*All stats until June 5, 2023
Hasan Ali from Birmingham Bears injured his ankle on the morning of his team’s first game in the Blast and is out of action for the foreseeable future, although he is not yet officially ruled out.
Haider Ali – Derbyshire
128 runs @ 21.33, SR: 126.73
Picked more on potential by Derbyshire, the 22-year-old Haider did not have the greatest start to his T20 Blast career, scoring 54 runs in his first five games, before he finally played a match-winning knock, against Yorkshire. The opener stuck around for a 47-ball 74, with four sixes and as many fours, and helped his team to a competitive total of 166-8. It was not enough in the end.
Zaman Khan – Derbyshire
8 wickets @ 24.37, ER: 8.73
The fast bowler, who can clock 90mph, has picked up eight wickets in the season and is the team’s second-highest wicket-taker. He has picked up more than two wickets in a game in three out of six innings and was exceptional against Birmingham when he claimed 3-34 in his four overs, including picking up two wickets in the death to guide his team to a win.
Zafar Gohar – Gloucestershire
56 runs @ 18.66, SR: 133.33
2 wickets @ 47, ER: 6.48
Gohar has played four games and was only able to score 19 runs in his first three innings. However, he came to his team’s rescue in the fourth match against Middlesex, scoring a quick 22-ball 37* at a strike rate of 168.18 to help his side register a win. He has also been in the news for his incredible fielding skills.
Shaheen Afridi – Nottingham
10 wickets @ 24.50, ER: 9.07
46 runs @ 46, SR: 200
Yet another tournament where Shaheen has been at his lethal best with the ball. After dismissing England white-ball skipper Jos Buttler with a perfect yorker, Shaheen demolished George Bell’s stumps against Lancashire to show why he is one of the most threatening bowlers in the world. He has also been on fire with the bat when he smashed Michael Bracewell for four sixes in an over. Shaheen is not only his team’s top wicket-taker but also has the best batting average and strike rate – though over a small sample size.
Shadab Khan – Sussex
3 wickets @ 32.65, ER: 9.80
Shadab started off with 3-28 against Essex but has struggled in his last two games, conceding over 10.5 runs in both encounters. He has found no respite with the bat either, with four knocks below 10, including a first-ball duck against Essex at No.4.
Usama Mir – Worcestershire
5 wickets @ 15.60, ER: 6.50
Signed for the first three games of the season as a replacement for Mitchell Santner, who was unavailable due to the IPL, Mir had a short but memorable outing for the team. He performed in all three games with both bat and ball. Against Nottinghamshire, Mir, on debut, first struck 20 runs in just seven balls, and then bamboozled the rivals with his leg spin, picking up 3-21. He gave away 24 runs in his four overs in the next game, and bid farewell with figures of 2-33 with the ball. He also scored an unbeaten 32 in 15 balls, which took his 2023 T20 Blast batting strike rate over 203.
Shan Masood – Yorkshire
91 runs @ 18.20, SR: 130
Named captain of the side ahead of the season, Masood did not have the greatest starts, scoring five in his first game. He made 31 against Worcestershire, but struggled for any sort of rhythm, making his runs at a strike rate of 124. His last two knocks, however, have been more fluent, although big scores continue to elude him.
Naseem Shah – Leicestershire
4 wickets @ 35, ER: 7.36
Naseem joined the team as a cover for Naveen-ul-Haq. Though he was wicketless in his first two outings, he was economical, ending with 0-26 and 0-34. He has been exceptional with the new ball and also starred at the death against Durham on Sunday (June 4), when he conceded only five runs in the 19th over and also dismissed Wayne Parnell with his second ball. Though he has not been consistently amongst the wickets, he is Leicestershire’s most economical bowler, building pressure whenever he comes on to bowl.
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