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Vitality Blast: Latest News, Scores and Updates from today’s matches – September 12th 2020

Tom Helm (2-12) for Middlesex
Tom Helm (2-12) for Middlesex
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All the latest Vitality Blast news, scores and updates from today’s matches


Kent v Sussex

Kent Spitfires, 141/8, lost to Sussex Sharks 145/2 by eight wickets at Canterbury. Kent 0pts, Sussex 2pts.

A blistering unbeaten 62 by burgeoning Sussex star Delray Rawlins helped Sharks canter to an eight wicket Vitality Blast victory over the previously unbeaten south group leaders Kent Spitfires in Canterbury.

Set to chase 142 at a modest asking rate of 7.1 an over, the rookie Sharks all-rounder clubbed six fours and four sixes in an eye-catching, unbeaten knock to see Sharks home to their fourth qualifying win with 26 balls to spare.

Sharks’ openers Calum MacLeod and Luke Wright got their side off to a flyer by posting 61 in the powerplay including 22 from Imran Qayyum’s first over of left-arm spin.

Joe Denly gave Kent their first breakthrough soon after, grabbing a looping caught and bowled chance off MacLeod (19).

Qayyum was immediately replaced by Jack Leaning’s occasional off-spin and, with Denly’s leg-spin at the Pavilion End, Kent tried to keep pace off the ball but Rawlins swept powerfully over the mid-wicket ropes for the first six of the reply as 12 came off the over.

Wright fell five runs short of his 43rd half-century in domestic T20 when his back-foot flail against Calum Haggett was caught behind by Jordan Cox.  

Rawlins lofted Haggett for a straight six to take Sussex into three figures then, when Qayyum returned, Rawlins tucked in by taking 12 off the over including another maximum, this time over mid-wicket.

The 22-year-old left-hander from Bermuda celebrated his 31-ball 50 with a fourth six, pulled off Fred Klassen, who was then smeared to the ropes at extra cover to seal the win with 4.2 balls to spare.

Batting first after losing the toss, Kent’s top four batsmen all reached double figures without any of them taking responsibility to go on and play a match-defining knock.

Having seen the home openers canter to 24 inside three overs, Sussex turned the tide by introducing left-arm spin at both ends in the shape of Danny Briggs and Rawlins.

Briggs should have had Daniel Bell-Drummond, on 8, caught by Oli Robinson off a skier at mid-on but, inexplicably, Robinson allowed the chance to slip through his hands. The seam-bowler made immediate amends, however, diving to his left to catch a rasping Zak Crawley drive from Briggs’ next delivery.

Denly clubbed three successive boundaries against Robinson to see Spitfires through to 57 for one after their powerplay, but Bell-Drummond missed an attempted slog-sleep on 29 to be bowled by Rawlins.

Denly swept a boundary off Briggs and then slog-swept the next for the first six of the innings. But, in trying to repeat the stroke two balls later, top-edged to third man to top-score with 32.

Rawlins had Heino Kuhn (22) caught on the run at backward square leg, then Chris Jordan hurried one past Alex Blake’s outside edge to remove the left-hander’s off stump.

Briggs snared Cox leg before as the right-hander missed an attempted reverse sweep to finish with three for 27 and leave Kent in trouble on 107 for six.     

Leaning followed meekly, gloving an attempted pull shot against Robinson through to the keeper, forcing Kent’s tail-enders to simply bat out their side’s closing five overs.

Grant Stewart contributed nine before his sliced drive against Mills was caught at deep point and, as the runs dried up, Kent managed only one boundary in their last eight overs.       


Middlesex v Hampshire

Middlesex: 142-6

Hampshire123 all out

Result: Middlesex won by 19 runs


John Simpson proved Middlesex’s hero as they beat Hampshire by 19 runs to revive their Vitality Blast hopes.

The Seaxes’ keeper hit 30 quick runs from 19 balls to carry the hosts to 142-6, before effecting three catches, a stumping and a run out as Hampshire collapsed to 123 all out in reply.

Tom Helm (2-12) and Middlesex skipper Steven Finn (3-27) both came close to hat-tricks as Hampshire, not for the first time in the campaign wilted chasing a small target, despite 43 from Tom Alsop.

Victory lifts Middlesex to six points, though they stay fourth in the South Group, while defeat leaves Hampshire’s hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages hanging by a thread.

Finn opted to bat after winning the toss and his faith was rewarded early on as Stevie Eskinazi and Max Holden started brightly.

Eskinazi, the Seaxes’ leading run scorer in the competition this season, twice struck Shaheen Shah Afridi into the Mound stand and the Pakistan paceman also yielded five wides from a wild delivery fired down the leg-side.

However, once Holden skied a catch to backward point off the impressive Ian Holland (1-25) in the fourth over, the early momentum was lost.

Holland and Mason Crane (2-20) strangled the hosts to such a degree, they managed just one boundary in the next 49 balls, a period in which Eskinazi (33) was caught and bowled by Crane from a ball which stopped in the pitch.

Jack Davies (23) ended that barren sequence, before surviving what seemed a certain run out when Crane dropped the return from the outfield with the Middlesex youngster stranded.

But Dan Lincoln’s promotion to number three failed to produce fruit and only an enormous six from Simpson in the last over which sailed beyond the Nursery End sightscreen carried the hosts to 142-6.

Hampshire have had their batting woes in the competition this season and began badly when James Vince edged Helm into the gloves of Simpson in the third over.

And Helm, who was in England’s ODI bubble at the start of the season, snared Sam Northeast with his next ball, another thin nick into the gloves of Simpson

Jo Weatherley survived the hat-trick and a shout for a stumping off a Murtagh wide at the start of the next over, only to overbalance to another wide the very next ball, Simpson whipping off the bails in lightning fashion.

At 12-3 the visitors were struggling, but helped by five penalty runs, when the ball hits Simpson’s glove when it was on the ground, Tom Alsop and James Fuller rebuilt.

Alsop raised the 50 by pulling a Nathan Sowter long hop to the mid-wicket fence and the 50-partnership came off 37 balls as runs flowed freely.

The stand raised 71 before Fuller hoisted Murtagh (2-20), playing only his second T20 since 2013, into the hands of Martin Andersson at long-on to depart for 34 at the end of the 13th over.

Alsop continued to be aggressive, pulling Miguel Cummins for six, but a stunning caught and bowled by Sowter sent him packing with 51 still needed.

Simpson’s fourth dismissal came when Holland gloved one from Finn and 30 were needed from the last three overs.

Finn then had Lewis McManus and Chris Wood caught in the deep from successive balls and Crane was run out by fancy footwork from Simpson as Hampshire crumbled.

And victory was sealed when Afridi skied Cummins into Finn’s hands with seven balls left.


Steven Finn, Middlesex skipper said: “John (Simpson) has had an outstanding day. Simmo is one of those guys who can go under the radar a bit. He does his job quietly and efficiently both with the gloves and with the bat.

“To have him coming in at six today with a long tail behind him because of the five bowlers, he had to put his hand up and score runs and fair play to him he did very well.

“I felt we were under par in that first innings where we dug ourselves into a bit of a hole at times. Saying that, we knew 142 can be a competitive score with the bowlers we’ve got.

“Tim (Murtagh) was called upon late as Luke Hollman rolled his ankle in the warm-up, but you know what you are going to get from Murts and he bowled beautifully.

“And one thing we have prided ourselves on this year is our fielding efforts and that creates an atmosphere. Max Holden made a couple of outstanding stops at backward point to keep the pressure on.”


James Vince, Hampshire captain said: “We are a bit low on confidence with the bat and we just need a couple of us to make some bigger contributions.

“We have been there or thereabouts in our last couple of games chasing, but we have not had anyone to really stand up to get us 50 or 60 not out to win us the game.

“With the ball I thought we were good, and we were good in the field too, so I was happy at halfway chasing that score on this ground with the size of the boundaries.

“We got ourselves in a position to get ourselves over the line, but it is tough for guys at the end to go in and score straight away.”




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