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Northeast and Wright face off in skipper showdown

Wednesday 1st July 2015

Men’s First Team

Rarely can captains have dominated a format to the extent achieved by Sam Northeast and Luke Wright in this year’s NatWestT20 Blast, writes Dave Fulton.

Friday's sold-out match at Hove pits Kent Spitfires skipper Northeast, who sits second in the PCA’s T20 MVP Rankings, and Wright of Sussex Sharks in fourth against each other in a shoot-out that could determine the outcome of the match.

Northeast, the tournament's top scorer, has 520 runs at an average of 65 with a run rate of 162 per 100 balls – a remarkable 32.16% of his Spitfires' runs.

He’s scored a hundred and four fifties and his consistency is demonstrated by nine double-figure scores from nine innings with eight of those 20 or better.

His 114 off 58 balls at Taunton was enough for a Kent victory despite Chris Gayle’s 151-run riposte, whilst 96 off 47 versus Surrey and 90 off 52 against Essex also led to wins.

Wright is coming off the back of a match-winning knock of 111 off 56 against the Gladiators at Bristol. The Sharks’ skipper, who has honed his t20 skills at the IPL and Big Bash as well as domestically, has used all that experience to carve out 371 runs at a terrific strike rate of 173 runs per 100 balls.

Like Northeast he’s dominated his side’s run-scoring contributing 25.73% of the Sharks’ competition runs.

Collectively the Spitfires have scored 1,617 runs from their nine innings and have scored in excess of 170 on seven occasions.

The Sharks are some way behind with 1,442 runs from their nine innings having only gone past 170 four times.

What is for certain: take out the captains and you’ve got a much improved chance of restricting their team’s score.