Delray Rawlins has shown glimpses of his incredible talent with the bat numerous times over the last three seasons, but it was also his ability with the ball which gained attention this year.
Like many left-handed batsmen, Rawlins’ elegant style of play is hugely popular with fans and across social media, and throughout the truncated 2020 season, his popularity rose further as the Bermudian established himself as an all-rounder.
During just our second home match of the summer, against county champions Essex, Rawlins hit a typically fluid 40 off just 42 balls with a memorable duel taking place between himself and Simon Harmer.
Two stunning swept sixes off the best spinner in the country highlighted Rawlins’ undeniable skill with the bat, but he also showed how well he can bowl with six overs going for just 12 runs across both Essex innings.
A further flurry of tight overs with the red-ball followed against Middlesex, while he added 79 runs to his ever-growing first-class total.
Rawlins fell four runs short of what would have been a splendid half-century at Radlett during the first innings, but a deserved fifty did arrive in our final Bob Willis Trophy match against Surrey.
Rawlins scored 65 off 88 balls with six fours and two sixes at The Kia Oval, and alongside Tom Haines, put on 116 for the third wicket.
He then got his first wicket of the season during Surrey’s reply, trapping none other than Hashim Amla LBW for 26, and dismissed the international superstar again in the second innings to complete a memorable trip to the capital.
Rawlins took his fine form with both the bat and ball into the Vitality Blast, scoring a total of 208 T20 with a strike-rate of 133 and taking eight wickets at an average of just 13.25.
Quickfire runs at Lord’s against Middlesex and at home against Kent were early indicators of Rawlins’ momentum, but he saved his best performance for the reverse fixture against the Spitfires.
For the first time in the tournament, he was asked to bowl and did so brilliantly against a destructive top-order in the first innings.
Daniel Bell-Drummond, who finished this year’s Blast as the top run-scorer, was Rawlins’ first scalp, before he also had the dangerous Heino Kuhn caught by Calum MacLeod.
In reply, 142 was needed for victory and after Luke Wright and MacLeod got the Sharks up and running, Rawlins completed the job in incredible fashion.
The 23-year-old launched an attack on Kent’s spinners to send both Joe Denly and Imran Qayyum over the boundary for a total of four sixes.
Rawlins also hit six fours and in the blink of an eye, sealed Sussex a commanding eight-wicket win thanks to his unbeaten 62 off just 33 balls.
A further 37 runs and two wickets came 48 hours later against Essex Eagles, before Rawlins took career-best T20 figures of 3-21 in the must-win match against Middesex at The 1st Central County Ground.
Joe Cracknell, James Harris and Martin Andersson were his victims that day as the Sharks kept their quarter-final hopes alive, and Rawlins added the wicket of Lancashire Lightning’s Alex Davies to his tournament tally in the knockout stages.