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Vitality Blast: Latest News, Scores and Updates from today’s matches – August 29th 2020

Lancashire's Keaton Jennings is bowled out by Durham's Nathan Rimmington
Lancashire's Keaton Jennings is bowled out by Durham's Nathan Rimmington

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



Vitality Blast Schedule - Saturday August 29th 2020

 Worcestershire Rapids vs Steelbacks Vitality Blast 2020 Blackfinch New Road, Worcester

Northamptonshire Steelbacks (128-1) beat Worcestershire Rapids (124-7) by nine wickets.

Steelbacks 2 points, Rapids 0 points.

Paul Stirling delivered a superb match-winning debut for Northamptonshire Steelbacks who overwhelmed Worcestershire Rapids by nine wickets in a Vitality Blast encounter at Blackfinch New Road.

Stirling had showed his awesome power earlier in the month when smashing 142 for Ireland in their ODI triumph over England at the Ageas Bowl.

Today the former Middlesex player made an impact with bat and initially the ball as the Rapids, winners of the competition if 2018 and runners-up last season, were well beaten.

Worcestershire did not come to terms with a sluggish pitch as the visitors used four slow bowlers to good effect in bowling 15 of the 20 overs and they limped to 124-7.

Stirling picked up two wickets, including Rapids top scorer Jack Haynes, while captain Josh Cobb, Graeme White and Saif Zaib were equally effective with the pace taken off the ball.

He then raced to 50 off 28 balls with some awesome striking and was given excellent support by Richard Levi (33) during an opening stand of 107 in 12.4 overs.

Stirling ended unbeaten on 80 from 48 balls with four sixes and nine fours as the Steelbacks galloped over the finishing line in just 15.1 overs.

It was in contrast to the struggle in the Worcestershire innings to force the pace with there being only one six and eight fours in the entire innings with the exception to the rule being Haynes on his debut appearance in the competition.

The England Under-19 player, who has already made a favourable impression in the Bob Willis Trophy, struck 41 off 27 balls with five fours and that solitary six.

The Steelbacks also backed up their bowlers with some sharp fielding and excellent catching and Stirling’s boundary blitz ensured they had no alarms in reaching their modest target.

Ed Barnard captained Worcestershire for the first time and will lead the Rapids in all their Blast games where England all-rounder Moeen Ali is unavailable.

The Rapids were lacking Moeen and Pat Brown and Wayne Parnell from their successful attack of the past two seasons.

Jake Libby was handed his Blast debut in addition to Haynes - for the Rapids with Brandon Glover also making their first appearance for the Steelbacks in the competition alongside Stirling.

The Rapids were put into bat after Steelbacks captain Josh Cobb won the toss.

Hamish Rutherford (5) collected the first boundary from the first ball of the opening over from Cobb with a sweep around the corner.

But it was his last scoring shot before he was caught off a leading edge at mid off from the bowling of Ben Sanderson.

England Under-19 batsman Haynes looked in good touch and quickly moved into double figures with two boundaries in an over from Nathan Buck.

Riki Wessels had a let-off on 13 when Buck spilled a chance at mid on in Glover’s first over.

But it did not prove costly for the Steelbacks as in the same over the former Northamptonshire batsman went for a big hit and saw his leg stump broken in half with 50 on the board. 

Haynes continued to impress, striking White for six over long off but his dismissal – well caught at deep mid wicket off Stirling – prompted a drop in the momentum of the Rapids innings.

Stirling also trapped Brett D’Oliveira lbw and, although Libby (24) and Ben Cox (19) tried to accelerate, the bowlers kept a firm grip on proceedings throughout the innings.

When Northamptonshire replied, Stirling quickly set them on the path to victory as Worcestershire persevered with pace during the powerplay.

He made room to deposit a delivery from Charlie Morris over the cover boundary and then welcomed Barnard’s introduction into the attack by clearing the ropes at wide mid on.

His half century contained two sixes and eight fours and none of the Worcestershire attack could stem the flow of runs.

Levi was the perfect ally before he lofted Pennington into the hands of Ross Whiteley at deep mid wicket.


Worcestershire Head Coach Alex Gidman said: “Credit to Northants, I thought they played very well, adapted to the conditions very quickly and executed their plans very well and we were half a yard off the pace in all facets to be totally honest.

“We haven’t played a game, Thursday was a wash-out, the weather has meant we haven’t had great preparation but no excuses. I thought Northants were brilliant and we were just a little bit off the pace.

“We faced 15 overs of spin and we’ve got to look at perhaps that is an area we can improve at. Although one day doesn’t give you much time to technically change too much, even tactically it’s a bit more of a mindset. But it is obviously an area we can try and back ourselves a little bit more in.

“I think it was quite a good toss to win. In T20 generally it shouldn’t make too much difference but sometimes it does and it was a bit tacky, understandably so, it’s been under the covers a lot so we thought it might be harder to score on early on.

“Our guys were coming off saying it was just sticking in the wicket a little bit and it did improve with pace on the ball and they found it easier to start with than we did. But once again they were the better team today and deserved to win.”

Steelbacks match-winner Paul Stirling said: “It (the pitch) was just a little bit slow as was expected with what we’ve had (weather-wise) in the last couple of weeks. It probably didn’t have much drying time so we were quite fortunate to get out there bowling first.

“As a batter, to be able to see what happened over those first 20 overs and to adjust your game accordingly, really helped us.

“The conditions certainly suited batting second today. There is a lot of flexibility in our attack, We’ve had a lot of seam options (as well as the spinners) that we could have gone to and when we did they bowled really well.

“It is really good signs that there are options like that for the captain going forward. 

“From my point of view, I’m not going to change the game plan too much so I’m going to keep being aggressive in the powerplay and it’s a good opportunity to score boundaries which were hard to come by today.

“It’s a chance to try and take the game away from the opposition in the first six overs instead of taking the game deep. If that run rate had gone up a couple per over, there could have been some pressure on at the end.”


Durham Cricket vs Notts Outlaws Vitality Blast 2020 Emirates Riverside, Chester-le-Street

Durham 181-3 v Nottinghamshire Outlaws 185-4 -Nottinghamshire win by six wickets

A brilliant unbeaten century from Joe Clarke guided Nottinghamshire Outlaws to their first victory of the 2020 season, defeating Durham by six wickets in their Vitality Blast North Group clash at Emirates Riverside.

Clarke made the most of his opportunity after being dropped on eight by Graham Clark. From that point onwards the right-hander was flawless, sharing a stand of 105 for the second wicket with Chris Nash (55) that whittled down their victory target of 182.

The 24-year-old cleared the rope eight times and scored seven fours, dismantling the home side's bowling attack. He ended the chase with a maximum to notch his second T20 century from only 44 balls, taking his team over the line with 3.4 overs to spare.

Durham had set what appeared to be a challenging total as Graham Clark and Alex Lees scored half-centuries, but they were blown away by the visitors to slump to their second defeat in the competition.

The hosts won the toss and Lees made a strong start, dispatching Samit Patel straight back down the ground for a six. Luke Fletcher made an early breakthrough to dismiss Scott Steel, but Clark put the home side back on track in the powerplay. He dispatched Jake Ball for three fours in the fifth over, including two fine shots through backward point.

Clark and Lees took the attack to Matthew Carter as both men cleared the rope against the off-spinner, propelling their way towards the fifty partnership from 31 deliveries. The batsmen kept steadily building the Durham innings before Clark upped the ante. The right-hander smashed Fletcher into the top tier of the County Durham stand to bring up the 100 before clearing the rope once more with a powerful flick over the leg-side boundary.

Lees was the first batsman to reach fifty, nudging a single into the leg-side to bring up the milestone from 39 balls before Clark followed suit reaching his eighth T20 half-century. The two players recorded Durham's highest stand for the second wicket against the Outlaws, putting on 105 for the second wicket. It took a brilliant diving catch to end Lees' knock for 53 from Nash at third man after the left-hander sliced a wide delivery from Steven Mullaney.

Ball then got a semblance of revenge against Clark by bowling him around his legs for 60 to stymie the Durham innings. Paul Coughlin and Brydon Carse injected pace in the 17th over - both striking maximums off Mullaney. In the final over, Carse added two further boundaries to bring up the fifty stand for the fourth wicket and set the Outlaws a chase of 182.

Nottinghamshire set the tone with a brisk start to their reply, although Matty Potts made a vital breakthrough to remove Alex Hales. Clarke pulled Coughlin over the fence to get his innings into gear, although he was given a life from the following ball after being dropped by Clark at short cover.

Nash led the early assault against the Durham attack, which allowed the visitors to bring the fifty up in the fifth over. Clarke looked in excellent touch, smashing Potts over his head for a maximum before adding another boundary later in the over to bring up the fifty partnership for the second wicket. The 24-year-old then launched Rimmington for his third six of the innings to send the Outlaws past the 100-run mark before he reached his half-century from 26 balls.

The onslaught from Nottinghamshire continued courtesy of Nash with his 27-ball fifty, clearing the rope to bring up the milestone and the century stand between himself and Clarke. A loose drive to Rimmington at point ended Nash's innings for 55, but Clarke did not let up his intensity, dispatching Potts for three sixes in the 13th over.

He finished off the game in style with his eighth six to reach three figures for the second time against Durham and secure the Outlaws' first victory of the campaign.

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

Glamorgan 150/7 beat Gloucestershire 135 by 15 runs at the Bristol County Ground


Andrew Salter claimed four for 20 as Glamorgan kick-started their Vitality Blast Central Group campaign with a 15-run victory over Gloucestershire at the Bristol County Ground. 

The visitors ran up 150 for seven on slow pitch after losing the toss, Chris Cooke top-scoring with 51 not out and Ryan Higgins returning three for 29. 

In reply, Gloucestershire could manage only 135 all out, Glamorgan spinners Salter and Prem Sisodiya dominating after taking the new ball. Graeme van Buuren (52) and George Scott (33) did their best, but from 70 for six their efforts were in vain. 

Glamorgan were 40 for two at the end of the six-over power play, having lost Dan Douthwaite, lbw to Matt Taylor in the second over, and Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie, who looked in decent touch until attempting to pull a Ryan Higgins full toss and clothing a catch to short fine leg. 

Gloucestershire spinners Tom Smith and van Buuren then did an excellent job, Smith claiming two wickets and van Buuren finishing his four-over spell with one for 20. 

Those figures would have been even better had Cooke not been given a life on six when lofting a drive towards long-on. Ian Cockbain slipped as he started to run in for the catch and ended up spilling a low chance. 

It was van Buuren who took the important wicket of Billy Root in the tenth over, the opener having moved to 29 off 31 balls before carelessly reverse sweeping a catch to short third-man. 

Smith bowled Marchant de Lange and had Kiran Carlson stumped giving him the charge as Glamorgan slumped to 88 for five before Cooke and Callum Taylor restored respectability with a stand of 43 in five overs. 

Taylor showed his promise with 23 off 20 balls, while Cooke, who faced 35 balls, hit sixes with a slog-sweep off Smith and a majestic drive over long-on off David Payne. 

Higgins took two wickets at the end of the innings and Glamorgan’s score looked under par. But their chances improved when Sisodiya bowled a maiden to Miles Hammond at the start of Gloucestershire’s reply and Salter followed up by bowling Chris Dent for a duck. 

Glamorgan’s decision to open with spin at both ends reaped further dividends when Hammond was caught at extra over off left-armer Sisodiya’s second over to leave the home side six for two. 

That became 13 for three when Cockbain was caught at deep mid-wicket off Salter and after six overs Gloucestershire were becalmed on 24 for three. 

Sisodiya finished his four over spell from the Pavilion End with one for 12, the 21-year-old having caused problems for every batsman. 

Higgins then fell lbw to Salter, bringing Gloucestershire’s new T20 captain Jack Taylor to the crease at 29 for four. James Bracey briefly threatened a recovery and had moved to 17 when middling a high full-toss from Salter straight to deep mid-wicket and departing with a shake of the head. 

Callum Taylor had been brought on to replace Sisiodiya with his off-breaks and at 54 for five Gloucestershire had faced one over of seam in the 11 bowled. 

When Taylor was caught behind off de Lange to make it 65 for six, Glamorgan had a grip their seamers never looked like relinquishing, some belligerent blows from Scott and van Buuren, who hit two sixes in succession off Taylor, proving too little, too late. 

It was a valiant effort by van Buuren, in particular, but Gloucestershire needed 21 off the last over, bowled by Tim van der Gugten, and the task proved too great. 


14:00 local    13:00 GMT Leicestershire Foxes vs Lancashire Lightning Vitality Blast 2020 County Ground, Leicester

Middlesex vs Kent Spitfires Vitality Blast 2020 Lord's Cricket Ground, London

Middlesex 209-4 (20) tied with Kent Spitfires (209-5) at Lord’s

An extraordinary final over from Tom Helm enabled Middlesex to salvage a tie as the points were shared in their thrilling Vitality Blast tie against Kent.

Chasing 210, the Spitfires seemed on course for their first victory of the tournament after captain Daniel Bell-Drummond blazed 72 from 32 balls, sharing a blistering opening stand of 89 in just under seven overs with Zak Crawley.

But Helm – who had looked ragged after conceding 40 and a string of wides from his first three overs – restricted Kent to just five runs at the death, bowling Grant Stewart before Jack Leaning scampered a bye from the last ball to level the scores at 209-5.

Earlier, Middlesex’s Stephen Eskinazi had registered his best T20 score, hitting 84 from 52 balls and adding 111 for the third wicket with Nick Gubbins (53 from 33) as the home side, who were put in to bat, posted 209-4.

Max Holden – having batted through the full 20 overs in compiling his maiden Blast century at Chelmsford two days earlier – lasted only four balls this time, scoring seven before Fred Klaassen (2-50) took out his off stump.

Martin Andersson, who helped Eskinazi to make steady progress in the powerplay, looked strong off the back foot, punching Matt Milnes to the boundary twice in his 24 from 17 balls.

Although Andersson departed lbw to Calum Haggett’s first delivery, the seamer struggled for consistency as Gubbins picked out gaps with precision and applied just enough power to beat the boundary fielders.

It wasn’t until the 13th over that Middlesex recorded their first maximum of the innings when Eskinazi paddled Haggett into the Mound Stand – later unveiling an identical shot off Klaassen.

The pair achieved Middlesex’s second-highest T20 partnership for any wicket against Kent, with Gubbins going on to complete his half-century before skying Klaassen into the hands of Crawley at long-on.

Jordan Cox’s superb direct hit from the cover boundary denied Eskinazi a tilt at his hundred as he returned for a second run, but there was no danger of Middlesex’s momentum stalling during the last two overs.

John Simpson (12*) slammed his first delivery for six, while some clinical hitting by Dan Lincoln, who thrashed an unbeaten 24 from just nine balls, lifted the home side above the 200 mark.

However, Crawley and Bell-Drummond – who had hammered an unbeaten quickfire stand of 52 in Thursday’s aborted game against Hampshire – immediately savaged Middlesex’s bowlers for 85 during the powerplay.

Crawley blazed successive sixes off Miguel Cummins and glanced the former West Indies paceman for four to raise the 50 from just 20 deliveries, while Bell-Drummond dispatched Harris for two sixes and leg-spinner Nathan Sowter disappeared for 17 in his first over.

Sowter (2-36) finally broke the partnership when he returned after the powerplay, persuading Crawley (31 from 19) to chip to Holden at deep midwicket, but the skipper maintained the pace, smiting Steven Finn back over his head for three fours.

Bell-Drummond finally perished in the 10th over attempting a fourth, with substitute fielder Joe Cracknell juggling a catch in the deep, although Alex Blake (21 from 11) seemed to keep the Spitfires on track.

Good work by Andersson, stretching to bring down Blake’s drive just inside the rope, gave Middlesex hope and, when Cox (29) holed out off Finn (2-34), the visitors still required 26 from 16 balls.

However, Leaning (29*) clipped James Harris for six and Kent looked clear favourites going into the final over – but Helm followed the wicket of Stewart with three dot balls to deny them victory.

©Cricket World 2020