Wednesday, 11 August 2010

20/20 Finals Day Preview 2010

"Its all to play for"

To take a break from Pakistan's tour of England 2010 I have decided to write this article about one of the highlights in the county cricketing calendar of T20 Finals Day. This year the event will be hosted at the Rose Bowl, Hampshire with Essex, Hampshire, Nottinghamshire and Somerset being the contenders. It will be the 8th finals day and this year it will certainly be as good or even better than any other that has been with several highly acclaimed stars in action such as Dwayne Bravo, Graeme Swann, Danish Kaneria, Abdul Razzaq and Dirk Nannes to name a few. Thereby, there shall be no shortage of entertainment just like any other 20 over fixture!

Unfortunately and idiotically the winner of this competition this year for some strange and poor administration related reason will be unable to represent England in the CLT20 in South Africa this year due to how the schedule plans out.

The picturesque venue for the day

Nonetheless, 14th August which is finals day as well as Independence Day for Pakistanis just to mention as this is a Pakistani based cricket blog primarily and therefore can't go unmentioned, has its individual significance as each of the 4 counties will be eyeing a place in the evening final and by doing so have the golden opportunity to win the competition.

Essex Eagles have been to finals day 3 times previously but without joy in 2003, 2006 and 2008 respectively. They will be determined to change this under the captaincy of James Foster. The Eagles beat Lancashire in the quarter final by 8 wickets in a thrilling match at Chelmsford to book their place for the finals day event thanks largely to a superb partnership between former captain Mark Pettini and experienced seasoned campaigner, Matt Walker.

Nottinghamshire Outlaws meanwhile beat Sussex Sharks, the defending champions at Trent Bridge in their quarter final. The outlaws have 3 World T20 Champion bowlers in their side in Sidebottom, Broad and Swann, all of whom which played an instrumental role in England's T20 triumph in the Caribbean this May. The Outlaws also have Dirk Nannes in their ranks who is one of the all time leading T20 wicket takers at all major levels.

Hampshire will have the home advantage and from a general and commercial perspective its great to see them there. Young left arm spinner who played for England at the U19 WC this year, Danny Briggs has had a fantastic T20 season with 27 wickets and he is one to watch out for. James Vince is an attractive young player to watch. Dominick Cork will be fired up for the challenge as ever and has been to the event with the Lancs in the past but without success. Abdul Razzaq is also on show for them with his all-round credentials.

Somerset have the explosive opening luxury of Kieswetter and Marcus Trescothik (who has hit 5 half centuries in the competition this year) in the batting department who I'm sure will come out all guns blazing with their attacking and aggressive stroke play. Alfonso Thomas is one of my favourites around in the county arena and he is one to watch out for especially when he comes back to bowl at the death which he does so effectively and well.In this year's competition he is currently the leading wicket taker with 31 wickets. Pollard will be on show for them with his acrobatic fielding, big hitting and medium pace bowling. Pollard is the leading six hitter in the competition with 27 and the second leading wicket taker with 28 scalps in the 15 games he has played.

On the whole, it should be an action packed and thoroughly enjoyable day of cricketing action. I back the Eagles to win the competition. Out of the 4 teams competing on the day,only Somerset have won it in the past which was in 2005 when they beat Lancashire in the final when Graeme Smith was at Taunton as a captain and overseas player. Its been a long journey for all the participating sides. 16 group games followed up by a quarter final. I'm sure all the participating captains will be saying to their side: 2 wins and that is that!=£££££££££££££££££+ Status+Trophy and Medals!


Maaaaz @ BBK (Maza786) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

It was a great day, thought the final had a bit of everything.

I just hope the ECB get their act together next season and make the competition as a whole, better.

Finals day was always likely to attract a big crowd. But the group stages need revamping as they dragged it out a bit too much.

If they do the same again next year they are in danger of turning punters off.

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