Twenty20: Carberry’s Hampshire Royals are still the team to beat

 

A boom year for Twenty20 cricket reaches its climax with a 25,000 full house expected at Edgbaston today, following on the heels of a 76 per cent increase in overall attendances compared with 2012.

Northamptonshire meet Essex in the opening semi-final (11am) before Surrey take on the defending champions Hampshire (2.30pm) to determine who meets in this evening’s final (6.45pm). Here is the low-down on the four contenders.

Essex Eagles

Twenty20 pedigree Semi-finalists three times.

Route to final Scraped into quarter-finals only as one of the best third-placed teams in the group stage, but then thrashed fancied Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge to reach last four.

Most runs Owais Shah 311

Highest score Hamish Rutherford 84 v Sussex (Hove)

Most wickets Reece Topley 19

Best bowling Graham Napier 4-18 v Surrey (Chelmsford)

Danger men Ryan ten Doeschate, Shaun Tait.

Chances Essex have hit highs and lows in 2013 – bowled out for 20 by Lancashire in the Championship in June but superb in their T20 quarter-final against Notts, when Ten Doeschate hit a brilliant 82 and former Australian fast bowler Tait took a hat-trick. But Shah is injured.

Northamptonshire Steelbacks

Twenty20 pedigree Semi-finalists once.

Route to final After winning only three matches out of a total of 26 over 2011-12, Northants confounded expectations by winning five of their first six this season and never looked back, beating Durham comfortably in the quarter-final.

Most runs Cameron White 327.

Highest score Richard Levi 110 not out v Gloucestershire (Cheltenham)

Most wickets Muhammad Azharullah 24.

Best bowling Azharullah  4-14 v Glamorgan (Northampton), Graeme White 4-14 v Gloucestershire (Northampton).

Danger men David Willey, Kyle Coetzer.

Chances Outsiders in the betting but Levi and White are two of Twenty20’s most explosive batsmen and Azharullah is leading wicket-taker in the competition this season, so cannot be taken lightly.

Hampshire Royals

Twenty20 pedigree Winners twice (2010 and 2012).

Route to final Virtually untouchable in the group stage, they were given a real fright in the quarter-finals when Lancashire failed by only two runs to chase down 203 to win.

Most runs Michael Carberry 496.

Highest score Michael Carberry, left, 100 not out v Lancashire (The Rose Bowl)

Most wickets Danny  Briggs 14.

Best bowling Liam Dawson 4-19 v Kent (Canterbury)

Danger men Sohail Tanvir, Neil McKenzie, James Vince.

Chances Going for their second consecutive limited-overs double, Hampshire are the complete one-day team, combining high-scoring batsmen with crafty bowlers – none more so than captain Dimitri Mascarenhas, playing in his last Twenty20 after announcing his retirement. The team to beat.

Surrey

Twenty20 pedigree Inaugural winners in 2003.

Route to final Second to Hampshire in the South group despite a modest return from box office signing Ricky Ponting, Surrey upset the form book by overcoming Somerset in the quarter-finals.

Most runs Jason Roy 272.

Highest score Steven Davies 95 not out v Kent (Canterbury)

Most wickets Jade Dernbach 16.

Best bowling Zander de Bruyn 4-19 v Essex (Chelmsford)

Danger men Azhar Mahmood, Glenn Maxwell.

Chances Surrey lost to Hampshire twice in the group stage and Gareth Batty’s suspension after his quarter-final altercation with Somerset’s Peter Trego does not help their chances. But the England limited-overs fast bowler Jade Dernbach could swing it for them.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there