NatWest T20 Blast: Records will be set, history will be made as counties collide
Most hundreds, best team totals and tied games... check out these stats plus more!
Last Updated: 16/05/14 12:24pm
We are back to two groups of nine teams each - split geographically North and South with the top four teams from each group qualifying for the quarter-finals. Finals Day is at Edgbaston on Saturday 23 August. In all, 70 per cent of all the games will be played on Friday nights, with everything kicking off today!
So let's have a stroll down memory lane and see what the last 10 years of English domestic Twenty20 cricket have brought us...
Ten men have passed 2,000 runs in the competition, headed by Darren Stevens, who has made 2,476 so far. He is closely followed by Darren Maddy (2,379), Murray Goodwin (2,358) and Stephen Moore (2,319) proving that it is pretty tight at the top!
Forty nine centuries have been scored, but only one player has reached three figures on three separate occasions. Ian Harvey scored 100no for Gloucestershire against Warwickshire in 2003, 108no for Yorkshire against Lancashire in 2004 and 109 for Yorkshire against Derbyshire in 2005. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Marcus Trescothick has passed fifty on the most occasions - 17 of them.
No-one has been dismissed for 99 in the competition, but spare a thought for Steven Davies. He was 99 not out for Surrey against Sussex at Whitgift School in 2011 when the Surrey 20 overs ended. He will have taken some solace from the fact that his side ran out winners by 18 runs but Davies is still yet to score a Twenty20 century.
Having a ball
With the ball it has been a two-way race to be the leading wicket-taker. Yasir Arafat currently leads the way with 121 wickets, just two ahead of Azhar Mahmood. They are the only two bowlers with more than 100 wickets, with Andrew Hall (95) and Dimitri Mascarenhas (94) next in line.
There have been 16 hat-tricks in the competition, the most recent being David Willey, who accomplished the feat in last year's final. Jim Allenby made history by taking four wickets in four balls in 2008 playing for Leicestershire against Lancashire.
Two sides have topped 250 in the competition, the highest score being Gloucestershire's 254-3 against Middlesex at Uxbridge in 2011, an innings in which both the openers - Kevin O'Brien and Hamish Marshall - made centuries. At the other end of the spectrum, Northamptonshire were bowled out for just 47 by Durham in 2011 at Chester-le-Street.
Sixteen matches have been tied in the competition, including two memorably on Finals Day in 2011 at Edgbaston, which both went to a Super Over. Astonishingly, both meetings between Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire ended tied in 2010.
Some more quirky facts...
- 13 matches have been won by just one run and there have been seven victories by just one wicket
- 449 runs were scored in total when Worcestershire played Northamptonshire at Kidderminster in 2007
- Five Gloucestershire players were dismissed for ducks against Essex at Chelmsford in 2011
- Sussex won a record 13 matches in a row between 2009 and 2010
- The average first innings score is 154
- Tyron Henderson scored 63 at number eight for Kent against Hampshire in 2006, the only score of fifty or more from that position
- Heath Streak scored 59 at number nine for Warwickshire against Worcestershire at Birmingham in 2005, the only score of fifty or more from that position
- Five bowlers have bowled two maidens in a match, the most recent being Alfonso Thomas for Somerset against Hampshire at Southampton in 2010
Who knows what records will be set in the weeks to follow? But one thing is for sure - you'll see it all live on Sky Sports.
Watch 39 NatWest T20 Blast fixtures, including a Middlesex double header in the first weekend, live on Sky Sports this summer - starting with Friday's opening clash between Nottinghamshire Outlaws and Lancashire Lightning. For full details click here.