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T20 Blast: Four teams face-off on Finals Day

by Sonali Dhulap 10 minute read

Four teams – Notts Outlaws, Worcestershire Rapids, Derbyshire Falcons and Essex Eagles – will battle it out at Finals Day as the Vitality Blast draws to a conclusion.

Finals Day fixtures

11am: SF1 – Notts Outlaws v Worcestershire Rapids

2:30pm: SF2 – Derbyshire Falcons v Essex Eagles

6:30pm: Final – SF1 winner v SF2 winner

Here’s a look at the four semi-finalists

Nottinghamshire Outlaws

Notts reached Finals Day with an impressive victory over Middlesex in the quarter-finals

Road to the final

  • Lost to Worcestershire by 28 runs
  • Match abandoned against Yorkshire
  • Won against Northamptonshire by 7 wickets
  • Won against Derbyshire by 27 runs
  • Lost to Leicestershire by 21 runs
  • Won against Birmingham by 71 runs
  • Lost to Lancashire by 3 runs
  • Won against Birmingham by 28 runs (D/L method)
  • Match abandoned against Durham
  • Match abandoned against Derbyshire 
  • Won against Leicestershire by 7 wickets
  • Won against Yorkshire by 3 runs
  • Match abandoned against Worcestershire
  • Lost to Durham by 47 runs
  • Quarter-final: won against Middlesex by 10 wickets

The Dan Christian-led Nottinghamshire side finished second in the North Group, having accumulated six wins, four defeats and four no results from the 14 matches they played. They then went on to crush Middlesex in the quarter-finals to qualify for the semi-final against Worcestershire.

Finals Day pedigree

  • 2006: Runners up (lost to Leicestershire)
  • 2016: Semi-finalists (lost to Northamptonshire)
  • 2017: Winners

Dangerman: Alex Hales

The quarter-final star for Notts, has so far scored 366 runs in 11 games, which include four fifties. The 30-year-old’s blistering 83 not out off 47 balls against Middlesex helped his team romp into the semi-finals with all ten wickets in hand. In the chase of a tricky 160-8 set by Middlesex, the opener smashed 6 fours and 7 maximums as Notts scaled the total with 22 balls to spare. Hales will look to carry the same destructive form in the semis against Worcestershire.

Young Gun: Tom Moores

Moores, the 23-year old wicketkeeper, has been sharp behind the stumps and has made a number of handy contributions with the bat too on the rare ocassions when the top-order has failed to deliver.

Derbyshire Falcons

Derbyshire celebrate their quarter-final victory over Gloucestershire

Road to the final

  • Won against Yorkshire by 5 wickets
  • Lost to Birmingham by 49 runs
  • Lost to Nottinghamshire by 27 runs
  • Match abandoned against Lancashire
  • Lost to Worcestershire by 2 wickets
  • Won against Northamptonshire by 6 wickets
  • Lost to Durham by 7 runs
  • Won against Yorkshire by 55 runs
  • Won against Worcestershire by 20 runs
  • Lost to Leicestershire by 55 runs
  • Match abandoned against Nottinghamshire
  • Won against Northamptonshire by 9 wickets
  • Won against Leicestershire by 9 wickets
  • Won against Lancashire by 11 runs
  • Quarter-final: won against Gloucestershire by 7 wickets

The Derbyshire Falcons is led by Billy Godleman, who has led from the front and scored vital runs in the middle-order. This is Derbyshire’s first Finals day appearance after securing seven wins in the North Group. They defeated Gloucestershire in the quarter-finals by eight wickets, chasing down a modest score of 135-7 on the back of Wayne Madsen’s 37-ball 47.

Finals Day pedigree

  • This is their first Finals Day appearance.

Dangerman: Ravi Rampaul

With 22 wickets in 13 matches at an average of 15.09, Rampaul is the overall leading wicket-taker in this season’s competition. The paceman has been brilliant for the Falcons and has consistently picked up wickets for them. He will be the key in the semi-finals against a side like Essex, who have four 180+ totals in the tournament so far.

Young Gun: Matt Critchley

23-year-old Critchley has been Derbyshire’s second best bowler this season after Rampaul. While Rampaul has confounded the batsmen with his pace, Critchley’s leg-breaks have been helpful in providing crucial breakthroughs. He has picked up 17 wickets in 13 games at 16.41, including a four-wicket haul. The youngster is one to watch out for as he also dismissed Steve Smith in Australia’s tour game this month before the fourth Ashes Test.

Worcestershire Rapids

Moeen Ali scored a century in Worcestershire’s quarter-final win over Sussex

Reigning champions Worcestershire finished fourth in the North Group and progressed with just six wins from 14 games. They faced Sussex Sharks in the quarter-finals and captain Moeen Ali’s exceptional unbeaten 121 off just 60 balls helped them into the semi-finals with eight wickets to spare.

Road to the final

  • Won against Nottinghamshire by 28 runs
  • Match abandoned against Birmingham
  • Lost to Lancashire by 21 runs (D/L method)
  • Won against Durham by 9 wickets
  • Won against Derbyshire by 2 wickets
  • Won against Yorkshire by 5 wickets
  • Lost to Leicestershire by 33 runs
  • Match abandoned against Northamptonshire
  • Lost to Derbyshire by 20 runs
  • Won against Durham by 3 runs
  • Won against Birmingham by 9 wickets
  • Lost to Lancashire by 25 runs
  • Match abandoned against Nottinghamshire
  • Lost to Northamptonshire by 7 wickets
  • Quarter-final: Won against Sussex by 8 wickets

Finals day pedigree

  • 2018: Winners (defeated Sussex)

Dangerman: Moeen Ali

Ali is a talented all-rounder and his return to the Worcestershire side after being left out of the Ashes, boosted the chances of the defending champions. He has picked up eight wickets in only five games and scored 312 runs, which includes the terrific quarter-final knock, which saw them chasing down a huge total of 184-6 with 14 balls to spare. But it is not only his pedigree as an all-rounder that is impressive, he is an equally brilliant captain, who instills fearlessness in the younger generation of Worcestershire players.

Young Gun: Pat Brown

At 21, Brown is already turning into a big star. He was brilliant in Worcestershire’s winning campaign last season and has impressed again this year, taking 14 wickets from 12 games. Brown has a good record at the death and his slower balls are very difficult to deal with. His economical bowling in the final last year was a huge help to the team and if he continues in the same vein, Worcestershire will have little to fear.

Essex Eagles

Essex beat a much-fancied Lancashire side in the quarter-final

Road to the final

  • Lost to Middlesex by 7 wickets
  • Won against Surrey by 52 runs
  • Lost to Kent by 22 runs
  • Match abandoned against Gloucestershire
  • Lost to Hampshire by 7 wickets
  • Won against Gloucestershire by 25 runs
  • Lost to Somerset by 114 runs
  • Match abandoned against Glamorgan
  • Match abandoned against Middlesex
  • Match abandoned against Glamorgan
  • Won against Sussex by 9 runs
  • Match tied against Hampshire
  • Won against Surrey by 19 runs
  • Won against Kent by 10 runs
  • Quarter-finals: Won against Lancashire by 6 wickets

Finals day pedigree

  • 2006: Semi-finalists (lost to Leicestershire)
  • 2008: Semi-finalists (lost to Kent)
  • 2010: Semi-finalists (lost to Hampshire)
  • 2013: Semi-finalists (lost to Northamptonshire)

Essex are the only team to qualify from the South Group for the finals day. They progressed to the quarter-final with 15 points in 14 matches and in a evenly-matched fixture, they defeated Lancashire by six wickets, chasing 159 with four balls to spare.

Dangerman: Ryan ten Doeschate

The Netherlands veteran is a smart all-rounder, who has been one of the most dependable players for Essex for a long time. He has scored 267 runs this season and was also responsible in leading the chase in the quarter-finals with a 31-ball unbeaten 45 and sharing a fifty-plus partnership with Ravi Bopara (39*) for the fifth wicket.

Young Gun: Dan Lawrence

Essex-born Lawrence is only 22 but a very promising batsman and a handy leg-spinner. He has already scored 360 runs this season with four fifties. He failed in the quarter-finals but has scored crucial runs for the team throughout the league stage. His vital middle-order contributions will prove useful in the semi-finals when they face a side like Derbyshire, who have very little experience in knockout games.

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