Max's T20 Memories

Max Waller made his T20 debut for Somerset back in 2009.

Since then he has played in over 100 T20 matches for the Club, claiming over 120 wickets and taking some of the greatest catches ever seen in the format.

With this year’s Vitality Blast now just around the corner we asked Max to look back over his T20 career and choose his five favourite memories.

1) T20 Debut

Max made his Somerset debut in the T20 clash against Glamorgan at Cardiff in May 2009.

Somerset were defending a low total of 113 and eventually went on to win the thrilling match by just one run. The young spinner impressed on his maiden appearance and claimed three wickets as he and Alfonso Thomas kept it tight at the end of the Glamorgan innings to ensure the win.

“That was a cracking win. We did well to defend that total and it was a great effort from everyone. It was nice to be able to contribute to a win in my first game. I bowled quite late on and ended up with three for 17. I think that helped me to establish myself for the rest of that campaign. Alfonso bowled really well that day and he was fantastic with the ball during that period. I just wanted to put in a good performance to give myself more opportunities in the future. It feels like a long time ago now!”

2) 2009 Champions League

Following our performances in domestic cricket, Somerset qualified for the 2009 T20 Champions League.

It was the inaugural staging of the competition, which was held in India and it featured 12 T20 sides from England, Australia, India, New Zealand, West Indies, South Africa and Sri Lanka.

Somerset qualified for the second group stage ahead of Deccan Chargers but failed to reach the semi-finals.

“It was great to be able to play against some of the best players in the world. There are some great grounds over in India and the support was fantastic. It was a definite eye-opener to have exposure to such big crowds and such high-pressure games. I think that experience stood me in good stead moving forward.

“In India they can cram about 60,000 in to the stadiums so the noise level is ramped right up and it’s a very different atmosphere. It was a great experience for me at a young age. Some of those teams were the best in the world, so to be able to test your skills at that level is what you want to be able to do.”

3) 2011 Champions League

Somerset once again qualified for the Champions League in 2011.

On this occasion we beat Kolkata Knight Riders and Auckland Aces in the qualifying stages before topping Group B ahead of Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Somerset eventually fell at the semi-final stage against Mumbai Indians.

“We really showed that we were full value out there. We got through the qualifying stages and made it all the way to the semi-finals. We beat some good IPL sides along the way. We showed that we could compete against the very best and everyone did their job. In T20 cricket, if you look after your role in the side then generally the result takes care of itself.

“We had a very good side that year with some very good players. We showed in that tournament that we were capable of beating anyone on our day.”

4) Finals Days

Max has played at five T20 Finals Days but has yet to taste glory.

“I’ve experienced five Finals Days and unfortunately not won the trophy yet! It’s not a great record but it’s a great day to be involved in. The atmosphere is always great and you know that it’s being watched all over the world. It’s a good event to be a part of and it’s always good fun.

“For a team to reach Finals Day once is an achievement, so to have done it five times shows what good sides we’ve had. Hopefully we can go one better in the near future!”

5) Under Lights at Taunton

“Friday nights under the lights at the Cooper Associates County Ground is something special. I love playing at Taunton. We get great support and it’s fantastic and exciting to play to a full house here. It’s great to be a part of that party atmosphere and to get a few of my celebrations out!”

Somerset begin our 2020 Vitality Blast campaign with a match against 2014 winners, Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston on Friday August 28th followed by a trip to two-time winners Northamptonshire two days later.

Our first home match of the competition takes place on Tuesday September 1st when we welcome Glamorgan to the Cooper Associates County Ground.

Local derbies are an integral element of the Vitality Blast and 2020 is no different.

Once again Somerset and Gloucestershire will lock horns in the group stage of the competition.

Gloucestershire make the trip to the Cooper Associates County Ground on Sunday September 13th with the return fixture at the Bristol County Ground on Sunday September 20th.

Here is the full list of our Vitality Blast fixtures:

The England and Wales Cricket Board has confirmed that this summer’s shortened domestic season will culminate with Vitality Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston on Saturday 3 October.

The Vitality Blast has been regionalised into the same three groups used in the Bob Willis Trophy with each county set to play 10 group-stage matches behind closed doors. The quarter-finals will all be played on Thursday 1 October.

BBC Radio will cover every match of the Vitality Blast while all 18 First-Class Counties have been scheduled to play in front of the Sky cameras during the group stage. Somerset’s trip to Worcestershire, hosted at Edgbaston on Thursday September 3rd, will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.

Somerset’s Vitality Blast home matches will be made available via our popular free live streaming service.

Emerald Headingley (North Group), Edgbaston (Central Group) and the Kia Oval (South Group) will host eight of the 10 Sky televised group-stage matches, which will include neutral double-headers at each of those venues.

The Ageas Bowl and Emirates Old Trafford, which have hosted men’s England internationals this summer, will also stage televised derby matches. One quarter-final and Finals Day will also be televised by Sky.

All white-ball knockout matches, including the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy final and Vitality Blast Finals Day have been assigned reserve days.

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