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Bob Willis Trophy

Wisden’s under-24 team of the Bob Willis Trophy

by Wisden Staff 5 minute read

Following Essex’s tournament-winning draw on Sunday, the Bob Willis Trophy is over.

The unique red-ball competition offered up plenty of opportunities to youngsters up and down the country, so here is our under-24 team of the Bob Willis Trophy.

Qualification: players were under the age of 24 on August 1, 2020, the day the tournament began.

Tom Lammonby

459 runs @ 51, HS: 116

The breakout star of the competition. The 20-year-old reeled off three first-class centuries in three consecutive matches, showing plenty of range across his innings too. Against Worcestershire, he carried his bat with a score of 107 in an innings total of 193 to help Somerset to the final. There he hit 116 off just 151 balls to help set Essex a total and keep his side’s hopes alive right till the dying embers. A special talent has emerged.

Phil Salt

290 runs @ 36.25, HS: 80

More renowned for his white-ball exploits, Salt showed glimpses of his red-ball talent, striking two key and quick half-centuries at the top of the order in Sussex’s opening win over Hampshire. An eye-catching score evaded him in the tournament, but he has it in him to deliver in the long form.

Jordan Cox

324 runs @ 64.80, HS: 238 not out

The 19-year-old Kent batsman made his maiden first-class ton a big one, striking an unbeaten 238 not out against Sussex in a record-breaking 423-run partnership with Jack Leaning. Oddly enough, he missed his side’s next fixture; he was quickly in hot water for breaching social-distancing protocols after taking a picture with some young fans.

Charlie Thurston

357 runs @ 44.62, HS: 115

Thurston entered this season with just two County Championship appearances to his name – both coming in 2018 – and with his one first-class ton having come against Northants for Loughborough MCCU back in 2017. It was therefore a significant campaign for Thurston, as he hit 96 against Warwickshire in the season opener before rounding off his season with scores of 115 and 64 against Glamorgan.

Eddie Byrom

271 runs @ 24.63, HS: 117

Byrom struggled desperately for runs until reaching the showpiece final at Lord’s, where he reeled off an important 217-ball 117 in the first innings as the rest of his colleagues in the top six found life hard against a relentless Essex attack. When needed, he stepped up.

Matt Critchley

234 runs @ 39, HS: 63 | 17 wickets @ 26.88, BBI: 6-73

Leg-spinner Critchley’s season consisted of a number of handy cameos with the bat, while he thrived with the ball, the highlight being career-best figures of 6-73 in a nine-wicket win over Leicestershire.

Tom Moores (wk)

207 runs @ 29.57, HS: 106 | 15 dismissals

By no mean a stellar season for the son of coach Peter, but he did deliver an extravagant 106 against Yorkshire, top-scoring for his side courtesy of some audacious sweeps and powerful cross-batted swats.

Jordan Thompson

15 wickets @ 16.40, BBI: 5-51 | 234 runs @ 46.80, HS: 98

An excellent campaign for the seam-bowling all-rounder included a number of key contributions. He finished his season with a maiden first-class five-for against Leicestershire, but he was most startling in the win over Notts, with 131 runs in the match followed by figures of 3-6 as he cleaned up the tail in the fourth innings of a 90-run win.

Sam Cook

17 wickets @ 18.70, BBI: 5-76

Cook’s CV at 23 is something to marvel at: he now has the Bob Willis Trophy to go alongside two County Championship titles. He came to the fore in the final against Somerset, collecting figures of 5-76 from 32 overs in Somerset’s first innings, a key contribution as the title was decided on Essex’s 337 beating out the opposition’s 301.

Josh Tongue

14 wickets @ 25.92, BBI: 3-38

Still just 22, Tongue has an impressive tally of 124 first-class victims at an average of 24.49, and he was impressive in Worcestershire’s wins over Gloucestershire and Northamptonshire, taking four three-fors in four innings.

Dan Moriarty

17 wickets @ 20.11, BBI: 6-70

Amar Virdi just misses out as his colleague made a startling impression in his maiden first-team campaign, following a five-for on first-class debut against Middlesex with 11 wickets in a win over Sussex over a month later.

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