Aussie’s legendary turnout in T20 final
Aussie cricket cult hero Adam Zampa has partied deep into the night with his Essex teammates after their fairytale victory in the final of the T20 Blast on Sunday (AEST).
The only problem is, the leg-spinner wasn’t even in the country at the time of Essex’s dramatic final ball, four-wicket victory over Worcestershire in Birmingham.
Zampa had been a key part of Essex’s campaign, helping to guide the team into the semi-finals before having to return to Australia for the beginning of the Australian domestic one-day cup.
The 27-year-old’s teammates, however, ensured he would be there for the final and all the wild celebrations that came after it by plonking a life-size cardboard cut-out of the wrist spinner front and centre as they kicked off their championship-winning party.
He was everywhere during Essex’s rowdy celebrations.
Teammates posed for photos with the cut-out of Zampa and ensured he knew about his place of high-esteem within the team by letting him know the lengths his colleagues went to.
ESPN reported cut-outs of Zampa and Pakistan international Mohammad Amir, who also had to leave earlier during the T20 Blast finals series, were spotted in the main press box at Edgbaston before the team’s media managers brought them onto the ground during the trophy presentation.
From there Zampa and Amir soon stole the show during the team’s dressing room shenanigans.
It may not have been enough to entirely cancel out that feeling of FOMO Zampa and Amir must surely have been feeling, but it warmed the cockles of most cricket fans’ hearts when the story emerged.
The cut-out of Zampa sporting his infamous headband and appealing more aggressively than any man ever should, certainly got a rise out of the South Australian Redbacks star.
The Essex media department also made sure the entire cricket world knew about its delightful little gag.
Adam Zampa is back home in Australia to play in the one-day Cup, but @EssexCricket ensured he didn't miss out on their #Blast19 victory celebrations 😉🍾 https://t.co/DFI6zGv1om— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) September 22, 2019
[📸: zampstagram/Instagram] pic.twitter.com/4unnaWonxN
The boys had a great day at Finals Day! 😁 pic.twitter.com/kNcJuH1wqm— Essex Cricket (@EssexCricket) September 22, 2019
Zampa’s replacement for the final Aron Nijjar struggled in the decider with 0/31 from his four overs, but it didn’t stop Essex from pulling off the upset win.
Essex captain Simon Harmer produced a match-winning cameo with the bat to lead his team to victory on the final ball of Saturday’s T20 Blast final.
All-rounder Harmer took three for 16 including the key wicket of Moeen Ali as Essex restricted defending champions Worcestershire to 145 for 9 after winning the toss and bowling at Edgbaston.
Essex’s title ambitions looked in tatters when Moeen dismissed Ryan ten Doeschate and Dan Lawrence in quick succession to leave them 82 for 5 in the 14th over.
But Ravi Bopara, who made 36 off 22 balls, revived their hopes to leave Essex requiring 12 off the final over.
They managed just six from the first four balls against Wayne Parnell before Harmer smacked his compatriot for successive boundaries to propel Essex to a thrilling win.
County Championship leaders Essex will look to complete a double when they host second-placed Somerset in the final round of first-class matches next week.
— with AFP