Vitality Blast T20 Finals Day 2023: rain, a Lancastrian giraffe and an incredible catch compiles Edgbaston classic

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From studying of the weather charts, to the ever-dramatic mascots race- Edgbaston hosted another incredible Vitality Blast Finals Day

Driving into Edgbaston, the sun was shining over the ground but there were the darkest clouds many fans would ever have seen over Birmingham. The forecast in the days leading up to Vitality Blast finals day was gloomy, with many worried there may be little to no cricket played. 

We got underway on time, and to the surprise of many in Edgbaston, the first innings was completed. It took until the third over of the Essex innings for the heavily forecast rain to arrive, and even then it didn’t stick around for too long. It wasn’t putting a damper on the day, and Essex came back out to get themselves over the line. 

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Thick clouds circulated over the ground, and threatened to give Edgbaston another soaking. It did, and the rain unleashed itself just before the big sporting event of the day. The mascot race got underway as the huge hover cover was raced onto the pitch. The mascots slipped and slid around the course, and it was Lancashire’s big giraffe mascot ‘Lanky’ who claimed the honours. 

The gloom lifted, and the sun showed itself for large parts of the second semi-final between Surrey and Somerset. A stiff but brief rain shower saw the hover cover engine started up, but the umpire’s held their nerve to stand the huge behemoth down and keep the players on. The weather was not to have the potency we all expected. 

The final was uninterrupted by rain, and it was a match during which the bowlers stole the headlines. Shane Snater had superb figures of 3-13 for Essex as they restricted Somerset to 145- a target which should have been fairly straight forward but on a day where batters seemed intent on getting out as soon as they looked set, Essex struggled and eventually slip to a defeat which was sealed with a stunning catch from Somerset's Tom Kohler-Cadmore.

Finals Day was another huge success. A great atmosphere all around the ground, some superb individual and team cricketing displays and nowhere near as much rain as we all feared meant that the premium domestic one day tournament in Britain reached a dramatic and entertaining conclusion for another year. 

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Matt Henry of Somerset celebrates the wicket of Jason Roy of Surrey with team mate Tom Abell during the Vitality Blast T20 Semi-Final 2 match between Somerset and Surrey at Edgbaston on July 15, 2023 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)Matt Henry of Somerset celebrates the wicket of Jason Roy of Surrey with team mate Tom Abell during the Vitality Blast T20 Semi-Final 2 match between Somerset and Surrey at Edgbaston on July 15, 2023 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)
Matt Henry of Somerset celebrates the wicket of Jason Roy of Surrey with team mate Tom Abell during the Vitality Blast T20 Semi-Final 2 match between Somerset and Surrey at Edgbaston on July 15, 2023 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images) | Getty

T20 Finals Day at Edgbaston is an English cricketing institution which has been a feature of the summer almost every year since the creation of T20 cricket. The short-term future of Finals Day being hosted in Birmingham has been secured- we should all hope that this is extended for many more years to come. 

A special thanks must go to the Edgbaston ground staff. Despite the heavy rain- they got the day on and to get so much cricket in is testament to them. Another reason why the showpiece Birmingham venue needs to keep on hosting the longest day in English cricket.

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