Briggs took the big wicket of Paul Stirling who was threatening to take the game away from the Sharks after striking a breezy fifty, eventually holing out for 52. Nick Gubbins and Ryan Higgins also fell to the spinner with 7 t20 caps for England, and the former Hampshire man will be looking to recapture the form that earned him those caps. Briggs' contribution was vital as Sussex comfortably ran home victors after visitors Middlesex were restricted to a lacklustre 146 all out.
Steven Patterson Yorkshire – The Vikings' paceman bowled a tight final over to seal victory for Yorkshire in the Game of Roses clash at Headingley. In what was an 18 over match, Patterson's overs were crucial in sealing victory and it was left to Patterson to take the final wicket of Steven Parry with only six runs left to be scored to gain an unlikely win. Patterson had led the Tykes attack alongside the one-time England capped Tim Bresnan, but Patto outshone his teammate in taking figures of 3 for 23 from 3.4 overs. Lancashire's chase had indeed been dramatic, Liam Livingstone striking Karl Carver for three consecutive sixes earlier in the innings before falling in the same over for a breezy 36 – Lancashire lost wickets regularly and ultimately couldn't muster enough runs to overcome their White Rose rivals.
Richard Gleeson Northamptonshire – A quick three-wicket burst at the top of the Birmingham innings prevented any momentum from being created as the hosts stumbled to a terrible 86-8 in a rain-affected innings. Gleeson's opening salvo brought the wickets of Sam Hain and Ian Bell for single figure scores, and he followed that up with the wicket of overseas wicketkeeper-batsman Luke Ronchi. Gleeson's eventually finished with figures of 3-12 from his four overs, a great return for the Steelbacks' opening bowler as they recorded a comfortable chase in a one-sided affair at Edgbaston.
Paul Walter Essex – The youngster's first three wickets at senior level helped push Essex to an easy victory over Kent by 50 runs. After Bopara and Zaidi had scored the runs, it was left to Walter to lead the bowling attack. The young seamer took a wicket with the second ball of the innings, beating the bat of the dangerous Joe Denly to bowl him for a golden duck. Walter then bowled two relatively cheap overs during the middle of the innings, before wrapping up Fabian Cowdrey's 18 run burst. James Tredwell was the last to fall to Walter, caught at fine-leg as the youngster capped a fine day off with figures of 3-26 from his four overs.
Team compiled by View From the Outfield’s official T20 Team Manager Charlie Jennings. Agree? Tweet us with your views to @ViewfromtheOut or to Charlie himself @AVCJX!
6/18/2016 0 Comments
An exciting night of Blast action saw derby wins for Surrey and Gloucestershire. In the other completed South Group match, Glamorgan dominated Kent in a rain-affected match. There were wins for Birmingham and Northamptonshire in the North Group. Meanwhile, rain forced washouts in the matches between Hampshire and Sussex, Leicestershire and Worcestershire, and Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.
David Lloyd Glamorgan – The highest score of the night left Welshman Lloyd an absolute cert to make the XI this week. The opening batsman's assault on the Kent bowling attack took him 3 runs short of a maiden century in this form, to help Glamorgan pile on 175 from their 16 overs, a score which was adjusted to 177 for Kent to chase. Lloyd hit 10 fours in his innings, along with four huge sixes. His career-best score dominated the Glamorgan innings and Kent would never recover to pose a threat to Glamorgan's total. The sixth over of the innings was particularly impressive for Lloyd, striking the veteran Darren Stevens for three fours and a six in an over worth 19 runs. Lloyd set the tone for Glamorgan, and once he'd finished there was only one winner.
Michael Klinger Gloucestershire – Klinger is becoming a run scoring machine for Gloucestershire, his 60 in their West Country derby versus Somerset was invaluable to their negotiation of a difficult chase of 159. The Australian's innings came from 43 balls, but more importantly held together his side's innings as no other Gloucestershire batsman made a score over 30. It truly was a captain's innings – perfectly paced and after the skipper departed in the penultimate over his side crept home with one ball to spare. The Gloucestershire management can once again be thankful for their overseas star for what is now becoming a typical occurrence, plenty of runs and a wealth of experience. His exploits on Friday came after an astonishing 78 from 49 on Thursday to see his side defeat Essex comfortably by 8 wickets. A prized possession.
Colin Ingram Glamorgan – The South African looks on a mission to atone for missing the first part of this year's blast by blasting runs as quick as he can for the Welsh county. His 60 played second fiddle to David Lloyd's 97 not out – but the internationally experienced batsman was just as commendable for his brutal innings which came from just 29 balls. Ingram was the earlier aggressor after the early loss of Jacques Rudolph, striking 3 of his first 5 balls to the boundary and following that up a four and six in the next over. Ingram's score was a continuation of the brilliant form which has seen him score 95 not out and 85 in his last two innings. His partnership with Lloyd yielded a huge 132 in just 10 overs – and was worth more than the whole of Kent's innings as the visitors never had a foot in the match.
Josh Cobb Northamptonshire – Captain Cobb is fast becoming a regular in our team of the week, this week's contribution of 68 from 48 balls, along with a handy couple of wickets with the ball saw his Northamptonshire side home despite some Paul Coughlin brilliance late in the innings. Josh Cobb is quickly gaining a reputation as a more than handy T20 player, often adding wickets to go with what this season has been plenty of runs. Cobb's 4 sixes on the night took his tally of maximums for the season to 10 – fourth in the six-hitting standings and he also hit five fours to have Durham quickly on the back foot after the early loss of Adam Rossington. With the ball, Cobb took the crucial wicket of Paul Collingwood who was threatening to put the match back in the balance. He also had Paul Coughlin caught to finish with figures of 2-29 from his spell of four overs. In truth, Cobb was only finishing off Durham after four early wickets had in earnest left the match over. A more than impressive performance from captain Cobb.
Zafar Ansari Surrey – Impressive contributions with bat and ball saw the England touted spinner help his side to an eventual comfortable derby day victory over Middlesex. Ansari scored 34 from 25 balls to help manufacture an imposing score of 173 from his side's 20 overs. When he made his way to the crease, the innings was losing its momentum as three wickets had Middlesex in the ascendency after Jason Roy's early onslaught. Ansari had other plans, his rotation of the strike combined with the four boundaries he hit redirected Surrey in the right path, and in partnership with young Tom Curran added crucial late impetus to the innings. He and Curran added 54 in the 22 balls they were together. Then, with the ball the left-armer took the wickets of Nick Gubbins and Toby Roland-Jones to reinforce Surrey's stronghold on the Middlesex innings. Three cheap overs for the Englishman saw him finish with 2-16 and it was a fine day all-round for someone who is clearly already in the minds of England selectors.
Rikki Clarke Birmingham Bears – Veteran Rikki Clarke once again dazzled top order batsmen with four cheap overs at the top of Derbyshire's innings to leave them struggling at the halfway stage of their innings. Clarke began with a fiery bouncer which struck and shook up Billy Godleman before he was dismissed by Olly Hannon-Dalby in the second over. The former Derbyshire skipper was wreaking havoc on his former employers, having Chesney Hughes caught at mid-off two balls after he had launched the bowler for six – the only boundary Clarke conceded. Clarke then struck again as Neil Broom top-edged a pull to really put a stranglehold on the Falcons. His two wickets were worth just 17 runs, Clarke again showing what made him the bowler with most dot balls to his name last season.
Paul Coughlin Durham Jets – Coughlin took the first hat-trick of this year's Blast, and the first five-wicket bag of his short T20 career to date but couldn't do enough to prevent Northamptonshire from recording a comfortable victory. The Northerner's hat-trick came in the last over of the Northants innings – which astoundingly became a triple wicket maiden for the young right-armer. He had Rob Newton, Graeme White and Richard Gleeson all caught to restrict the opposition to 161-9. His other two scalps were Josh Cobb, who looked in dangerous form, and Rob Keogh before his three in three sealed the five-fer. Coughlin's one regret would be the expense of his five wickets, coming at just over ten-an-over and eventually Durham fell well short of their victory target – however, that blame can be left at the top order batsmen who collapsed embarrassingly.
Roelof van der Merwe Somerset – Despite ending up on the losing side, van der Merwe's performance can not be looked past as outstanding. He added late runs alongside Lewis Gregory to push his Somerset side up to a challenging looking score of 158 – making himself a handy 18 from 13 balls including a single six. Van der Merwe's real contribution, however, came with the ball. His four overs went for just 16 runs, and the Dutchman took three big wickets to leave Somerset well in the hunt with six balls remaining, with 14 Gloucestershire runs still required. Unfortunately for RVDM and Somerset, Yasir Arafat disappointingly lost his nerve – their fate sealed with a boundary off the penultimate ball. It was undeserved for an outstanding performance from the spinner, who is a more than useful county pro.
Dale Steyn Glamorgan – The South African ripped through Kent's batting line-up as Glamorgan demolished the Canterbury-based club by 55 runs (D/L). If David Lloyd and Colin Ingram's earlier exploits were explosive, then Steyn matched his teammates with a fearful bowling performance of 4 for 18 from four overs. The fifth-ranked Test bowler showed all his international nous, removing the in-form Daniel Bell-Drummond with the fifth ball of the Kent reply, a rare duck for the England touted opener. Steyn then followed that up with the wickets of Sam Northeast and Sam Billings and Kent had slipped to 44-4. The fast bowler then returned to remove James Tredwell for his last, but the game was long gone for Kent – Steyn's early salvo had ruined any chance of a thriller at the SWALEC, and it was a resounding victory for the Welsh side.
Moin Ashraf Northamptonshire – Ashraf's debut for his new side couldn't have gone much better. Having joined on a short-term deal from Leeds/Bradford University, the ex-Yorkshireman took three quick wickets at the top of the Durham innings – a setback from which the Jets never recovered. Having been set a victory target of 162, Durham faltered. Ashraf removed Phil Mustard for two and then Jack Burnham and Michael Richardson for ducks as they slipped to 9-4. Ashraf two over burst at the top of the innings dampened any Durham hopes of a victory, and despite a brief respite in the form of a fifty partnership between Paul Collingwood and Scott Borthwick, fell well short on a good day for Northamptonshire.
Ravi Rampaul Surrey – West Indian Rampaul took three wickets in Surrey's defeat of Middlesex, conceding only 21 runs in the process. Rampaul was greeted in his first over with a huge six off the bat of Brendon McCullum but soon exacted his revenge on the Kiwi, deceiving and bowling him with a slower ball to have the dangerman gone for 16. Rampaul returned later on in the piece to take two more in an over. He had all-rounder Ollie Rayner caught by Jason Roy, then took the big wicket of James Franklin who was looking threatening to really put pay to Middlesex's hopes of victory. The West Indian quick doubled his wicket tally for the season and what a match to do it in, he will now be looking to improve on this performance and help push Surrey toward the quarter finals.
Team as always picked by resident coach Charlie Jennings (@AVCJX) - Who would you have included? Tweet Charlie or #VFTO @ViewFromTheOut with your #T20BlastTotw!
Jason Roy Surrey: – England's T20 opener showed just why he is one of the highest rated short format batsmen in the country, if not the world. He struck 109 from 67 balls, guiding his Surrey team to a mammoth total of 205-4, which Sussex could not overhaul. Roy's innings contained 16 fours and only one maximum – but set the tone perfectly for the innings in a 107 run partnership with Kumar Sangakkara for the second wicket. Roy took a particular liking to the bowling of South African David Wiese, smashing two fours and that singular six in successive balls in an over that went for 17. The Englishman brought up his century from 61 balls, and this innings, in particular, was the one that took this match away from Sussex.
Chris Nash Sussex (C): – The Sussex opener fired a magnificent century on Wednesday in his side's comprehensive victory over Somerset. His 112 came from 64 balls and contained 3 maximums to go alongside his 13 boundaries. In particular, the Englishman took a liking to the short leg-side boundary at Hove, assisted by the breeze – and brought up his maiden T20 hundred by depositing Jamie Overton over long-on for one of those maximums. It was all the more impressive that the 33-year old's innings upstaged West Indian Chris Gayle's arrival for Somerset, making his first appearance in this edition of the NatWest T20 Blast. Nash outshone his Jamaican counterpart, and alongside Luke Wright (83 off 39, 8 fours and 5 sixes) led the Sharks into posting a huge score of 223 for Gayle and his teammates to chase down, which they failed to do by quite a margin.
Varun Chopra Birmingham Bears: – Chopra's first innings in this year's blast could not have gone any better, making an unbeaten 97 to guide his side to a comfortable nine-wicket win over the Durham Jets. Chopra began with good intentions, striking a glorious six over extra cover in the first over of the innings, and followed that up with two more lusty blows for six during the powerplay. His 97 came from just 58 balls, the former Bears captain totalling up 8 fours along with 5 sixes and it was left, fittingly so, to Chopra to hit the winning runs with a gentle two. This innings impressed as it involved clever manipulation of the strike along with tactically timed boundary hitting, which always had the Bears on top of their run chase. He struck 94 in ten overs with skipper Ian Bell (35 off 27) before Bell departed, but safely saw the Bears home in partnership with Will Porterfield (18 off 29). Chopra will now be looking to seal a place in the starting XI for the Bears, having only featured due to Sam Hain being struck down with food poisoning shortly before the match – it would be a shock should he not retain that place in the squad now.
Joe Root Yorkshire Vikings: – The ever-impressive Yorkshireman Root struck a blindingly good 92 not out in a losing effort in the Roses match. Root lacked support throughout the innings from any of his teammates, and in the end was stranded 8 runs short of a deserved century as well as 26 runs of the Vikings' victory target of 205. It was, however, a typical Root innings - the like that we saw countless times during England's run to the World T20 final, it included a glorious array of strokes that brought Root 8 fours and 3 sixes. Root grew ever more frustrated throughout the innings, it would only have taken one batsman to stick with him and make a half decent contribution to take the Vikings close – and to such a proud Yorkshireman, a Roses defeat is as bitter as it comes.
Liam Livingstone Lancashire Lightning (w/k): – What a player Lancashire have on their hands. Livingstone took to the Yorkshire attack with a brutal display of some monstrous hitting that left the crowd taking cover. The youngster showed just what potential the Red Rose can look forward to seeing on display over the coming years as he hit a 23-ball 55, including four huge sixes. Livingstone paved the way for Lancashire to set a highly demanding target for Yorkshire to chase. Livingstone and Karl Brown were the main foils to the Yorkshire bowling attack as they put together a speedy 98 together in just 8.2 overs – Livingstone eventually falling to the experienced Liam Plunkett. It was an incredible feat from such a young man, and in front of the Sky cameras, we must just have seen one of the future England stars be born.
Aneurin Donald Glamorgan: – Young Welshman Aneurin Donald is touted as one the future stars of English cricket, and showed just why his reputation has grown to such heights against Hampshire. He blitzed the Hampshire attack with a series of blows to make a fast-paced and crucial 55 from 32 balls. Astonishingly, Donald's first 18 runs off the bat all came from boundaries and included hitting experienced all-rounder Darren Sammy for a six and a four off the first two balls of the 5th over, and followed that up with consecutive fours off the last two of that over to hit Sammy for 18 in his only over. For Donald this was his second t20 fifty of his career, having hit his first on Wednesday night versus Essex. The England Under 19 batsman's innings eventually curtailed when he was bowled by Liam Dawson, but by that time had hit 7 fours and 3 sixes in compiling a score which had taken Glamorgan from a precariously positioned 9/2 to a healthy 103/3 alongside Ingram.
Rikki Clarke Birmingham Bears: – The veteran Clarke showed just what a key player he is in the Birmingham lineup as he played his first match of this campaign, and took outstanding figures of 2-25 from his four overs opening the bowling. Clarke began well, beating the bat of the dangerous Phil Mustard a couple of times before being planted over the square leg boundary and being driven for four – it was his second over that set the tone. The former Surrey man had Graham Clark held outstandingly at mid-on by Josh Poysden and no runs were scored from the over as Clarke really began to dig the Durham batsman a hole. It was no surprise – Clarke bowled more dot balls than anyone else in last year's competition. He then had another in his third, Michael Richardson being a bit too adventurous and scooping him right into the hands of fine leg. The all-rounder had really set Durham's innings back and at the end of his spell, the Jets were reeling at 49/3. Durham struggled to an eventual total of 154/9, which the Bears chased down emphatically, and Clarke's powerplay bowling is so often the reason the Bears restricts the opposition to manageable totals.
Jimmy Neesham Derbyshire Falcons: – T20 specialist Neesham provided the type of performance Derbyshire will have been looking for when they signed the New Zealand international – Neesham was a class above on the day and in what was a low-scoring match against the Leicestershire Foxes his international experience told. Neesham's important performance began with the ball; he took 3 for 26 from his four overs – taking the key early wickets of Aussie Mark Cosgrove and Irishman Kevin O'Brien cheaply, for 1 and 9 respectively. Later in the innings, Neesham had Neil Dexter caught to prevent any score of real danger being posted by the Foxes. It was then left to Neesham to see home the innings with a short cameo of 29 from 22 balls with one six. Just when the Falcons may have been getting nervous, with the wickets falling at regular intervals, the Kiwi's calm head proved pivotal in a short partnership with the also impressive Shiv Thakor, who scored the winning runs.
Chris Woakes Birmingham Bears: - Local lad Woakes continued his early season hot streak in taking outstanding figures of 3 for 25 from his four overs. Woakes showed just what he has added to his game to make him a real contender for an England spot – real pace alongside great variation to underpin the batsmen trying to attack him. Woakes roughed up danger man Phil Mustard with a couple of fiery bouncers, one striking Mustard on the head before another short one was top-edged into the hands Josh Poysden. Paul Coughlin was Woakes' next victim, a mistimed slog caught by Rikki Clarke and two balls later Scott Borthwick was sent back for a golden duck, dollying a catch to silly mid off. Woakes was crucial, along with Rikki Clarke in restricting the Jets batsman to a manageable total.
Andrew Tye Gloucestershire: - The Australian paceman showed just why he has been capped at international level in the shortest format, taking an impressive 3-18 from his four overs to restrict Kent to a below-par total of 144 for 7. Tye's first over was perhaps the most crucial, getting rid of the in-form Daniel Bell-Drummond for an underwhelming 25 in the sixth over, which went for just 1 run. The man from Perth then came back in the 10th over to prevent the threatening Darren Stevens from making an impact on Kent's total – bowling him for 11. He then struck with the first ball of his penultimate over, having Fabian Cowdrey caught and his impressive spell ensured that the Spitfires had created no real momentum. And the visitors knocked off the 145 required easily, sealing victory in the last over.
Michael Hogan Glamorgan: - Four wickets for Hogan helped bowl out Hampshire for a paltry total of 141. Hogan ripped into the Hampshire batting line-up before Dale Steyn returned late in the innings to finish off the tail; he began by removing both openers in consecutive overs. Michael Carberry was his first victim, mistiming a pull and being caught at backward point, he was soon followed by James Vince who was bowled for 27. Hogan returned later in the innings to remove Liam Dawson and the big-hitting Shahid Afridi – who threatened to blow away the Glamorgan bowlers late on in the innings in making a quick fire 32. Hogan and Steyn polished off Hampshire with relative ease, and a total of 141 was always too little. Some big hitting from Aneurin Donald and Colin Ingram ensured Hogan's efforts were in a winning cause.
Written by Charlie Jennings (@AVCJX - resident T20 VFTO Coach)
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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