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Vitality Blast 2022 May 26th - Latest News, Scores and Match Reports

Vitality Blast 2022 - County Ground, Canterbury
Vitality Blast 2022 - County Ground, Canterbury
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Here is all the latest news, scores and match report updates from the Vitality Blast May 26th 2022

Wins for SomersetCCC and YorkshireCCC in the VitalityBlast 2022 on May 25th  

 

Thursday May 26th

 

Middlesex vs Gloucestershire, South Group Radlett Cricket Club, Radlett 4:30 PM

 

Middlesex (229-9) beat Gloucestershire (199-9) by 30 runs

Middlesex’s new T20 captain Stephen Eskinazi starred with a dazzling knock of 87 from 37 balls to lead his side to a rare Vitality Blast victory against Gloucestershire.

Eskinazi’s innings at the top of the order set up a total of 229 for nine at Radlett – the Seaxes’ highest ever in the tournament – and that proved enough to secure a 30-run success.

Middlesex restricted their West Country opponents to 199 for nine in reply – only the third time they have defeated Gloucestershire in Blast history.

Benny Howell’s courageous effort of 46 from 20 was not enough to rescue Gloucestershire, with Martin Andersson taking three for 33 as the home side closed out the game.

Having won the toss, Gloucestershire put their hosts in – but their powerplay bowling was ruthlessly dismantled by Eskinazi and Max Holden, who blazed a partnership of 61 from just 26 balls.

That stand included just one six, struck by Holden off Ryan Higgins (three for 32) before he misjudged the next ball and speared it to point, but Joe Cracknell maintained Middlesex’s momentum with a bruising knock of 26.

Although Cracknell played on to a slower ball from the wily Howell, who achieved some degree of control with figures of one for 33, Eskinazi continued to pick out gaps in the field with expertise.

He reverse paddled Higgins for an audacious six and looked well set to register his second Blast century – only to be deceived by Naseem Shah’s slow bouncer, which he spooned into the hands of third man.

Eskinazi’s departure triggered a mini-collapse, with five wickets falling for 22 and, although Eoin Morgan’s knock of 41 from 24 held the innings together, he fell to an impressive catch on the run by Miles Hammond at long-off – one of three by the Gloucestershire fielder.

The visitors made an uncertain start in reply, with Chris Green bowling James Bracey around his legs, although Hammond (23) and Ian Cockbain (13) threatened to cut loose during the powerplay.

But Luke Hollman (two for 35) struck twice in his first two overs, including the prize scalp of overseas star Glenn Phillips – the big-hitting New Zealander caught neatly just inside the long-on boundary by Toby Roland-Jones.

Former Middlesex all-rounder Higgins looked as though he might be the man to thwart the home side, slamming 34 from 21 in an enterprising stand of 43 with skipper Jack Taylor (19 from 11).

Both batters fell to Blake Cullen in quick succession, but Howell refused to give up the chase – slamming Cullen for two leg-side sixes in as many deliveries and then launching Green for another maximum.

However, when Andersson had Howell caught off a skier, the visitors’ faint hopes were all but ended.

Middlesex captain STEPHEN ESKINAZI, who top-scored with 87, said:

“My confidence in this format has been going for the last two or three years. I know my game – I’m not the biggest hitter in the world but I understand how to negotiate a ground like this and know good cricket shots should give me value.

“We were on for 300 at one stage! We’re going to have to be patient as a side and fans are going to have to be patient as well, because not every game’s going to go to plan like today did.

“I wasn’t surprised there were ebbs and flows but I was really pleased with the attitude we showed throughout and the way we stuck to the task.

“We wanted to make sure we held our nerve if we did get hit off a length, which we knew was inevitable at this ground.”

 

Gloucestershire captain JACK TAYLOR said:

“Credit to Middlesex and Eskinazi, they played really nicely at the start. I don’t think we were as sharp as we needed to be in our execution, but then again not many balls went to the fielders.

“It’s always tough to claw back after so many in the powerplay, but it could have been a whole lot worse than that. I thought Benny (Howell) and Higgo (Ryan Higgins) bowled really nicely and their figures showed that, then the guys came back at the death after a tough start.

“Chasing that sort of score, you need everything to go your way and to get off to a flyer. To get to nearly 200, we’ve shown we can bat all the way down.

“It was nice to not fold – we could easily have been 120 or 130 all out.”

 

Leicestershire vs Durham, North Group Grace Road, Leicester 6:30 PM

Paul Coughlin shone with bat and ball as Durham shrugged off the loss of three of their squad on England duty to beat Leicestershire Foxes by 54 runs in their opening North Group match in the Vitality Blast.

The 29-year-old all-rounder made 42 from 30 balls to help Durham post 184 for eight from their 20 overs after being asked to bat first before taking four for 15 as the home side were bowled out for 130.

Rehan Ahmed, the 17-year-old leg-spinner who is exciting Leicestershire and England after taking 12 wickets in the Under-19 World Cup, bowled beautifully for his two for 22, taking a wicket with his first ball.

But the youngster’s Blast debut - he also hit two sixes in his 18 - was one of few plusses for Leicestershire, for whom New Zealand’s Hamish Rutherford was out for a first-ball duck.

Three fours by Graham Clark off Roman Walker in the second of the innings set the tone for a brisk start by Durham but the Foxes hit back to claim two wickets in the powerplay, which ended with Durham 47 for two.

Michael Jones, making his debut in this format, hoisted Callum Parkinson for six but was bowled by the left-arm spinner’s next delivery and Walker came back after his expensive first over to bring an early end to Ollie Robinson’s debut for Durham on loan, the Kent man slicing to backward point.

Ahmed introduced himself to Blast audiences in sensational fashion, taking a return catch with his first ball after inducing a leading edge from David Bedingham.

The youngster should have Turner as his second big scalp in his second over but Arron Lilley dropped what should have been a straightforward catch at deep mid-wicket when the Australian was on 17.

From 82 for three at the halfway point, Durham slipped to 109 for five in the 12th. Clark clubbed Lilley for his first six but was yorked by the next ball and Turner, threatening to inflict some major punishment for that dropped catch, walloped Mike for his third maximum only to lose his middle stump to the next ball.

But Coughlin and Ned Eckersley, whose 20 off nine included two sixes in an expensive last over that went for 19 as Walker finished with two for 52, helped Durham set a challenging target. Ahmed picked up his second wicket when Brydon Carse found the fielder at long-on.

Leicestershire made a horrible start to their reply. Rutherford - a late replacement as overseas batter after Rahmanullah Gurbaz became unavailable - lost his middle stump first ball to an inswinger by Coughlin, who had Lewis Hill caught at third man in the same over before Lilley holed out to deep midwicket in his second.

At 36 for three after the powerplay, Leicestershire’s required run rate was already at almost 10 and the loss of skipper Colin Ackermann, caught at deep backward square off Turner’s off-spin in the ninth over, set them back further. Even after Patel found the boundary three times off Carse the Foxes were well off the pace at 70 for four after 10.

Ahmed, seemingly nerveless, twice hit Liam Trevaskis over the top for six, but Leicestershire’s already diminishing hopes all but disappeared when Patel was stumped off Trevaskis, who inflicted another blow by bowling Ben Mike for 24 after Ahmed had been caught at mid-on off Coughlin.


Sussex vs Glamorgan, South Group County Ground, Hove 7:00 PM

Glamorgan made an impressive start to their Vitality Blast campaign as they eased to a seven-wicket victory over Sussex Sharks at Hove.

After their bowlers had restricted Sussex to 150 for six, Marnus Labuschagne and Sam Northeast broke the back of the chase with a second-wicket stand of 82. Northeast passed 3000 runs in the format on his way to an undefeated 63 as Glamorgan reached their target with seven balls to spare. It was only the second time they had won a T20 game on Sussex soil and the first at Hove.

Sussex’s score would have been a lot less but for an excellent innings by Mohammad Rizwan, who batted through the innings for an unbeaten 81.

The 29-year-old was making his Blast debut in the 236th T20 game and showed all the skills that have taken him to third in the ICC world rankings, hitting three sixes and six fours and facing 60 balls. 

The problem was at the other end where the next highest score was Luke Wright’s 13. Wright, who stepped down as captain earlier this year, played on to Michael Hogan in the third over and Sussex suffered another blow in the next when Michael Neser’s brilliant pick-up and throw from deep backward square beat debutant Josh Philippe’s dive as he came back for a second run.

Wright’s successor Ravi Bopara helped Rizwan take the score to 71 in the ninth over and they appeared to be building a decent platform. But Bopara was furious with himself after driving left-arm spinner Prem Sisodiya to long off and Hogan became Glamorgan’s second-highest T20 wicket-taker when Delray Rawlins holed out to long on. Hogan now has 96 wickets, four behind Dean Cosker.

Sussex continued to give wickets away carelessly. George Garton upper-cut Dan Douthwaite to third man but Rizwan looked untroubled at the other end. His fifty came up off 40 balls, the best of his sixes an effortless pick-up over deep backward square off Neser which sailed out of the ground.

He put on 47 in 6.2 overs with Harrison Ward, but Sussex lost momentum in the 18th over when Douthwaite bowled five dot balls in a row and Ward could only take a single off the sixth. Will Beer lofted Neser over long-on but, in front of a disappointing crowd of 2209, 150 did not look nearly enough.

David Lloyd played on to Steve Finn in the second over and although Glamorgan’s powerplay score of 60 for one was only six runs better than Sussex, Labuschagne and Northeast had the chase under control.

They added 82 in 10.1 overs of risk-free accumulation, and it was a surprise when Labuschagne (41) fell to a running catch by Ward trying to hit Rawlins’ left-arm spin over deep mid-wicket. Northeast reached his 21st fifty in the format with a spectacular uppercut over the deep point boundary off Mills and fittingly struck the winning boundary off Bopara, his runs coming off 52 balls with three fours and two sixes. 

Glamorgan fast bowler Mick Hogan, who took three for 26, said: "We’ve been on the back end of some heavy defeats here. I can’t remember winning at Hove before so it was nice to get off to a good start. 

"There wasn’t a lot in the pitch so I just tried to try and hit the stumps and at the end mix up my pace and get my yorkers in at the end, then we chased really well. Sam Northeast showed he is a quality player and Kiran Carlson got us on the front foot after we lost Marnus Labuschagne. It’s the first of three games in four days and this is a good start for us."

Sussex coach James Kirtley said, "[Mohammad] Rizwan played a fantastic innings but we didn't give him enough support and we ended up 15-20 runs short. I thought our spinners bowled well in the middle overs and we took the game quite deep but we looked a bit rusty with the ball. You always hope to get off to a winning start and the group know they have been slightly off it but we have a quick chance to put it right against Gloucestershire on Friday."

 

Warwickshire vs Northamptonshire, North Group Edgbaston, Birmingham 6:30 PM

Paul Stirling smashed a scintillating debut century as Birmingham Bears launched their Vitality Blast campaign with a 125-run thrashing of Northants Steelbacks at Edgbaston. 

Ireland batter Stirling blazed his career T20-best 119 from 51 balls (nine fours, ten sixes), including 34 from one over, to lift the Bears to 207 for three in an innings reduced by rain to 16 overs. 

Sam Hain (66 not out, 32 balls, seven fours, one six) ensured the bowlers had no respite at the other end in a partnership of 170 from 70 balls which brought the big Edgbaston crowd to its feet. 

Chasing a D/L target of 207 in 16 overs, the Steelbacks then lurched to 20 for three from 20 balls and there was no way back from there. Spinners Jake Lintott (three for 19) and Danny Briggs (three for 21) exploited the pressure as Northants were bowled out for  81, only two batters reaching double figures. 

After the Bears chose to bat, Stirling belted his fourth ball for his new side for six on his way to 33 from 18 balls before a rain break. The deluge halted a blistering start from Hain who smashed his first ball over extra cover and had 12 from five when the rain arrived. 

The rain only delayed the punishment for the Steelbacks' bowlers as the third-wicket pair collected a combined 142 in fours and sixes. James Sales copped the peak of the onslaught as Stirling hit the first five balls of an over for six, before slicing the sixth through slip for four. 

Stirling thundered to his third T20 ton, from 46 balls, and celebrated with a six which landed 20 rows back in the Hollies Stand before perishing to a catch at long off in the final over.  

It was a bruising start to the Blast for the Steelbacks' bowlers - just 23 of 96 balls they delivered were dots. Their batters then took a few bruises too as their reply floundered to 40 for five in seven overs. Northants needed their overseas debutant to emulate Stirling but Aussie ace Chris Lynn reached only 16 before lifting Henry Brookes to long leg. 

Brookes had already bowled Ben Curran and Josh Cobb was then brilliantly held at deep mid-wicket by Bethell.  The Steelbacks needed 16 an over from the last 11 overs and melted under the pressure.  

 

Bears batter Paul Stirling, who scored 119, said: 

"I don't think we could have ticked off more boxes than that. We are delighted to get the win and, from a personal point of view, I was delighted to score some runs and then see the lads bowled so well and take wickets so quickly. It is a brilliant start but it is only a start. 

"It just seemed to be my day and Sam Hain's as well. He is such a classy player and made me look like the big brute of the partnership. He really helped me at the other end when I was not going quite so well. We seemed to dovetail well. 

"We have a strong squad with some powerful batters but I think also the ability to adapt to different conditions which we will need to do as the group goes on. This is a great start but now we go again at Derby tomorrow and. 

Northants Steelbacks coach John Sadler said:  

"I don't know if the game had gone at halfway but it was certainly going to be tough to get 200-odd runs in 16 overs with a reduced powerplay. 

"I don't think we did any of our disciplines well enough tonight but we have to dust ourselves down and go again. They were tough conditions, the ball got very wet and it was very greasy but we were bowling at two world-class players.  

"No excuses, we just didn't execute well enough, but we know how good Paul is and tonight was one of those nights for him. Sometimes you just have to take your hat off to a guy and say well played and that was the case tonight for Stirlo. Sam Hain played beautifully as well but we were not as good as we want to be."


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