Our Team Of The NatWest T20 Blast
The Birmingham Bears won the title, Lancashire reached the final while Surrey and Hampshire also made it to finals day, but how many of their players make our team of the season?
Luke Wright - Sussex (601 runs, strike rate 162)
Wright’s successive undefeated centuries at the conclusion of the group stage (which totalled 269 runs at a strike rate of 221) alone are enough to earn him a spot, the second of those guiding Sussex to a world record chase of 225.
Jason Roy - Surrey (677 runs, strike rate 157)
Roy’s explosive heroics carried Surrey to finals day, as the tournament’s leading scorer combined frightening consistency with devastating striking. His nine half-centuries were by some distance the tournament’s best.
Tom Westley - Essex (538 runs, strike rate 150)
2014 represented the breakthrough campaign for Westley, who was an integral part to Essex topping the South Division table – only Wright was able to equal his two centuries.
Riki Wessels - Nottinghamshire (470 runs, strike rate 150)
The Nottinghamshire man has enjoyed an all-round stellar year and the shortest format of the game has been no different, with his numbers putting Notts’ more heralded batsmen in the shade.
Darren Stevens - Kent (351 runs, strike rate 159 & 18 wickets, economy 7.6)
Only Wright and Roy have hit more sixes than the evergreen Stevens, while together with his batting exploits the 37 year old was also Kent’s leading wicket-taker – that the Canterbury outfit were in the qualification picture until the final round of fixtures is in no small part down to Stevens’ all-round brilliance.
Will Smith - Hampshire (179 runs, strike rate 136 & 20 wickets, economy 6.9)
Smith’s once only occasional spin was the find of the tournament, with the former Durham man being transformed from a barely utilised part timer into one of the most effective Twenty20 bowlers on the circuit.
Jos Buttler - Lancashire (251 runs, strike rate 170)
In spite of stuttering on finals day, no keeper could match Buttler for game changing ability and at the same time only John Hastings could boast a higher strike rate than the England man.
Steven Croft - Lancashire (268 runs, strike rate 127 & 14 wickets, economy 6.1)
English domestic Twenty20’s ever present, Croft’s slow bowling proved intolerable for batsmen to dominate, whilst he also offered useful runs down the order.
Jeetan Patel - Birmingham (25 wickets, economy 6.1)
Patel didn’t quite scale the anticipated heights on finals day that his record prior to the showpiece suggested, nonetheless he ended the tournament topping the wicket-taking charts and was fundamental to Birmingham negotiating their way through to the last four.
Michael Hogan - Glamorgan (21 wickets, economy rate 8.1)
The Australian’s death bowling prowess was a fundamental factor in Glamorgan advancing to a first quarter-final since 2008. Amongs his most notable heroics at the crunch conceding just three off the 20th over to secure a tie against Kent.
Kabir Ali - Lancashire (20 wickets, economy 7.7)
Kabir’s skills at the death were heavily missed by Lancashire as a late Laurie Evans assault took the final away from the Red Rose – the former Worcestershire man has excelled in the shortest format and ensured the departure of Junaid Khan was not as detrimental as first feared.
Unlucky to miss the cut
Jim Allenby (Glamorgan), Laurie Evans (Birmingham), Ravi Patel (Middlesex), Will Porterfield (Birmingham), Dirk Nannes (Somerset)
© Cricket World 2014