Lancashire captain Glen Chapple has hailed Karl Brown as one of county cricket’s leading lights with the bat in the limited-overs
Brown, the 26-year-old right-hander, has enjoyed an excellent campaign against the white ball, both in the NatWest T20 Blast and the Royal London one-day Cup.
He scored 467 runs from 15 Twenty20 matches, including four 50s, and 373 from seven one-day matches with one
hundred and two 50s.
And the top-order player from Bolton even turned heads with his performances from number four in the Lightning order at Saturday’s T20 Finals Day at Edgbaston.
He hit 41 off 28 balls in the semi-final win against Hampshire, helping Ashwell Prince to get the Red Rose out of a hole at 3-2 to post an imposing 160-5 from 19 overs.
He then kept the Lightning fighting all the way to the death in the final defeat against Birmingham Bears as they chased a record 182, hitting a powerful 55 off 28 with three fours and four sixes.
A 99-ball 129 in a one-day defeat against Yorkshire at Emirates Old Trafford at the end of last month was his standout knock of a season which has only seen him make seven appearances in the LV= County Championship.
He has been out of the side since early June when he scored nine and 22 not out in the draw against Somerset at Emirates Old Trafford and regaining that spot now has to be his primary goal.
Chapple said: “Browny’s got a great record throughout his career in one-day cricket and I view him as a real quality player.
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“He’s fighting for his place in four-day cricket and if he can make that, then that will turn him into one of the best
players around. In one-day cricket, he’s right up there.
“He’s a powerful player with all the shots you need for both forms really.
“It can be something as simple as going on a run, getting your confidence and kicking on from there. He’s got it in him.”
Chapple has not played a limited-overs match all season, preferring to
concentrate on his coaching duties. He has handed the leadership reins over to Paul Horton in one-day and Twenty20 cricket.
Horton said: “Browny’s become a real force in one-day cricket, both in 50-over and T20. He strikes the ball really well.
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“It was a shame for him because those knocks (at Finals Day) probably deserved to be on the
winning side. It was a wonderful performance by him.”
Despite the disappointment of defeat on Saturday, the general consensus from the Lancashire dressing room was that they are not far away from winning the T20 Blast trophy having reached Finals Day five times and lost twice in the final.
Chapple said: “We’re good enough to win it.
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“It’s a difficult trophy to win because you’ve got 14 group games, then a sudden death quarter-final.
“We’ve won probably as many games as any team this year. If you keep getting to Finals Day, you’ll win it sooner rather than later.”
Brown added: “It’s devastating not to get over the line, but we can hold our heads high because we’ve played really good cricket throughout the competition. We’ve just fallen five runs short, that’s all it is.
“We felt like we had a chance of getting over the line, and we just wanted to take it as deep as possible.
“Andrew Flintoff put a couple out of the park and we were just one more out of the ground short. That’s how close Twenty20 cricket can be.
“We’ve played some great cricket, and I’m really proud of the lads.
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“As gutted as we are, I think we can be proud. We didn’t quite make it on this occasion, but next year it can be our time.”