T20 Vitality Blast 2020 – Northamptonshire Steelbacks, Notts Outlaws and Kent Spitfires Top Tables

Ben Foakes and Jamie Smith bat for Surrey against Middlesex in the Vitality T20 Blast
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 05: Ben Foakes and Jamie Smith of Surrey punch gloves during the T20 Vitality Blast match between Surrey and Middlesex at The Kia Oval on September 05, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images for Surrey CCC)

Best Of The Blast

The 2020 T20 Vitality Blast has taken a short hiatus for the return of the Bob Willis Trophy. Consequently, what better time to catch up with all the action, and see who’s leading the way and who’s got plenty of work to do.

The T20 Blast so far this year has been a revelation. This, despite the absence of overseas stars. However, players from Pakistan, who were in England recently, have been allowed to participate. Babar Azam and Shaheen Afridi are two examples who are currently playing the the Vitality T20 Blast 2020.

This is because they were already in UK and stayed in the bubble for the England vs Pakistan series. This included both the Test series and the T20 series. As a result, they are deemed to be safe.

TAUNTON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 04: Babar Azam of Somerset plays a shot during the Vitality T20 Blast match between Somerset and Birmingham Bears at The Cooper Associates County Ground on September 04, 2020 in Taunton, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Also, Read – The Best T20 Blast Domestic All-Time XI.

T20 Vitality Blast 2020 – Central Group

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 03: Gareth Berg of Northamptonshire Steelbacks defends during the T20 Vitality Blast match between Northamptonshire Steelbacks and Glamorgan at Edgbaston on September 03, 2020 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Andy Kearns/Getty Images)

Northamptonshire Steelbacks lead the way in the midlands as they sit top of the pile with four wins and one no result from their opening five matches. Northants Irish opener Paul Stirling has been in fine form scoring 131 runs at an average 43.67.

At the other end of the table, its Worcestershire who’s solitary point came from a rained out clash, the Rapids losing each of their other four meetings. Whilst not out of the realms of possibility, it will take a dramatic turn in fortunes to qualify for the latter stages for Ed Barnard’s side.

T20 Vitality Blast 2020 – North Group

Keaton Jennings scores a century for Lancashire Lightning in the Vitality T20 Blast
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 04: Keaton Jennings of Lancashire Lightning hits the ball while batting during the T20 Vitality Blast 2020 match between Lancashire Lighting and Derbyshire Falcons at Liverpool Cricket Club on September 04, 2020 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Notts Outlaws and Lancashire Lightning share the lead at the top of the north group, tied on eight points from five matches. Both sides with identical records having won three and seen two abandoned for rain.

England and Lancashire opener Keaton Jennings has recaptured his form and leads the batting stats for the Lightning with 186 runs from three innings. For Notts its been Jake Ball’s bowling that has been the key. His six wickets with an economy of 7.33 the standout. Joe Clarke’s 100* against Durham another highlight the Outlaws’ impressive start to the campaign.

At the bottom, it is Durham who are floundering with little hope of qualification. The North East club have lost all four completed matches and picked up their only point from a no result contest.

T20 Vitality Blast 2020 – South Group

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 05: Daniel Bell-Drummond of Kent reaches fifty during the Vitality Blast match between Essex Eagles and Kent Spitfires at The Kia Oval on September 05, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Kent sit top of the south group, two points clear of chasers Surrey who they recently tied with, in a dramatic encounter. Youngster Daniel Bell-Drummond the pick of the Spitfire’s batsmen with his 57.00 average in the competition so far.

Surrey kept up their pressure on Saturday with a convincing victory over Middlesex. Once England wicketkeeper Ben Foakes the star of the show adding to his impressive start to the 2020 Vitality Blast.

Also, Read – The Top 5 England Best T20 Batsmen Of All-Time.

Essex are rooted to the bottom of the table, who themselves picked up a point from a tied match with Middlesex earlier in the competition.

Fixtures

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 05:Reece Topley of Surrey reacts during the Vitality Blast T20 match between Surrey and Middlesex at The Kia Oval on September 05, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

The T20 Vitality Blast action returns on Thursday, September 10, as Hampshire faces Sussex Sharks in the south group before all the counties return over the following days.

Friday night sees a big clash at the top of the north group as Notts Outlaws host their table-topping rivals Lancashire Lightning.

Before the big one in the north, Friday afternoon sees central group toppers Northants host second-placed Gloucestershire in another mouth-watering affair.

In other news legendary England and Warwickshire batsman, Ian Bell announced his retirement from professional cricket at the end of the current season. A true servant to both country and county. Ian Bell finishes with an average of above 40 in both first-class cricket and in test match cricket. He played for England between 2004 and 2015 in test match cricket.

Also Read: Who Is England’s Best All-Rounder Of All-Time?

 

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