The Vitality T20 Blast is well and truly in full swing and a host of Aussies are involved, with many looking to impress Australian selectors ahead of a home T20 World Cup later this year.
The Inner Sanctum takes a look at how each of the 13 Aussies in action fared in the most recent matches to be played.
Hayden Kerr (Derbyshire):
Arriving from his maiden stint in the IPL in India, Hayden Kerr has represented Derbyshire in its opening three games of the season.
It wasn’t the smoothest of starts for Kerr in his side’s narrow three-run loss to Birmingham, finishing with figures of 0-55 off 4 overs with the ball, having conceded 24 runs off his final over. The 25-year-old could only then add eight runs with the bat after being run out.
Kerr was much more impressive against Leicestershire, helping his side secure a comfortable 70-run win. The New South Welshman contributed with a handy knock of 19 off 13 balls late in his side’s batting innings, while also collecting figures of 2-6 off 1.3 overs.
In a rain-affected match against Yorkshire, Kerr was again amongst the wickets, taking 2-18 off 2 overs. Both wickets were claimed in the very first over of the innings, with Kerr dismissing Yorkshire opener Adam Lyth and Pakistani pinch hitter Shadab Khan. Derbyshire went on to win the match by nine wickets, having successfully chased down a target of 83 within its reduced eight overs.
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Ashton Turner (Durham):
Captaining Durham in his first season at the club, Ashton Turner got off to a brilliant start in his side’s 54-run victory over Leicestershire.
After losing the toss and being sent into bat, Turner blasted his way to a quickfire 32 off 18 balls while batting at number five. The West Australian’s knock included two fours and three sixes, helping to guide his team to a commanding total of 184.
Turner also gave himself some overs with the ball, taking 1-13 off 2 overs with his right-arm off-spin.
It was a rather tough day at the office for Turner however against Northamptonshire. The 29-year-old again had an impact with the ball, producing figures of 2-24 off 2.2 overs. Promoted up the order to number three, Turner got off to a fast start, scoring 21 off 7 balls (including three fours and one six) before ultimately being forced to retire hurt.
The injury was sustained while diving for a single, with Turner dislocating his shoulder in the process. This isn’t the first time Turner has had shoulder issues, having spent significant time on the sidelines in years gone by.
Daniel Sams (Essex):
Coming off the back of an IPL campaign with the Mumbai Indians, Daniel Sams arrived in the UK in time for Essex’s opening clash with Kent.
Sams was quite expensive with the ball, finishing with figures of 1-47 off 4 overs. However, he did manage to claim the wicket of Joe Denly for 35, dismissing him by way of caught and bowled. Essex went on to win the game by four wickets.
Sams also had a minimal impact during his side’s loss to Somerset. The damaging all-rounder amassed 14 off 10 balls with the bat for his side, however, failed to take a wicket in the match, conceding 33 runs off three overs.
Against Hampshire, Sams again opened the bowling, finishing with figures of 0-35 off 4 overs.
Marnus Labuschagne (Glamorgan):
Labuschagne has enjoyed a consistent start to his T20 Blast campaign with Glamorgan, scoring 99 runs at an average of 33 across three matches.
Glamorgan’s seven-wicket win over Sussex saw Labuschagne accumulate 41 off 30 balls, an innings that included four boundaries and one six. He also managed to hang on to a superb outfield catch late in his side’s bowling innings which proved to be a real highlight of the match.
A day later against Surrey, Labuschagne reached 20 off 14 balls (including two fours and one six) before ultimately being dismissed. Glamorgan went on to lose the match by four wickets.
Meanwhile, in Glamorgan’s clash with Middlesex, Labuschagne top-scored for his side, compiling 38 off 24 balls, a knock which included five fours and one six. The 27-year-old also picked up one wicket from his only over, however his efforts weren’t enough to prevent Middlesex from claiming a four-wicket win.
Michael Neser (Glamorgan):
Neser made his T20 debut for Glamorgan in their first-up clash with Sussex. It wasn’t Neser’s most prolific performance, finishing with figures of 0-38 off 4 overs. However, he did contribute with a run-out in the field, dismissing fellow Australian Josh Phillippe.
Against Surrey, the Queenslander had the responsibility of bowling the final over of the match in what proved to be a close affair. Defending eight runs, Neser couldn’t prevent Surrey from securing the victory, with the home side reaching the target with a ball to spare. Neser finished with figures of 0-31 off 3.5 overs.
Still searching for his first wicket of the T20 campaign, Neser finally got some reward against Middlesex, claiming figures of 1-25 off 3 overs. He also added 11 off 8 balls with the bat lower down the order.
Nathan Ellis (Hampshire):
Hobart Hurricanes seam bowler Nathan Ellis has enjoyed a steady start to his T20 Blast campaign with Hampshire from an individual perspective.
Known for his death bowling skills in T20 cricket, Ellis took 1-30 off 4 overs against Middlesex, which was backed up with figures of 1-24 off 2.5 overs against Somerset.
During his side’s clash with Essex, Ellis was the pick of the bowlers for Hampshire, finishing with figures of 1-9 off 2 overs at an economy rate of 4.50.
Ben McDermott (Hampshire):
Opening the batting in his side’s first-up clash with Middlesex, Ben McDermott scored 28 off 21 balls, an innings that included three fours and two sixes. McDermott was also quite effective with the gloves, taking two catches and a stumping. However, Hampshire went on to fall short by 10 runs in the end.
McDermott failed to have an impact during Hampshire’s loss to Somerset a few days later, with the 27-year-old dismissed cheaply for one. He did take two catches behind the stumps though.
Against Essex, McDermott top-scored for his side, reaching 38 off 38 balls before being dismissed in the 11thover of the innings. His knock included five fours and one six, however, it proved not enough to prevent his side from succumbing to its third successive defeat.
Tim David (Lancashire):
Having enjoyed a successful stint with the Mumbai Indians in the IPL, explosive T20 batter Tim David took to the field for Lancashire in its first game of the season against Yorkshire.
Occupying a position at number five in the batting order, David made an immediate impact, scoring 35 off 18 balls at an impressive strike rate of 194.44. The 26-year-old’s innings included three sixes and contributed to a highly competitive total of 183 for Lancashire.
The match ultimately ended in a thrilling tie, with a wicket off the last ball of the match ensuring Lancashire shared the spoils with Yorkshire.
David was even more damaging a couple of days later, top-scoring for the match. In a brutal display of power hitting, David took no time at all to get going, smashing 60 off 25 balls in quick time. David’s knock included four sixes, going at a remarkable strike rate of 240.
Against Nottinghamshire, David found himself promoted to number four in the order, however, wasn’t able to reach the same heights as the game before. The Singapore-born batter reached 15 off 9 balls before being dismissed. Nevertheless, Lancashire cruised to a comfortable 87-run win.
With performances of this nature, it’s hard to imagine David will not be strongly considered for Australia’s home T20 World Cup campaign later this year.
Chris Green (Middlesex):
T20 specialist Chris Green has been a part of an impressive start to the campaign from Middlesex, who have won all three of its matches thus far.
During Middlesex’s 30-run win over Gloucestershire, Green contributed to his side’s batting innings with a valuable 16 off 13 balls, while also making an early breakthrough with the ball to dismiss Gloucestershire’s opening batter James Bracey in the third over of the innings. The right-arm off-spinner finished with figures of 1-29 off 3 overs after the match.
Green was much more economical with the ball against Hampshire, claiming figures of 1-21 off 3 overs to help his side secure a 10-run victory. The 28-year-old again also got an opportunity with the bat, producing a handy little cameo of 8 off 2 balls.
Against Glamorgan, Green was largely ineffective, going wicketless and conceding 29 runs off 2 overs. Opening the bowling, Green was hit for a six off his very first ball and struggled to restrict opposition batters thereon.
Chris Lynn (Northamptonshire):
With destructive T20 batter Chris Lynn on the search for a new BBL club for season 2022/23, the Blast presents a great opportunity for the Queenslander to remind the Australian cricketing public of his prowess in the short form of the game.
Chasing 208 for victory against Birmingham, Lynn reached 16 off 11 balls while opening the batting for Northamptonshire, who ultimately succumbed to a whopping 125-run loss to open their campaign.
However, it was a much more positive performance from Lynn and his team against Durham. With Northamptonshire winning the toss and electing to bat first, Lynn went berserk, scoring a rapid 83 off 46 balls to contribute to a commanding opening partnership of 149. Lynn’s innings included four boundaries and eight maximums, with the 32-year-old hitting it out of the park quite literally, as one of his sixes ended up in someone’s backyard.
Northamptonshire’s mammoth first innings total of 223 proved to be too much of a stretch for Durham to chase, with the home side running out 31-run winners.
Matthew Kelly (Northamptonshire):
West Australian quick Matthew Kelly had a rather subdued start to his T20 Blast campaign, having been confronted with some dominant batting performances from opposition sides.
Northamptonshire’s opening clash with Birmingham saw Kelly finish with figures of 0-44 off 3 overs, who was at the mercy of a destructive innings from Paul Stirling, with the Irishman smashing 119 off 51 balls.
It was much of the same for Kelly against Durham, with plenty of runs scored by each team. The 27-year-old took 1-48 off 3 overs, going at an expensive economy rate of 16.00. Kelly’s first over of the innings saw him leak 17 runs.
However, Kelly was ultra-impressive in a rain-affected match against Nottinghamshire. The right-arm quick took 4-29 off 4 overs, which included the wickets of Joe Clarke and Ben Duckett, both of whom were involved in last seasons BBL. The clash ultimately ended in a draw, with only 18 overs able to be bowled.
Dan Christian (Nottinghamshire):
Captaining Nottinghamshire for its first clash of the campaign against Worcestershire, veteran T20 player Dan Christian won the toss and elected to bowl first.
Christian claimed figures of 2-22 off 3 overs, helping his team restrict Worcestershire to a manageable total of 164. With the bat, the all-rounder calmly accumulated 23 off 19 balls to secure the victory with two balls to spare.
The 39-year-old had very little to do during his side’s draw with Northamptonshire. Christian reached 9 off 4 balls before rain intervened.
Meanwhile, Nottinghamshire’s heavy defeat to Lancashire saw Christian spend the most time at the crease compared to any of his teammates, only managing to amass 12 off 22 balls in what was a poor batting display from his side.
Josh Phillippe (Sussex):
The dominant opening batter for the Sydney Sixers in the BBL, Josh Philippe, has played in all three of Sussex’s opening matches of the T20 Blast.
It was far from an ideal start for Phillippe against Glamorgan, having been run out for five while batting at number three.
The 24-year-old did bounce back against Gloucestershire a couple of days later though, amassing 35 runs off 31 balls, including two fours and one six. Sussex didn’t get the result they were after however, falling short by 41 runs.
Phillippe struggled to get going against Kent, reaching 9 off 13 balls before being dismissed.
The West Australian will no doubt be hoping to find some consistency in Sussex’s next matches to come.
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