Daniel Sams: Top Five Eagles Moments


After lighting up Chelmsford on his way to winning the tournament’s MVP award last summer, Australian all-rounder Daniel Sams will re-join Essex for eight Vitality Blast matches in 2024.

His upcoming stint will mark the third season in a row that the 31-year-old New South Welshman has pulled on an Eagles shirt.

In honour of that, this is a look back at the all-rounder’s top five moments while representing Essex.

Four catches in one innings (Essex v Kent, 2022)

Although renowned for both his batting and bowling skills, it was Sams’ efforts in the field that made his first home Battle of the Bridge a memorable outing.

Having opted to allow Kent first use of the pitch, the Eagles restricted their arch-rivals to just 130-9 from their allotted overs, with Sams claiming four catches.

He bowled impressively too, returning 2/22 from four overs, but he held on to aerial shots from all of Tawanda Muyeye, Grant Stewart, George Linde, and Qais Ahmad.

Essex’s showing with the ball set them up for a simple chase, and thanks to an unbroken half-century stand between Michael Pepper – who hit a 29-ball 50 – and Paul Walter, they won by seven wickets.

A blistering 71 (Essex v Sussex, 2022)

The Vitality Blast never goes too long without a reminder of why it deserves its name, and this clash at The Cloud County Ground ten days after that Kent game certainly delivered.

Essex and Sussex combined for 477 runs, with the Eagles squeaking a dramatic 11-run win thanks to some serious pyrotechnics from Sams.

Batting at number six, he pummeled 71 off just 24 balls, hitting 12 boundaries at a strike rate of almost 300, for his highest Eagles score and one that turned out to be a vital winning contribution.

At the time, that represented the highest match aggregate in Blast history and Essex’s highest score ever, and though both those records have since been broken, this game is still ranked second in both.

Best bowling return (Somerset v Essex, 2023)

In a foreshadowing of the tournament final last summer, the Eagles met Somerset in Taunton early on in the group stage, and, in a low-scoring fixture, Sams stole the show.

After Simon Harmer won the toss and invited the hosts to bat, Sams claimed his best figures in an Eagles shirt with 4/20 from four overs, dismissing Somerset for 150.

Having bowled Tom Lammonby in his second over – the innings’ sixth – Sams returned at the death, adding the wickets of Roelof van der Merwe, Matt Henry, and Craig Overton to his haul.

Despite a battling 63 from Michael Pepper in reply, Essex were narrowly defeated by 11 runs as Matt Henry and Ben Green took three wickets each, though no bowler was able to match Sams’ showing.

Bombarding the boundary at Lord’s (Middlesex v Essex, 2023)

A short trip to the Home of Cricket a fortnight later saw Essex strike back in emphatic fashion, however, as Sams unleashed his own Great Fire of London, raining sixes into the stands.

Put in to bat, the Eagles were going well at 143-4 in the 14th over when Sams came to the crease, yet by the time he fell from the penultimate ball, they had added an explosive 92 from 37 balls.

Sams was responsible for 67 of those runs, from 24 of the deliveries at a mind-blowing strike rate of almost 280, hitting eight sixes.

The game ended up being interrupted by rain in Middlesex’s innings, though thanks to Sams’ knock, the hosts were comfortably behind on DLS at the curtailment, handing the Eagles victory by 22 runs.

Shushing the Hollies (Birmingham v Essex, 2023)

The infamous Hollies Stand at Edgbaston is renowned for its partisan nature, and although Sams found that out first-hand in 2023, it was the Essex man who had the last laugh.

Having taken the fourth and final South Group spot in last season’s Blast knockout stages at the expense of rivals Kent, Essex travelled to Birmingham Bears in the last eight.

Fielding in front of the Hollies is always a challenge, especially for an Antipodean import, but Sams relished the opportunity, claiming catches of compatriot Glenn Maxwell and Dan Mousley.

After the latter, he spun around and raised a finger to his lips, provoking yet more ire, but when Shane Snater struck the winning six a while later, every home fan inside Edgbaston fell silent.

Read More:

Sams Returns For 2024 | Sams In Numbers | Blast From The Past: Sams Special

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