David Willey played “the best T20 innings” captain Wakeley has seen

Northants skipper Alex Wakeley has described David Willey’s 40-ball century against Sussex on Wednesday as “on a different planet”.

Willey took 3 for 27 before going berserk with the bat and smashing a 40-ball century.

Wakely, whose side qualified for Finals Day as a result of the quarter-final win in Hove, described Willey’s knock as “the best T20 innings I’ve seen”.

The left-handed all-rounder who broke into England’s one-day team this summer with 4 ODIs and 1 T20I appearances, cracked 34 off one over from Michael Yardy. His England performances were cut short by an ankle ligament injury, but he proved beyond any doubt yesterday that he is fit and ready to take on Australia in the forthcoming one-day series.

“Everyone else seemed to struggle and he was just on a different planet,” Wakely told BBC Radio. “That is why T20 is so exciting, it’s brilliant for the fans because anything can happen on any given day.”

Northants, who won the T20 Blast in 2013, cruised to their 166-run target with four overs in hand.

“It’s the best innings I’ve ever seen in T20 cricket quite comfortably,” added Wakely. “The fact it was chasing in the quarter-final under pressure.”

Willey takes the lead in the chase for this year’s Walter Lawrence Trophy, awarded for the fastest hundred of the season, The competition is open to all domestic county competitions as well as One-Day Internationals, T20 Internationals and Test Matches in England. His breathtaking 40-ball hundred could well see him scoop the Trophy, now in its 81st year.

Willey, who was out the ball after reaching three figures, completed the fastest century in the competition this summer, beating Brendon McCullum’s 42-ball ton for Birmingham against Derbyshire. It is the third fastest in the competition’s history.

The fastest ever T20 century was made by Chris Gayle in 30 balls for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Pune Warriors in 2013.

“You see a lot of people hit three or four sixes and get out - the fact he went on to score a hundred you don’t see that every day,” Wakeley continued. “You talk about some guys like Chris Gayle - (Sussex captain) Luke Wright played against him this season and said it was a cleaner strike than Gayle.”

“There’s been a lot of bad press around the club at the moment - it’s just an amazing feeling (to win),” he said, commenting on the recent media interest in the club’s perilous financial state. “We said that all we could do was concentrate on the cricket - to get to Finals Day again is such a great feeling.

“The fact we did it with such style, we won the T20 in 2013 by playing almost the perfect game, and we’ve done it again here in the quarter-final. It’s probably the most complete performance from us this season.”

James Buttler

James Buttler

James has been working as a cricket journalist and broadcaster since 2006.
As the editor of Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author and a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications.
He's unsurprisingly a complete cricket badger!
James Buttler

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