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Vitality Blast 2020: Latest News and Live Scores - Tuesday 15th September

Gloucestershire batsman Ian Cockbain
Gloucestershire batsman Ian Cockbain
©Cricket World
Leicestershire Foxes' Aaron Lilley
Leicestershire Foxes' Aaron Lilley
©Cricket World/John Mallett

All the latest news, updates and scores from the Vitality Blast for Tuesday 15th September 2020

Vitality Blast Fixture Schedule Tuesday 15th September 2020

Gloucestershire v Warwickshire

Gloucestershire 173/6 beat Birmingham Bears 123 by 50 runs at the Bristol County Ground


Ian Cockbain proved the scourge of Birmingham Bears again as Gloucestershire moved to the brink of qualification for the Vitality Blast quarter-finals with a 50-run Central Group win at the Bristol County Ground. 

Having smashed an unbeaten 84 in the corresponding game at Edgbaston, the 33-year-old Merseysider hit 44 off just 21 balls to boost his side’s total to 173 for six after winning the toss. 

Chris Dent (39) and Miles Hammond (49) had led the way with an opening stand of 88, but it was Cockbain’s blistering knock that ensured an above par score. Olly Stone was the pick of the Birmingham attack with two for 31. 

In reply, the Bears could manage only 123 all out, Matt Taylor returning three for 29 and Graeme van Buuren three for 33. Only Sam Hain offered much resistance with 43 not out. 

It was the home side’s sixth successive group win and they now look assured of a place in the last eight, while the Bears have some work to do. 

Dent wasted no time signalling Gloucestershire’s intentions, with 2 fours off the opening over, bowled by Tim Bresnan. 

Hammond was quickly into his stride too, a couple of reverse sweeps to the boundary off Jeetan Patel taking his side’s score to 21 off two overs. 

The two left-handers continued to score freely and by the end of the six-over power-play Gloucestershire’s total was a healthy 49 without loss. 

That became 86 for none after 11 overs. But Dent was then caught and bowled off a skyer by Patel, having hit 5 fours in his 34-ball innings. 

Hammond went in the following over, well caught on the run at deep mid-wicket by Dominic Sibley off Stone. He had faced 41 balls and notched seven boundaries. 

The Bears began to put a brake on the scoring rate and the 16th over was reached without a six in the Gloucestershire innings. 

Cockbain put that right with two in succession off Patel and was looking in prime form when caught on the deep cover boundary off Henry Brookes, having hit 4 sixes and 3 fours. 

From 144 for two, Gloucestershire lost four wickets for 28 runs, but their score still looked more than competitive. Ryan Higgins was unbeaten on 21 at the end. 

The Bears made a poor start to their chase, losing Dom Sibley lbw in the first over, sent down by van Buuren. Soon it was 24 for two as RobYates cut a catch to point off David Payne. 

Adam Hose hit the first six of the innings off Matt Taylor in the fifth over, but perished tamely two balls later, pulling a catch straight to Higgins at mid-wicket. 

The next over saw Rhodes bowled trying to drive van Buuren and the Bears were in disarray at 37 for four. 

Gloucestershire lost skipper Jack Taylor to a hand injury when he tried to catch a fierce drive from Sam Hain in the eighth over, Cockbain taking over the captaincy. 

Michael Burgess holed out to long-off as Tom Smith began to weave his customary spell at the Ashley Down Road End. His first three overs cost just 11 runs. 

Smith bowling in tandem with fellow left-arm spinner van Burren has been one of Gloucestershire’s strengths in the competition and when the latter bowled Tim Bresnan to make it 83 for six the outcome was beyond doubt. 

Hain did his best, with little support, but it was another impressive success for a Gloucestershire side, who will be no one’s pushovers as the tournament moves to its climax. 


Northamptonshire v Worcestershire


Hamish Rutherford’s first half-century of the Vitality Blast helped Worcestershire to just their second win of the tournament and heaped more pressure on Northamptonshire’s stalling campaign in a eight-run victory at Wantage Road.

Rutherford’s 62 in 37 balls underpinned Worcestershire’s 178 for 6 before Northamptonshire were held to 170 for 7 having been 82 for 2 after eight overs.

It was a third consecutive defeat for Northamptonshire following a positive Covid-19 test among their squad. The disruption to their selection and practise has stopped a flying campaign in it’s tracks. They had won their first four completed matches.

They now need at least one win from their remaining games at Taunton and Edgbaston to have a chance of qualifying for the quarter-finals.

Their defeat here ensures Gloucestershire, who won a sixth straight T20 earlier in the day, qualify for the knockout stage for the fourth time in five years.

Worcestershire, champions of 2018 and finalists last season, were already unable to qualify after winning just one of six completed fixtures but found solace here.

They looked to be cruising to victory after Ed Barnard, whose four overs claimed 2 for 15, and Daryl Mitchell, 1 for 17 from his three, had strangled the chase to leave 52 needed from the final four overs.

But Adam Rossington swung Charlie Morris over the midwicket fence, charged at Pat Brown and pulled another boundary before edging four more to leave 29 from the final 12 balls.

Saif Zaib then lifted the first two deliveries of the 19th over through the off-side for four and it left Brown 16 to defend from the final set.

After conceding only four in three balls, Rossington was run out trying to retain the strike and the hosts' daring comeback was ended.

Northamptonshire had been well ahead of their chase after Richard Levi slammed a 27-ball fifty. He took 22 from the second over bowled by Dillon Pennington. Three times he swung to leg and three times cleared the infield for boundaries before the final ball of the over was hoisted over long-off. Levi added a second six over the head of Morris. Brown was then pulled and flicked for boundaries in the final over of the Powerplay.

But two balls after raising his first T20 fifty since 2018 he crashed Barnard to point and it caused a critical slide. Rossington’s 45 in 34 balls was too late.

It rendered Rutherford’s effort a match-winning innings. He had previously made four scores above 20 this season but no match-defining score. This was the type of innings he was brought over for but too late for Worcestershire’s chances of reaching the last eight.

He cut and drove Josh Cobb for boundaries in the opening over of the game before flicking Nathan Buck over deep square for the game’s first six. His second maximum, over midwicket off Brandon Glover, brought fifty up in the fifth over.

Rutherford then cut and scooped Buck for consecutive fours in his second over before he skipped down to smash Zaib over his head for a third six to reach fifty in 30 balls.

He steered White over cover - one of only two boundaries the left-arm spinner conceded in his fours overs that cost 29 - and carved Buck past point. But trying to whip the same bowler to leg was held on the deep-backward square fence.

Rutherford and Jack Haynes gave Worcestershire an excellent start, adding 58 in 33 balls for the first wicket. But they couldn’t kick on to a more demanding total and only took 44 from overs 14 to 19.

Mitchell and Ross Whiteley struck boundaries in the last over and in the final counting, they proved the difference.

Leicestershire v Derbyshire

Derbyshire Falcons 147-8 (Griffiths 4-35) beat Leicestershire Foxes 143-4 by four runs

Leicestershire Foxes suffered a setback in their bid to reach the quarter-finals of the Vitality Blast as Derbyshire Falcons pulled off a first victory of the season in a low-scoring North Group affair at the Fischer County Ground, Leicester.

Having restricted the Falcons to 147 for eight from their 20-over allocation, seamer Gavin Griffiths taking a career-best four for 35, the Foxes fancied their chances of cementing their position as one of the third-placed sides chasing qualification, especially after defeat for Birmingham Bears in the Central Group earlier in the day.

But despite an unbroken stand of 68 for the fifth wicket between Harry Dearden and George Rhodes, building on a useful 32 on home debut from Nick Welch, the Foxes fell short of their target, some tight and intelligent death bowling from Dustin Melton and Michael Cohen pinned them down over the final three overs, when neither batsman could find the rope.

Having opted to bat first, the Falcons were 42 for one after the powerplay overs, largely down to Madsen, who had made 26 of them off 16 deliveries but was almost out without scoring, backing away a little to a ball from Callum Parkinson, the left-arm spinner, that missed leg stump by a whisker and was given as four after evidently taking a deflection off the bat as it sped past wicketkeeper Lewis Hill. The same over had seen Luis Reece dismissed as Parkinson read the batsman’s intention to step down the pitch and turned the ball away from him to facilitate an easy stumping for Hill.

Madsen made the most of his good fortune with boundaries of a more authentic nature off Gavin Griffiths and Will Davis, including the night’s first maximum as he lofted the latter over long-on, and though a bowling change at both ends stemmed the flow of runs a little, Madsen looked well set at 33 off 22 balls in the 10th over when Billy Godleman’s poor decision to take a single as George Rhodes swooped to field at short extra gave his experienced colleague no chance to make his ground, leaving the Falcons 64 for two at the halfway stage.

It was a typically scratchy innings by Godleman, who for once loosened his arms to launch Parkinson over long-off in the 13th but was out to the next ball as the left-armer beat him in the flight and enabled a second stumping for Hill.  Matt Critchley and Leus du Plooy kept the board turning over but at 101 for three after 15, Derbyshire needed to build some momentum to post a competitive score.

It did not help that Du Plooy, having helped one round the corner for his second boundary, was out to the second ball of the 16th over, his steepling drive dropping for Davis at long-on, and when leg-spinner Gareth Delany bowled Critchley in the next over the Falcons were looking at a relatively modest total, even though Anuj Dal announced his arrival with a six muscled over wide long-on.  

A slower ball from Griffiths accounted for Dal at the start of the final over of the Falcons innings and after Alex Hughes swelled the total with six over the bowler’s head, new batsman Mattie McKearnan and Hughes were caught in the deep off the last two balls as Griffiths claimed three wickets in the over for figures of four for 35, his best in this format.

The Falcons’ 147 for eight left the Foxes needing to score at 7.4 runs per over to register a third win of this truncated season, a rate of which they were quickly ahead as openers Delany and Nick Welch helped themselves to half a dozen boundaries in the first three overs. Welch, the 22-year-old Zimbabwean making his home senior debut, picked up two in the same over off his compatriot, Dustin Melton, and dispatched him for a towering six over deep mid-wicket, clearing the roof of The Meet.

But the left-armer Michael Cohen struck back for the Falcons, dismissing Delany via a swivel-pull scooped up at short fine by Hughes and Arron Lilley, whose uppercut turned into a catch taken low down by Melton at third man as the Foxes completed the powerplay overs only marginally in front and with two important batsmen lost.

Colin Ackermann found his range immediately, lifting Matt Critchley’s leg spin for six over long and slog-sweeping four in the same over before repeating the feet in Critchley’s next. Welsh pulled Cohen to the rope and the Foxes seemed to be back on track until Hughes entered the attack to remove the threat of Ackermann, taken by wicketkeeper Brooke Guest standing up.  

The Foxes had now slipped marginally behind the required rate at 72 for three after 10 and suffered another setback when Critchley produced a lovely ball to bowl Welch for 32, leaving Harry Dearden and George Rhodes with a rebuilding job.

Although the two found boundaries hard to come, they kept the total building with intelligent placement, yet entered the final five overs of the contest with still 42 required.  Hughes and McKearnen, the other leg-spinner in the Falcons side, kept the pressure on and though the left-handed Dearden picked up a boundary off each the Foxes still required 20 from the last two overs, which came down to 10 off the final six balls.

In the event, it proved too much, Melton coming up with an excellent final over to leave the Foxes five short of their target. Rhodes could have won the match with a six off the last ball. He failed and although he was dropped in the attempt Derbyshire’s joy was not diminished.

©Cricket World 2020