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Vitality Blast: Latest News, Scores and Updates from today’s matches – August 27th 2020

Vitality Blast
Vitality Blast
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All the latest Vitality Blast news, scores and updates from today’s matches

Thursday August 27th 2020

14.00 Start Time

Essex Eagles vs Middlesex Vitality Blast 2020 The Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford

Essex Eagles vs Middlesex at Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford

No result (Middlesex 184/5 vs Essex Eagles 10/0)

Max Holden made sure Middlesex didn’t miss their 2019 batting stars to club his maiden T20 hundred but rain thwarted a result against Vitality Blast holders Essex Eagles.

Middlesex had lost four of their top five run-scorers from last season’s run to the quarter-finals, but Holden struck a 60-ball 102 to create a new hero.

That set Essex 185 to win, but only nine balls of the reply were possible before forecast rain saw the match abandoned.

While Middlesex were much-changed from 2019, Essex could call on eight of the side which famously defeated Worcestershire Rapids at Edgbaston last September.

Simon Harmer won the toss and elected to bowl first, but conceded 18 runs off the first over as Steve Eskinazi took Aaron Beard apart with three boundaries through cover before a maximum over mid-wicket.

Matt Quinn took his revenge for team-mate Beard when Eskinazi skied him to Harmer, with Martin Andersson run out after being turned back soon after.

That brought Holden and Nick Gubbins together, and for eight overs they dominated with a 71-run stand.

Holden was lucky to survive a stumping chance off Dan Lawrence and a Shane Snater drop at long-off, on two and 27 respectively.

But moved through the gears as if he was Lewis Hamilton at Silverstone, most notably with a driven push extra-cover, before taking a liking to Harmer.

Firstly, Holden struck back over the South African’s head and into the sightscreen, then slog-swept him into the vacant stands.

With AB de Villiers, Dawid Malan, Paul Stirling and Eoin Morgan dominating last year, Holden had been restricted to a single match. He cashed in on a rare appearance here with a 35-ball fifty.

Gubbins (23) had provided a run-a-ball glue before he was caught flicking to Lawrence at backwards square-leg, before Dan Lincoln and John Simpson were each caught at long-on trying to accelerate.

But that didn’t halt Holden, who took Harmer for another straight six, with his three figures arriving with an all-along-the-floor cover drive - only 24 balls after he had last raised his bat.

His previous highest score in seven Blast matches had been 84 against Somerset in his sophomore appearance.

After an elongated mid-innings break, Varun Chopra and Cameron Delport scored 10 runs in nine balls, with Miguel Cummins delivering his first Blast over, before the rain fell.

A re-calculated challenge of 156 from 16 was handed to Essex, as the ground staff played the hokey-cokey with the cover around the showers.

The Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford’s floodlights, erected over the winter, illuminated for the first time on a matchday but only highlighted the glint on the covers when the match was finally cut off at 4.45pm, for a point-a-piece.

Kent Spitfires vs Hampshire Vitality Blast 2020 The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury

Hampshire 139/6 after 20 overs v Kent Spitfires 52/0 after 4.1 overs. Match abandoned. Kent 1pt, Hampshire 1pt.  

Kent suffered Vitality Blast agony after being denied an emphatic south group win over Hampshire by rain showers in Canterbury.

Seemingly cruising to an opening round win at 52 without loss after only 25 deliveries of their reply, the heavens opened at 4.20pm forcing Kent’s openers Daniel Bell-Drummond and Zak Crawley off the field with only five more deliveries needing to be bowled to constitute a completed match.

Though the hosts were way ahead of the asking rate required under the Duckworth/Lewis/Stern method, the deluge forced the match officials to abandon the match 20 minutes later with the sides sharing a point apiece.   

Aware of the great risk of further rain, Kent started their pursuit of 140 at an asking rate of seven an over, in a hurry as Zak Crawley, fresh from his record-breaking double ton against Pakistan clubbed 16 off Chris Woods’ opening over.

Daniel Bell-Drummond showed James Fuller similar distain by crashing another brace of boundaries as Kent had 25 on the board within two overs.

The onslaught continued as Bell-Drummond clattered a four and six over mid-wicket during Ryan Stevenson’s first over, and then marched down the pitch to Wood to cart two more leg-side boundaries as Spitfires raised their 50 after 4.1 overs with a Crawley leg-glance against Fuller.

But, with victory within the sight of five more balls, the rain returned and the players departed to dressing rooms on separate sides of the ground with Kent on 52 without loss.

Batting first after losing the toss, Hampshire’s Joe Weatherley held the innings together with a bright 49-ball knock worth 68 either side of a 20-minute rain break  

George Munsey started the boundary count with a slog-swept six in the opening over from Alex Blake, but Matt Milnes struck in his first over having Tom Alsop caught at deep cover off a skied leading edge.

Sam Northeast, Hampshire’s acting captain and a former Kent skipper to boot, had only two runs to his name when, having been called through for a sharp single by Munsey, went run out after Fred Klassen’s direct hit, left-handed from cover point.  

In the next over Klassen’s bumper caused Munsey, on 19, to top-edge to mid-wicket where Jack Leaning took a fine diving catch and help restrict the visitors to 30 for three in their powerplay.  

Having reached 61 for three at the midpoint, Hampshire struggled for boundaries until Weatherley, a Kent loanee in 2017, slog-swept the afternoon’s second six against season’s debutant Calum Haggett.

In the next over Lewis McManus pulled another maximum from a short one from Grant Stewart as the fourth-wicket pair posed a 50 stand in 43 balls. The partnership ended for 71 just as drizzle arrived when McManus (26) heaved a Milnes off-cutter to long on.

With 17 overs completed, the rain strengthened leaving umpires Mark Newell and Nigel Llong with little option but to take the players off with Weatherley stranded, seven runs shy of his 50.  

The shower abated, allowing Weatherley to resume his knock 20 minutes later and move to a 42-ball 50 with a slog-swept six over mid-wicket against Stewart.

Left-armer Klassen continued to impress when he extracted extra bounce to have James Fuller caught behind then, in the final over, a Milnes slow-ball bouncer brushed Weatherley’s gloves and looped through to the keeper to end the innings on 139 for six.    

Imran Qayyum conceded only 22 from his four overs of left-arm spin, but Milnes was the pick of the home seamers after a stint of 4-0-19-3.    

Describing the side’s heartbreak, Klassen, the Netherlands ODI left-armer, said: “With only five balls to go it was excruciating to come off really. The batters were going so well, batting beautifully they timed it so well but couldn’t quite get us over the line.

“It’s sad times with no one in the ground, it takes away a bit of the buzz, and we had to try and create a bit of it ourselves. There was no crowd, no music and even the electronic scoreboard was struggling to start with, but we were still going nicely as a team.

“Of course, we all miss the crowds. A full house here under the lights are the best nights I’ve played cricket for Kent.”

Describing his direct hit run out of Northeast, Klassen added: “It’s nice to throw down the stumps once in a while, it was aa bit of a fluke to be fair, but still nice to help get us an early couple of wickets.

“Fielding has always been very important for us and the boys have been working well at it throughout this season. We talked about it before the game and it always goes into our preparation, but you saw out there tonight that we had a very good atmosphere within the team.”

Gloucestershire vs Steelbacks Vitality Blast 2020 The Bristol County Ground, Bristol

Gloucestershire's opening Vitality Blast Central Group match against Northamptonshire Steelbacks was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

The match was due to begin at 2pm. but by then persistent heavy rain throughout the morning had saturated the outfield.

With no let-up in the downpour forecast, umpires Ian Blackwell and Russell Warren ruled out any prospect of play at shortly after the scheduled start time.

Durham Cricket vs Lancashire Lightning Vitality Blast 2020 Emirates Riverside, Chester-le-Street

Lancashire Lightning 190-3 v Durham 163/7  - Lancashire won by 27 runs

Keaton Jennings scored his maiden T20 century to haunt his former club Durham to hand Lancashire Lightning a winning start to their Vitality Blast North Group campaign at Emirates Riverside.

Jennings put the home side's attack to the sword with an outstanding knock of 108, sharing a record-breaking opening stand with Alex Davies of 170 for the Red Rose. He blasted 10 fours and three sixes to reach three figures for the first time in the format, propelling his team to a total of 190-3 from their 20 overs. 

Durham were under pressure from the off in their chase and were never able to match the required run rate. Alex Lees offered a resistance scoring 51 with a couple of maximums, but the total was always out of their reach, with the Lightning clinching the win by 27 runs. 

Lancashire won the toss and elected to bat first in murky conditions under lights at Emirates Riverside. Jennings took the early initiative to get the scoreboard moving for the visitors. Davies waited patiently and capitalised in the fifth over, smashing Matty Potts for four boundaries in a row. 

The Lightning openers continued to press and brought up their fifty partnership from the penultimate ball of the powerplay. Paul Coughlin was the next Durham bowler to struggle as Jennings drilled two boundaries to the fence, including a shoulder-high full toss that was signaled as a no ball. 

Jennings continued his assault, reaching his half-century from only 33 balls in style clipping Carse over mid-wicket for a maximum. The six also brought up the century stand with Davies in the process in the 12th over, putting the visitors on course for a mammoth total. 

Even the presence of Mark Wood could not yield a breakthrough as Jennings delivered another brilliant stroke to clear the rope - this time straight down the ground. Davies played a vital role at the other end rotating the strike, and he notched his fifty with a single off his hip into the leg-side from 42 deliveries. 

Records tumbled for Jennings and the Lightning as he raced past his previous top score of 88 with a pull to the boundary - his ninth of the innings. A ball later Lancashire brought up their highest opening stand in the 20-over format - beating the 160 made against Derbyshire in 2018. The partnership was finally broken in the 18th over when Potts bowled Davies for 65. 

However, Jennings was not to be denied his first T20 century, reaching the milestone from 60 deliveries. There was time for the left-hander to clear the rope for a third time before he was cleaned up by Rimmington. Wood prevented the visitors from passing 200, but their total was imposing to say the least. 

Durham's replay began in poor fashion, losing both Scott Steel and Graham Clark before the end of the third over, with the latter being run out off a free hit. Lees and David Bedingham stabilised the innings, but were unable to provide the pace produced by the Lightning as the home side fell drastically behind the rate required. The pair put on a stand of 64 for the third wicket before Steven Croft turned one past Bedingham and Davies completed the stumping, removing the South African for 33.

Lees tried to inject pace by blasting Tom Hartley over cow corner, and produced a similar stroke to bring up his half-century from 38 balls. However, once he was caught on the boundary off Matt Parkinson the Lightning closed out the victory, despite a late flurry of boundaries from Brydon Carse.

18.30 Start Time

Derbyshire Falcons vs Leicestershire Foxes Vitality Blast 2020 The Fischer County Ground, Grace Road, Leicester

Match abandoned without a ball bowled

Glamorgan vs Worcestershire Rapids Vitality Blast 2020 Sophia Gardens Cardiff, Cardiff

Glamorgan’s first game in this season’s competition- against Worcestershire at Sophia Gardens- was abandoned without a ball being bowled.

After heavy rain throughout the morning and early evening, there were pools on every part of the  ground with the expectation that play would have been called off after lunch.

The rain then cleared, but despite the valiant efforts of the groundsman and his staff,  the two umpires, Jeremy Lloyds and Jeff Evans, after two inspections at 5.0 and 6.30, decided that the ground had not dried sufficiently for play to start.

Glamorgan’s next game will be against Gloucestershire at Bristol on Saturday, followed with a home game against Birmingham Bears the following day.

Yorkshire Vikings vs Notts Outlaws Vitality Blast 2020 Emerald Headingley, Leeds

Match Abandoned - No Result


England Test captain Joe Root’s return to county cricket was delayed as rain ruined the opening night Vitality Blast clash between Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire at Emerald Headingley.

Root was due to play for the hosts in this North Group fixture only two days after finishing the summer Test programme against Pakistan at Southampton’s Ageas Bowl on Tuesday.

But heavy rain from mid-afternoon onwards in Leeds forced umpires Peter Hartley and Neil Mallender to call the game off shortly after 7pm.

Since meeting in the second round of the Bob Willis four-day Trophy at Trent Bridge earlier this month, a fixture which Yorkshire won, bad weather has forced both sides to settle for draws in their following two fixtures.

And, despite a switch in format, that trend has continued, with both taking a point apiece this evening.

This was also a repeat of last season when rain forced the abandonment of the 2019 opening night fixture between the Vikings and the Outlaws.

Root’s availability moving forwards is unclear, although Yorkshire hope he will be able to play against Derbyshire here on Sunday (2pm).

His last Blast appearance came for Yorkshire against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford in July 2018, a defeat in which he scored 51 not out.

He has since made seven appearances for Sydney Thunder in Australia’s Big Bash competition either side of Christmas 2018 and four for England.

Nottinghamshire, meanwhile, face Durham at Emirates Riverside in their next fixture at 2pm on Saturday.




Vitality Blast Groups

North: Derbyshire Falcons, Durham, Lancashire Lightning, Leicestershire Foxes, Notts Outlaws, Yorkshire Vikings

Central: Birmingham Bears, Glamorgan, Gloucestershire, Northants Steelbacks, Somerset, Worcestershire Rapids

South: Essex Eagles, Hampshire, Kent Spitfires, Middlesex, Surrey, Sussex Sharks

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