T20 Blast quarter-finals: Eight teams battle for Finals Day spot

Alex Hales and Peter Trego are looking to help holders Notts become the first side to claim back-to-back T20 Blast triumphs
Alex Hales and Peter Trego are looking to help holders Notts become the first side to win back-to-back T20 Blast titles
Dates: Tuesday 24 – Friday 27 August
Coverage: Live Test Match Special radio and text commentary on every match on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra & BBC Sport website, plus desktop, tablets, mobiles and app.

The English cricket season reverts to a slightly more customary look as The Hundred makes way on centre stage for the four T20 Blast quarter-finals.

It will be another week before the County Championship resumes, but for eight teams, there is still the chance to be one of the four who book their place for Finals Day at Edgbaston on 18 September.

There are also at least nine players from Saturday’s men’s Hundred final who could play in this week’s ties.

Southern Brave heroes Jake Lintott (left) and Alex Davies are signed up to be team-mates again next season at Edgbaston for the Bears
Southern Brave stars Jake Lintott (left) and Alex Davies are signed up to be team-mates again next season at Edgbaston for the Bears

Sussex, who make the long trek to Chester-le-Street to play Yorkshire as Emerald Headingley is being prepared for England’s third Test against India, will feature all three of their match-winning Southern Brave seamers – George Garton, Tymal Mills and England veteran Chris Jordan.

Brave skipper James Vince is expected to return to Hampshire duty for Wednesday’s second quarter-final against T20 holders Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

Although Craig Overton has been called up for England Test duty, another victorious Brave Alex Davies will be sharing the same pitch as two of the Lord’s runners-up. They are his Lancashire team-mate Liam Livingstone and Will Smeed as the Red Rose travel to Taunton to play Somerset on Thursday.

On Friday, the Birmingham Bears go to Canterbury, where Chris Benjamin and Jake Lintott, on opposing sides in The Hundred, will be on the same team to meet Kent, who could have Adam Milne in their ranks.

Yorkshire Vikings v Sussex Sharks

Tuesday: Chester-le-Street, 18:30 BST

First up are North Group runners-up Yorkshire against 2009 T20 winners Sussex, who finished third in the South Group.

They have met twice before in the T20. Sussex won their quarter-final tie in 2007, but the Tykes beat them in the semi in Cardiff on Finals Day five years later.

This is the third quarter-final to be staged at Chester-le-Street in four years – and the hosts are yet to win one.

In 2018, Durham lost to Sussex and a year later Lancashire – forced to decamp as their Old Trafford home was also being used for a Test match – were beaten by eventual winners Essex.

Yorkshire's Harry Brook in action
Yorkshire’s Harry Brook is the top run-scorer for teams left in the T20, having hit 500 in 12 games at an average of 80.83

Nine years on from their only appearance at Finals Day, Yorkshire are without New Zealand paceman Lockie Ferguson following his positive Covid test, but do have England spinner Adil Rashid, the world-ranked number four bowler in T20.

As well as the returning Jordan, Mills and Garton, Sussex have teenage spinner Archie Lenham and Delray Rawlins from that victorious Brave squad to squeeze in. So too Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan, the world T20 number three, who played two group games before his Hundred stint with Trent Rockets.

The Sussex attack already includes South African David Wiese and all-rounder Ravi Bopara, who is now nine games short of being only the fifth player to clock up 400 T20 career appearances.

In the group games, three of which were rain abandonments, Mills (seven), Jordan (six) and Garton (five) all played regularly. But in the only two games in which all three played together and there was a result, Sussex won with at least 22 balls to spare.

Notts Outlaws v Hampshire Hawks

Wednesday: Trent Bridge, 19:00 BST

On the same stage where English cricket’s first domestic trophy of 2021 was handed out to Glamorgan last Thursday, T20 holders Notts continue their quest for a third triumph in five seasons at home to fellow two-time winners Hampshire.

The Hawks beat Notts at the quarter-final stage both in 2012, the year they won the T20 for the second time, and 2014, at Trent Bridge.

Hampshire skipper James Vince
Hampshire skipper James Vince failed in the final, but made 229 runs in 10 innings to help Southern Brave win The Hundred

But when they met at the semi-final stage at Edgbaston in 2017, Notts won en route to lifting the trophy for the first time.

Hampshire skipper Vince – the only man in world cricket with a T20 Blast, Big Bash and Hundred winner’s medal – hit 365 in 10 group games, while team-mate Joe Weatherley notched 333 in 11.

Notts won their group comfortably, losing just two of their 14 matches. Alex Hales, Joe Clarke and Samit Patel return to join Outlaws’ other likely matchwinners – skipper Steven Mullaney, Ben Duckett and Peter Trego, now seeking back-to-back winner’s medals aged 40.

Hampshire, in contrast, scraped through in fourth place by winning their final five matches. But that form is now more than a month old.

Somerset v Lancashire Lightning

Thursday: Taunton, 19:00 BST

Lancashire, winners in 2015 and twice-beaten finalists, are looking to book a place at a record sixth Finals Day.

They are without England Test duo Saqib Mahmood and Jos Buttler, as well as Finn Allen, who missed The Hundred final too with Birmingham Phoenix after being selected in New Zealand’s squad for their Bangladesh tour.

But they have the option of restoring Davies to his more familiar role of opener, while they also have Livingstone and skipper Dane Vilas, who has been with the Northern Superchargers.

Liam Livingstone walks off in The Hundred final
Liam Livingstone will be hoping to get over the disappointment of his Lord’s run-out as Lancashire visit Taunton

Somerset have won both their previous T20 meetings with Lancashire in contrasting fashion. First by seven wickets in the final at the Oval in 2005, then a bowl-out on a wet night in Manchester four years later.

It is 16 years since they won this trophy for the only time – and 10 since they last reached the final.

Kent Spitfires v Birmingham Bears

Friday: Canterbury, 19:00 BST

The Bears, trophy winners in 2014, and Kent, the 2007 victors, have met just once before in T20. In the 2008 quarter-final at Edgbaston, Darren Stevens top-scored with 69 in a 42-run Kent success.

Apart from the 45-year-old Stevens, only two other possible survivors remain from that game, England internationals Chris Woakes and Joe Denly.

Woakes, who has played just four games of cricket this year, is getting some valuable game time first in the Bears’ Second XI against Worcestershire at New Road.

Benjamin and Lintott both return fresh from The Hundred, although with contrasting experiences in the final.

Durham University batsman Benjamin, 22, has made just two first-class appearances, hitting a half-century both times.

Having been offered a Bears contract in June, he earned a surprise call-up to The Hundred with the Phoenix, for whom he became a regular.

Kent's Adam Milne's figures of 2-8 in The Hundred final for Birmingham Phoenix were the most economical of the whole tournament
Kent’s Adam Milne’s figures of 2-8 in The Hundred final for Birmingham Phoenix were the most economical in the tournament

Former teacher Lintott, whose efforts for the Bears over the past year and the Brave in The Hundred have now earned him a Caribbean Premier League contract, will play at Canterbury before joining the Barbados Royals.

After missing the opening three games of the CPL, Lintott is set to make seven appearances before returning to Birmingham ahead of Finals Day on 18 September.

Kent are yet to reveal whether Milne will figure, having played three group games prior to The Hundred and substituting for their original overseas selection Mohammad Amir.

Milne produced one of the performances of the tournament for Phoenix in The Hundred final, taking two wickets for just eight runs off his 20 balls.

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