With the final of the T20 Blast on Saturday, we take a look at the top 5 bowlers in this years competition.
Since quitting international cricket to sign with Warwickshire for the entire county season, Patel has been quietly going about his business and has claimed a hatful of wickets in the process. He has snaffled 23 victims in this year’s T20 Blast at an average of just 11.5. The control he can exert is also invaluable; his economy has been a paltry 5.6. Patel bowls a stifling line and forces batsmen to play outside their comfort zones, in T20 his accuracy is his greatest asset. He will be the Birmingham Bears premier bowler on Saturday and if he can return good figures, then I would expect his side to be in contention come the evening.
Briggs has been rather forgotten amongst all the ‘New Era’ thinking that has enveloped the England national side. His solitary ODI cap came in the UAE where he performed admirably, taking 2/29. The format in which his skills come to the fore the most however, is T20, where his flat left arm spin and changes of pace make him difficult to get away. He thrives on restricting opponents and forcing them into mistakes, and this season he has been rewarded with 21 wickets at an average under 20. Alongside Liam Dawson he has formed a formidable spin partnership and has been a part of a supremely successful Hampshire side this season and I would be surprised if he weren’t to feature in the England T20 squad at the end of the summer after being overlooked for the ODI squad this week.
Contrasted to Briggs, Ravi Patel is a classical left arm spinner. He is a rarity in the modern game; a spinner who isn’t afraid to give the ball flight and allow the ball to turn in the shortest form. He is the antipode to the increasingly mechanical T20 spinner who bowls flat and quick. Patel has been rewarded with a call up to the England Lions squad already this summer and he could well be in line for a Lions winter tour also. His 18 wickets in this years Blast are a sign of a fine young bowler. At just 23 years old, he appears to have a bowling style from a bygone age, but it has been mightily effective in this years T20 Blast.
An often unsung and unglamorous overseas signing for Lancashire, Junaid Khan has been brilliant for the Red Rose during their run to finals day this season. The tall left arm fast bowler has led the attack with vigour for Lancashire this season and thus far has 19 wickets from just 10 games. The bad news however, is that due to his international commitments for Pakistan, Khan is unable to take to the field on finals day. But that does not diminish his role in helping Lancashire romp into the knockout stages of this year’s T20 Blast.
Hogan has been simply outstanding in this year’s T20 Blast, as he has been in other forms of the game too. The opening bowler has routinely dismissed top order batsmen and sent stumps cartwheeling. Alongside Jim Allenby, Hogan helped propel Glamorgan from T20 also-rans to Quarter-Finalists this season. 21 wickets prove his worth to his side and also his potency with the new ball. He also managed to maintain an economy rate of 8 throughout the season; no mean feat when he bowls exclusively with the new ball and at the death.