Vitality Blast 2023: July 7th All Matches - Scorecards, Match Reports and Reactions
Here are the Vitality Blast July 7th 2023 Match Reports, Results, Scorecards and Reactions for all the matches being played today.
Inaugural Vitality Blast champions Surrey are through to Finals Day a week on Saturday having just about defended a 188 target to win a high-scoring thriller against Lancashire by 13 runs at Emirates Old Trafford.
The 2003 winners inflicted a first home T20 defeat upon the Lightning in 22 games dating back to late 2020, and they did it as the hosts slipped from 124 for two in the 14th over of their chase to finish on 174 for six.
Captain and England white ball seamer Chris Jordan excelled with two for 27 from four overs, leaving Australian seamer Sean Abbott defending 19 off the last over to seal a semi-final meeting with Somerset at Edgbaston.
Surrey’s 187 for five having elected to bat was underpinned by 70 off 41 balls for opener Laurie Evans and 50 off 34 for Jason Roy from number three.
But they didn’t get as many as they should have on a used pitch, opening the door for England white ball captain Jos Buttler to put the game in Lightning’s favour with an opening 42. Veteran Steven Croft also made 55, but it wasn’t enough.
At 119 for two after 13 overs, 200 was likely for Surrey. However, Lancashire squeezed well, and wicketless Luke Wells conceded only 26 from four overs of leg-spin.
Sunil Narine only facing two balls from number seven and fellow overseas bowler Abbott not batting at all for Surrey was a surprise. The latter, for example, crashed a 34-ball century earlier in the competition.
Evans hit three sixes as 58 for one came off the powerplay, two of them scooped over fine-leg in the same over from two-wicket seamer Tom Bailey and the other smashed over midwicket.
Evans reached his fifty off 28 balls shortly afterwards and helped his side to 93 for one after 10 overs, by which stage Roy was settling.
Phil Salt and Croft both let boundaries slip through their legs in the outfield, though the latter ironically led to the wicket of Evans, who was bowled by Liam Livingstone as the score fell to 104 for two in the 12th over.
Had Croft not misfielded, it would have only been one and Roy on strike.
Roy pulled Livingstone for a big six on the way to a 33-ball fifty. But he fell to a smart catch from Croft at cover off Luke Wood - 140 for three after 15 overs.
Despite their ground fielding been sketchy - Surrey’s was worse - Lancashire caught well. Dane Vilas took a superb low catch at long-off to help Bailey remove Sam Curran late on.
Buttler started Lancashire’s pursuit by lofting his second ball for six over long-on off Will Jacks’ off-spin, and they got going well at 31 without loss after three overs.
Salt holed out to mid-off against Abbott as Lancashire, like Surrey had done, reached 50 for one after five overs.
Salt’s wicket brought Croft to the crease, and he hit four of his first 10 balls to the boundary, outshining Buttler.
Having that said, the England captain then launched Narine’s first two balls for six over long-on to blow that theory to pieces, more importantly taking Lightning to 69 for one in the seventh over.
That became 94 for one after 10 with Buttler 41.
That Buttler only added one more run before slicing Dan Moriarty’s left-arm spin to gully - 97 for two in the 11th over - boosted Surrey’s chances of a revival. And it proved a big moment.
Having shared 62 with Buttler, Croft remained but Jordan led a squeeze in the rate just as the home bowlers had done earlier.
Narine had Livingstone miscuing cheaply to deep midwicket, and Lancashire needed 64 off six overs at 124 for three.
Croft reached 50 off 32 balls shortly afterwards and while Daryl Mitchell was dropped on four in the deep, the target became 47 off four overs and later 29 off two.
Jordan yorked Croft and had Vilas caught at long-leg in the penultimate, also running out Wells - 168 for six - leaving Abbott with room for manoeuvre. He finished with one for 22 from four overs.
Lancashire’s Steven Croft said - “We came up against a really good team, and they were slightly better in every facet of the game. They batted well up top and got off to a solid start. We clawed it back really well, although we let 10 runs or so slip in the field.
“Similarly with the bat, there were little periods in the game where we could have squeezed a few more runs here and there.
“We felt if we could restrict them to around 180, that would be good. It seemed a decent pitch. I thought they bowled really well on it, and even halfway through our innings I thought we were still in with a chance. We had plenty of wickets in the shed to hopefully accelerate at the end, but they out did us with the ball.”
Surrey’s Jason Roy said - “It’s absolutely amazing. Off the back of losing a few games and playing some pretty poor cricket, to come here in an away fixture, especially this ground and this crowd, and put together a performance like that was outstanding.
“We haven’t quite got it right in a few of the games leading into this, and we had a good, honest conversation - batters and bowlers. Today is as close as we’ve come to a perfect performance. We made a few mistakes in the field and need to brush up on that. But, apart from that, our skills were pretty good.
“It was a difficult one (knowing whether total was enough) because we didn’t feel it was a particularly good boundary-hitting pitch. But we were pretty happy.”
Lewis Gregory and Ben Green batted Somerset into Finals Day of the Vitality Blast as the hosts completed a thrilling five-wicket victory over Notts Outlaws at Taunton
The Outlaws posted what looked a below par total of 157 for six after winning the toss, Matthew Montgomery top-scoring with 51 off 38 balls, Imad Wasim cracking 31 not out off 15 and Samit Patel contributing 30. Craig Overton claimed two for 23, while leg-spinner Ish Sodhi conceded only 22 from four overs.
Somerset lost five wickets by the midway point of their reply before Gregory (57 not out) and Green (35 not out) put together an unbroken partnership of 96 to see their side to Edgbaston with three balls to spare.
A big moment in the game came as early as the fourth delivery, Notts opener Alex Hales advancing to Overton and making room for a big shot, only to have his stumps scattered.
Overton soon followed up by having the dangerous Colin Munro brilliantly caught by the back-peddling Matt Henry at mid-off.
Henry then had Joe Clarke pouched at mid-wicket by Overton to make it 17 for three and although Montgomery and Patel took boundaries off the sixth over, bowled by Jack Brooks, the Outlaws ended the power-play on 37 for three.
Patel pulled a six off Lewis Gregory as 14 came off the ninth over. He and Montgomery had taken their stand to 69 when the 13th over saw Patel bowled trying to swing Gregory into the leg side.
Montgomery survived a tough chance to Tom Abell in the outfield to bring up his half-century, but the next ball saw him sky another catch and Overton made no mistake running in from long-off.
Tom Moores was caught at short fine-leg off Gregory and after Sodhi’s economic contribution, it was left to Wasim and skipper Steven Mullaney to boost a meagre Notts total with some clean hitting in the final overs.
Wasim struck a six and 2 fours in his entertaining cameo, but the Outlaws looked to face an uphill battle at the halfway stage.
Their spirits were lifted when Tom Banton was caught behind reverse sweeping off the first ball of the second over of Somerset’s innings, sent down by Wasim, the umpire’s decision of not out being reversed after a referral. It was 9 for two when the left-arm spinner completed a double wicket maiden by clean bowling Tom Kohler-Cadmore for a duck.
Smeed responded by hitting boundaries off the first three balls of Wasim’s second over. Abell produced three sweetly-struck fours of his own as the pair took Somerset to 44 for two by the end of the power play.
The pair had added 46 when Abell played a ball from Calvin Harrison into the leg side and Smeed called for a second run, only to fall short as Hales produced a fast throw to the bowler’s end.
Soon afterwards, Sean Dickson fell lbw to Harrison reverse sweeping and Abell walked after under-edging a catch behind in the same over. At the halfway stage of their innings, Somerset were 62 for five.
The experienced Gregory then took charge, clearing the ropes off Patel twice and Wasim as he and Green, who smashed Harrison over long-on for six, repaired the damage in style, bringing up a half-century stand off 35 balls.
Thirty were needed off the last three overs. Gregory brought a packed crowd to their feet with a six over mid-wicket off Wasim and went to a brilliant 32-ball fifty with another maximum over long-off in the penultimate over, delivered by Jake Ball, to finally break Notts’ resistance.
With three needed, Green appeared to be dropped at cover off Fletcher. But it was a no ball and the resulting free hit was dispatched for the winning runs.
Notts Outlaws captain Steven Mullaney said: “In the final analysis, we didn’t score enough runs. I thought we were 15 or 20 short of a challenging total.
“But when Imad Wasim took those two wickets in his opening over we were ahead of the game and we took three more quickly. Unfortunately, Lewis Gregory and Ben Green took it away from us with some brilliant batting and we were beaten by a very good side.
“Lewis is one of my best mates. I was around his house this morning having a coffee and visiting his new baby girl. I want him to do well, but not against us tonight. Even so, I am very proud of the team for the way we competed."
Somerset captain Lewis Gregory said: “Our bowlers were terrific as they have been all competition and, although there were one or two things we could have done better at the end of their innings, I was pleased with how we were with the ball.
“Obviously, the batting did not go as it has done in the group games and when I went in the situation was far from ideal to say the least.
“But there is a great belief among the team this season and we find different ways to win. Now we face Surrey in the semi-finals, which will be tough, but we fear no one in the competition and I want to return from Edgbaston with that trophy.”
Defending champions Hampshire Hawks will face Essex in the Vitality Blast semi-final on Finals Day after Nathan Ellis razed Worcestershire Rapids with his career best.
Ellis claimed four for six, with Chris Wood and John Turner both picking up two scalps each in a supreme bowling performance.
The Rapids had an enterprising 70-run stand between Usama Mir and Ed Pollock – but it was bookended by slumping to 29 for six and then losing the last four wickets for one run as they were rolled for 100.
The Hawks spluttered to the target to win by five wickets and reach their 10th Finals Day and maintain their hopes of being the first team to win the Blast back-to-back.
The Rapids had never played a Blast match at the Ageas Bowl, and had only faced the Hawks once in the format.
On that occasion, in 2015, James Vince blitzed an unbeaten century as Hampshire totted up 196 before Worcestershire reached 58 for two before the floodlight-less New Road got too dark.
The Rapids would have dreamed of a total eclipse of the hot evening sun and a power failure as they tumbled to 29 for six.
It began with a wicket in each of the first four overs on a fast wicket.
Jack Haynes lasted until the fourth ball of the innings before a leading edge was well caught and bowled by Chris Wood.
The Blast’s breakthrough fast bowler John Turner added Brett D’Oliveira as his 19th victim by cartwheeling his leg stump after an attempted scoop.
Mitchell Santner and Adam Hose both picked out fielders – a brilliant long on catch from Vince and spliced to square leg respectively.
Two wicketless overs were a mere interlude before James Fuller’s wicket maiden accounted for Kashif Ali before Ben Cox chipped to midwicket.
But Mir and Pollock salvaged things with a 70-run stand, which included 16 runs off a Liam Dawson over, with the fifty-partnership coming off 45 balls with a six over long on.
The second collapse was as ugly as the first as four wickets fell in eight balls for a single run to end a sorry innings.
Mir’s thick outside off Benny Howell was easily caught at short third before Ellis splayed the tail with three wickets in four balls – Adam Finch yorked, Dillon Pennington caught at cover and Pat Brown leg before.
Aneurin Donald replaced Ben McDermott – who had a back spasm – with the gloves and at the top of the order, and crunched the first ball of the replay through the legside but edged behind soon after.
Vince was caught at cover but is now 20 runs away from equalling his 678 runs from last season – reaching that would give him the best three Blast seasons. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that he could better his annus mirabilis of 710 runs in 2015.
Tom Prest hit three fours and a six in a happy-go-lucky 25 before he was well caught playing the reverse sweep, with Dawson falling in similar style.
Joe Weatherley got the chase within five before skying but the Hawks’ stayed on track for a third Blast title and condemned the Rapids to their sixth quarter-final defeat in eight attempts.
Hampshire Hawks fast bowler Nathan Ellis:
“Coming back here it was a big goal for me to get back to Finals Day. It is such a great spectacle, a great day and a great memory for me. I’m pumped to be going back.
“We were a little unsure of the wicket, it was a used wicket and a bit up and down but credit to the groundstaff it was really good. It was consistent and even paced.
“Full credit to young John Turner and Chris Wood; they set the tone today. Woody has been doing that for a long time and JT has done all tournament. We took it and ran with it.
“I feel a little bit dirty about my figures. They bowled well and then I burgled a few wickets at the end. That’s my role and I’ll take it.
“[On the scoreboard incorrectly displaying he’d taken a hat-trick] I feel like it is the first time 10,000 people had been pranked, including me. It was a great day for the quicks.
“Those chases can be awkward in finals so for us to get home and do it quite convincingly is a great step forward and should take our momentum into Finals Day.
“Essex are a really dangerous team. They come really hard up top and whether they have lost wickets or not they seem to keep coming. It is a good match up with our bowling attack so it shapes up to be a really good game.”
Worcestershire Rapids head coach Alan Richardson:
“It has been a tremendous campaign. The boys won’t see that at the moment because they are terribly disappointed that we haven’t performed today to get the result.
“They should take great pride in how they have gone about group stage to give us a chance to be in the quarter-finals, but ultimately we weren’t there today.
“If nothing else we know that the Worcester boys fight and take great pride in that. We didn’t get off to the best start so for us to get any kind of score is a great achievement. Maybe if we have got 20 or 30 more we could have made a real fist of it.
“Usama showed great skill and great heart and so did Pollock. That was fantastic in that part of the game under pressure.
“It isn’t up to me what pitches we play on. It was slightly different than what we experience at New Road. Whatever pitch you are put on you have to react to that and Hampshire play really well at home.”
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