The 2021 edition of the Vitality Blast is set to start on June 9th, as the opening act for what will be a jam-packed five months of T20 cricket consisting of the IPL, PSL, CPL, T20 World Cup, and many bilateral series. As we approach the start of the tournament, let’s take a look at the 5 batsmen who scored the most runs in the Vitality Blast last year.
Vitality Blast 2020: The Top 5 run-getters
#5 Joe Clarke (Nottinghamshire)
371 runs @37.10, Strike Rate 175.00
25-year-old Joe Clarke’s explosive knocks played a major role in Nottinghamshire’s title-winning campaign last year. He began the tournament with a stunning, unbeaten 44-ball 100 against Durham in his first innings. There was no looking back for Clarke from that point, who took the Vitality Blast 2020 by storm with his fiery contributions.
He even hit the most sixes in the tournament, with 22. Considering his good form and brisk run-scoring in the ongoing County Championship, it’s safe to say we’re in for more fireworks from Clarke this Vitality Blast.
#4 Ian Cockbain (Gloucestershire)
399 runs @44.33, Strike Rate 169.78
Gloucestershire won all but one of their games in the group stage last season, thanks in no small part to Ian Cockbain. The belligerent batsman put on a clinic, giving his side a good score almost every time he came to the crease. His best knocks took the game well beyond the opposing team, and when his teammates were the ones scoring, he gave them adequate support.
Cockbain tied with Joe Clarke for the most sixes in the tournament, too. Unlike Clarke, his team lost in the semifinals, but if Cockbain can find even a hint of his 2020 Vitality Blast form this time around, there’s a good chance Gloucestershire can improve on their last performance in the Vitality Blast.
#3 Luke Wright (Sussex)
411 runs @37.36, Strike rate 137.00
English T20 veteran Luke Wright showed that even at 35, he was a mighty force to be reckoned with in the Vitality Blast. His two explosive Player-of-the-Match performances were ample proof of this. Sussex benefited enormously from the consistent starts Wright gave them, making it as far as the quarterfinals before getting knocked out.
The former England international showed his experience when it mattered the most: when wickets fell around him, he played it safe, and when they didn’t, he cut loose and scored quickly. If Wright is able to find form this season, there’s no telling how far Sussex might go!
#2 Stephen Eskinazi (Middlesex)
413 runs @41.30, Strike rate 148.02
Stephen Eskinazi was a constant threat at the top of the Middlesex batting order, consistently flaying bowling attacks to get his team off to a solid start. Even more noteworthy is that he played a match less than the other batsmen on this list, and yet still managed to score more than almost all of them.
Unfortunately, his efforts weren’t enough to get Middlesex into the knockouts of the Vitality Blast, mostly due to a dire lack of support from his teammates. Regardless, bowlers everywhere will be aware of the havoc Eskinazi can wreak if given the chance this season.
#1 Daniel Bell-Drummond (Kent)
423 runs @42.30, Strike rate 154.94
The reinvented Daniel Bell-Drummond is the same exciting batsman that English cricket has witnessed for years, but with a newly-developed power-hitting game that lit up the 2020 edition of the Vitality Blast.
There were few better sights last season than Bell-Drummond in full flow -- and, thankfully, it was a common sight last season, with most teams that Kent faced experiencing his pyrotechnics. After all, no one hit more boundaries last season than the 65 unleashed by Kent’s star batsman. His brilliant ball-striking propelled Kent into the quarterfinals, and while they couldn’t advance further than that, they have a great chance of doing so this year with Bell-Drummond on their side.