Notts go clear, Bell-Drummond stars, Hampshire upset Sussex
There were wins in tonight's NatWest T20 Blast action for Durham, Hampshire, Kent, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Middlesex, and Worcestershire.
Two men scored centuries and while Daniel Bell-Drummond's effort helped Kent to victory, Alviro Petersen ended up on the losing side as Lancashire were beaten by Leicestershire.
NatWest T20 Blast North Group
NatWest T20 Blast North Group
New Road: Worcestershire Rapids 166-5 beat Birmingham Bears 164 by five wickets
Birmingham were put into bat and got off to a flyer thanks to Sam Hain (46 in 38 balls) and Matthew Wade (74 in 32) only for Worcestershire to peg things back and bowl them out for 164.
George Rhodes took three wickets in the 16th over and Ian Bell (12) was the only other Bears player to reach double figures. Rhodes returned figures of four for 13 and Matt Henry three for 15.
Worcestershire lost wickets early but ended the powerplay on 41 for three and were 70 for three at the halfway stage of their run chase as Brett d'Oliveira and Daryl Mitchell tried to steadied the ship and kept them in the hunt.
Mitchell fell in the 15th over for 61 in 37 balls and that looked to be the key wicket for Birmingham, for whom Rikki Clarke, with figures of three for 22, was outstanding, only for Worcestershire to fight back and leave themselves needing 10 to win from the final two overs.
Ross Whiteley was the man behind their resurgence and his 42 not out in 20 balls led the Rapids to 161 for five with one over to go and then to victory with four balls to spare. Ben Cox played his part with 15 not out in 14 balls.
Trent Bridge: Notts Outlaws 162-7 beat Yorkshire Vikings 160-7 by three wickets
Outlaws began the evening as leaders of the North Group and welcomed Yorkshire to Trent Bridge, who batted first and posted 160 for seven.
Travis Head (40), Kane Williamson (39) and Adam Lyth (39) made contributions but Harry Gurney's three for 16 was the star turn for the home side.
Notts were 82 for three at the halfway stage of their innings, losing Michael Lumb (8), Riki Wessels (2) and Dan Christian (12) cheaply. Adil Rashid then took a fine catch to remove Greg Smith for 32 and trapped Brendan Taylor in front for one to reduce Notts to 100 for five in the 13th over.
The run out of Steven Mullaney (1) followed and needing 14 to win from the final two overs and the cool head of Chris Read, unbeaten on 35 in 17 balls, sealed victory for the hosts with two balls to spare.
Grace Road: Leicestershire Foxes 207-3 beat Lancashire Lightning 198-4 by nine runs
Leicestershire were back in action after their mid-week match against Notts Outlaws was washed out and batting first against the reigning champions were an excellent 92 for one halfway through their innings.
Mark Pettini (76 in 51 balls) and Cameron Delport (68 in 36) both struck half-centuries, the latter registering his first for the club as Leicestershire continued to make rampaging progress.
OVER | Great over for the Foxes. Pettini hitting back to back sixes. Foxes 158-1 off 16. Edwards back into the attack.— Leicestershire CCC (@leicsccc) July 15, 2016
And they finished on 207 for three after Lewis Hill (15 not out) hit the last ball of the innings for six, leaving Lancashire plenty of work to do to keep their quarter-final hopes alive.
Lancashire matched Leicestershire's powerplay score of 46 for one before two wickets pegged them back and they were 69 for three at halfway, needing 139 more to win.
Alviro Petersen hit a 32-ball half-century and Lancashire needed 75 to win from the final five overs although a fine over from Clint McKay (0-22 from four overs) left them needing 55 from three overs.
Petersen registered his new career-best but was foiled again by McKay, who conceded just eight runs from his last over, and 29 were needed from the last over of the game.
And despite the South African finishing on 103 not out in 52 deliveries with a four from the final ball, they fell just short and there all but ended their chances of retaining their title.
Chester-le-Street: Durham Jets 153-4 beat Northants Steelbacks 149-5 by six wickets
Josh Cobb's third half-century of the season guided Northants Steelbacks to 149 for five. He made 68 in 51 balls while Ben Duckett hit 48 not out in 42 balls before some quick runs were added by Rory Kleinveldt (23 not out) at the death.
Durham's powerplay saw them hit 41 without losing a wicket and they were 62 for no loss after eight as openers Phil Mustard (40) and Mark Stoneman eventually put on 77 together for the first wicket. Two more followed as Northants got themselves back into the game.
However, Keaton Jennings (36 not out) and Michael Richardson (22 not out) put on 64 together to take Durham to victory with nine balls to spare.
NatWest T20 Blast South Group
NatWest T20 Blast South Group
Taunton: Middlesex 141-5 beat Somerset 137 by five wickets
Somerset's Twenty20 struggles continued as they were bowled out for 137 in their final home game of the season by Middlesex.
Jim Allenby blasted 64 in 52 balls but had little support as Middlesex - fresh from beating them in the Championship - dismissed them with three balls to spare.
The wickets were shared among Toby Roland-Jones (3-24), James Fuller (2-21), Harry Podmore (2-27) and Nathan Sowter (2-30).
Middlesex made their way to 42 for one in the powerplay but could only add 12 more runs in the next four overs as Somerset put the brakes on and the visitors needed 35 to win from the final five overs.
Eoin Morgan (43) helped move the innings along before John Simpson, the scourge of Somerset in the four-day game earlier in the week, got them to the point where they needed six to win from the final over.
For the second time in 48 hours, Simpson won the match with a maximum, this one coming off Max Waller, as he finished not out on 23.
Tunbridge Wells: Kent Spitfires 181-2 beat Surrey 180-8 by eight wickets
Jason Roy led the way for Surrey as they posted 180 for eight at Tunbridge Wells, the England man hitting five fours and four sixes on his way to 52 in 29 balls.
Steven Davies also made 23 and Chris Morris 25 but three wickets from James Tredwell helped Kent fight back after a poor start, the experienced campaigner finishing with three for 32.
Kent raced to 57 for one from their powerplay and were 102 for one after 10 overs as Daniel Bell-Drummond and Sam Northeast first established a new Kent partnership record against Surrey, then a record second-wicket partnership against anybody, adding 152 together.
Their stand was finally broken when Northeast was caught by Davies off Zafar Ansari for 57 in 39 balls in the 16th over but Bell--Drummond continued, passing 1,000 career T20 runs and 300 for the season on his way to a career best effort of 112 not out in 65 balls.
Maiden T20 100 for DBD! 58 balls, 13x4, 1x6. Spitfires need 14 off 15 balls. Standing ovation at Tunbridge Wells. pic.twitter.com/lirgm26290— Kent Cricket (@kentcricket) July 15, 2016
Nevertheless, the game still went down to the wire before Kent completed victory with two balls to spare, Sam Billings not out on eight.
Hove: Hampshire 134-9 beat Sussex Sharks 133-8 by one run
Sussex handed a debut to Jofra Archer who made a quick impression and two wickets in the ninth over also slowed Hampshire's progress and after nine overs they were 70 for three, although Shahid Afridi hit his first ball for six to signal his intentions.
However, Afridi was run out in the 11th over and Hampshire needed more big shots from Liam Dawson (25) to lift them to a score of 134 for nine as Chris Jordan and Will Beer bagged a brace of wickets apiece.
Sussex reached 44 for two from their powerplay after Chris Nash got them off to a good start.
Good work from Hampshire briefly threatened to peg them back but some crisp hitting from Matt Machan and Ross Taylor soon got Sussex back on top.
Two big sixes from Machan! First one over the hen-do into the seats at the Cromwell Road End, then nearly takes out the big screen! 107/3— Sussex CCC (@SussexCCC) July 15, 2016
Machan fell to Brad Wheal (2-17) for 29 in 19 balls and Sussex needed 25 to win from the final four overs and then 17 from two overs as Gavin Griffiths (3-33) saw off Chris Jordan (1) and Craig Cachopa (5) with Taylor unable to get enough of the strike.
When he did get to face next, however, he hit the same bowler for three boundaries in the penultimate over to bring the runs required from the last over down to just five.
Beer did his bit by quickly getting Taylor back on strike and all that the New Zealander could muster from Wheal's next two balls was one run, with Sussex still needing three to win from three balls. Beer was run out next ball as he sacrificed his own wicket to return the strike to Taylor.
A dot - despite the ball passing the leg stump - followed and needing three to win from the last ball of the game, Taylor (46 not out) could only dig out a yorker to pick up a single and Hampshire took victory by one run, running out Archer for good measure.
RUN OUT! Hampshire win with the final ball! Incredible 1-run victory #T20Blast— Hampshire Cricket (@hantscricket) July 15, 2016
© Cricket World 2016