NSW SpeedBlitz Blues bowler, Mitchell Starc
NSW SpeedBlitz Blues players Mitchell Starc, Usman Khawaja and former batsman Simon Katich continued their good form with strong performances in the English County Friends Life T20 Competition overnight (June 27).
Left arm quick, Mitchell Starc, has been in impressive form for Yorkshire this season, producing another strong performance against Leicestershire as he looks to regain his spot in the Australian line-up. After being sent in to bat, Yorkshire posted 9/151 from their 20 overs, with all batsman making contributions. Former New South Welshman, Phil Jaques, opened with 20 off 15 balls.
Wickets were needed early, and it came down to some sharp fielding to create the breakthroughs. Starc produced this first run out, the crucial wicket of Abdul Razzaq for 17, with two more wickets falling shortly after. At the innings half way mark, Leicestershire had reached 3/67 and the game was in the balance.
An exciting and tense few overs saw Leicestershire reach 6/143 at the end of the 19th, with just nine runs required from six deliveries. Starc, who had bowled tightly thus far, was given the ball and Yorkshire produced a run out on the third ball of the over to keep it interesting. With five runs required from the final two balls, Starc produced two wickets as Yorkshire won the thriller by just four runs. Starc finished with 2/19 from his four overs.
NSW SpeedBlitz Blues batsman Usman Khawaja (33) top scored for Derbyshire in a low scoring contest against Durham. Winning the toss and electing to bat, Derbyshire struggled to build a solid partnership as wickets fell at regular intervals, and were restricted to 7/131 from their 20 overs.
In reply, Durham never looked troubled in their run chase as openers Phil Mustard (35) and Herschelle Gibbs (83no) scored with ease. Durham eventually reached 2/132 in the 18th over, to win by eight wickets.
Former NSW SpeedBlitz Blues batsman Simon Katich, who made his first appearance in the T20 competition this season, played a crucial innings in Hampshire’s four wicket victory against Middlesex. Winning the toss and electing to bowl, Hampshire struggled to take wickets as Middlesex built a defendable total of 2/156. Paul Stirling starred with the bat with an unbeaten 82 (seven fours, three sixes) along with a late cameo from Dawid Malan (30).
In reply, Hampshire lost their openers early and with the scoreboard reading 2/17 in the fourth over, Katich was there to steady the ship. The gritty left hander scored a crucial 40 from 26 deliveries while Sean Ervine top scored with an unbeaten 75 as they looked for victory. The crucial partnership meant the required run rate never got out of hand, and Hampshire reached the victory target with four balls and four wickets remaining.