Cobb smashes Northants to T20 Finals Day triumph

Northants are the 2016 T20 Blast champions after beating Durham in the final at Edgbaston

Cobb smashes Northants to T20 Finals Day triumph
Cobb smashes Northants to T20 Finals Day triumph (image source: getty via cricinfo)

Northants are T20 Blast champions for the second time in three years, after they claimed victory at Edgbaston on Finals Day.

The biggest single day on the county calendar has become a fixture in Birmingham, and after two tight semi-finals, Northants toppled Durham in the evening final to take home the trophy.

Duckett and Wood star during semi-final wins

In the day's first semi-final, Northants took on a much-fancied Nottinghamshire side which included internationals Andre Russell, Stuart Broad and Alex Hales who had all been picked despite playing very little during the group stage. 

Early wickets saw Northants fall to 15-3, before a partnership of 123 ensued between Ben Duckett and Alex Wakely (53) ensued which saw them eventually post 161-8 from their 20 overs. 

Duckett starred, scoring 84 from 47 balls, which included 14 boundaries. With his stock continuing to rise, the small left-hander played a vast array of shots which will have caught the eye of the selectors as he bludgeoned an international attack.

West Indian star Andre Russell picked up three wickets, as Nottinghamshire managed to limit just two batsmen scoring double figures during the entire innings, but they didn't fair much better with the bat themselves and fell eight runs short in their chase after Steven Crook picked up three wickets. 

In the second semi-final, the unfancied Durham only mustered 156 from their 20 overs against a stacked Yorkshire side, with Ben Stokes top-scoring with 56 and Liam Plunkett claiming two wickets.

The Yorkshire reply never really got going despite Adam Lyth's 64 and they eventually lost by seven runs to end their hopes of a historic treble.  

Mark Wood celebrates taking a wicket (image source: getty via cricinfo)

Mark Wood was the star for Durham, with the speedstar claiming four wickets which included the scalps of England internationals Jonny Bairstow and Gary Ballance. The trio of Bairstow, Ballance and Joe Root could only muster 10 runs between them as Yorkshire failed once more on Finals Day, with Wood finishing things off with the dismissals of Plunkett and Tim Bresnan in the penultimate over.

Cobb smashes 80 to take Northants to T20 crown

Just 30 minutes after coming through their semi-final, Durham were back in action again in the final, and before they knew it they were struggling badly at 49-4. 

Stokes was one of those men back in the dugout after falling for 18, while Mark Stoneman, Jack Burnham and Michael Richardson all registered single-figure scores. 

The man who held the entire innings together was Keaton Jennings, who became the highest scorer ever in a Finals Day innings with his 88, anchoring the innings of 153-8.

That score looked slightly below par, but at 9-3, Northants must have been fearing the worst, before they pulled out another century stand as they had done earlier in the day. 

Wakely was involved again, with the captain scoring 43, but this time it was Josh Cobb who played the game's meaningful innings with 80 off 48 which propelled Northants towards their target. 

Despite only creeping across the line, Northants claimed a four-wicket win with five balls to spare on an excellent day for county cricket.