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The Vitality Blast in Six Numbers

39.9% – The amount of spin bowled in this year’s Blast was higher than it’s ever been in an English T20 competition. Spinners bowled nearly 40% of the total balls across the competition and results backed up the various captains’ decisions to throw the ball to them. Only one of the top ten economy rates in the competition was recorded by a seamer as the tweakers and twirlers continually found a way to restrict batsmen.

160 – The average first innings score in this year’s Blast was the lowest it’s been since 2013. Perhaps a surprise given the relative lack of cricket played on many of the pitches, but this was nonetheless a season in which scores below 160 were defended on 14 occasions, one more than in 2019, despite far fewer matches being played in this truncated season.

29.6% – The false shot percentage found by Will Jacks was comfortably the highest of any spinner to bowl 100+ balls in the competition, beating Jeetan Patel (22.6%) into second place. The Surrey off-spinner only bowled three overs in his previous two Blast seasons yet showed signs this year that he is developing into a more than useful all-rounder, finishing with 13 wickets and registering an economy rate of 6.23, the lowest of all bowlers used by the beaten finalists.

11.57 – Another player who seemingly reinvented himself as an all-rounder during the course of the season was Jamie Overton. After moving from Surrey to Somerset mid-season, his new county batted him at number six in his first innings, despite him only once previously having batted above number eight. The promotion was a success as Overton posted scores of 30 off 17, 29 off 12 and 40* off 22 to help guide Surrey to Finals Day and meant he finished with the second highest strike rate of any batsman to face 50+ balls. With two T20 World Cups on the horizon and England short of lower order hitters, Overton’s new-found batting prowess could turn out to be a useful string to his bow.

423 – The number of runs Daniel Bell-Drummond scored in this year’s Blast wasn’t the most he’s ever scored in a single season, but his run rate of 9.30 was by far the highest he’s recorded and contributed to Kent recording a Powerplay run rate of 10.03, the best of any team in the tournament. Competition for top order places in England’s limited overs teams is so fierce that Bell-Drummond remains far from international honours, but this season was a step in the right direction for the 27-year-old, who showed he could find an extra gear to his batting.

9.03 – Eventual champions Nottinghamshire’s season was defined by a powerful batting unit that consistently delivered throughout the innings. 9.03 was their run rate during overs 7-15, the highest of any team, thanks to the runscoring exploits of Ben Duckett, Tom Moores, Dan Christian and Joe Clarke. All four batsmen scored more than 100 runs in the middle phase – a feat only matched by Surrey’s Hashim Amla, Jason Roy, Will Jacks and Laurie Evans – as Nottinghamshire’s ability to regularly keep their run rate above 9.00 across the whole innings.

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