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Vitality Blast: Latest News, Scores and Updates from today’s matches – September 5th 2020

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

Saturday September 5th 2020

 

Essex Eagles vs Kent Spitfires Vitality Blast 2020 The Kia Oval, London

Kent Spitfires 192/6 beat Essex Eagles 163/7 by 29 runs

Daniel Bell-Drummond continued his awesome Vitality Blast campaign with an impeccable 81 as Kent Spitfires thrashed Essex Eagles at the Kia Oval to hold onto top spot in the South Group.

Spitfires skipper Bell-Drummond is now the second top scorer in the competition, with 228 runs and a fiery strike-rate of 181.

His hitting, along with Alex Blake’s unbeaten half-century, saw Kent to an imperious 193 for six.

And that was enough as Imran Qayyum’s splendid three for 25 saw the Spitfires triumph by 29 runs and continued their unbeaten first half to the tournament.

Bell-Drummond led the innings exceptionally, firstly with Zak Crawley and then Blake, having won the toss and elected to set a total on a warn wicket, with huge boundaries.

The Spitfires skipper has enjoyed an exceptional start to the Blast, putting on at least 49 for the opening wicket with Crawley in all four previous fixtures.

They continued the trend with 83 between them as they attacked the powerplay – scoring 81 off the first six overs, with Bell-Drummond striking eight boundaries off Shane Snater and Matt Quinn.

Bell-Drummond found the mid-wicket region most profitable, with 48 of his runs coming in that quarter of the ground, although cut nicely as his alternative boundary option.

He lost Crawley and Heino Kuhn in quick succession, the former caught off Harmer to a stunning diving catch from Snater and the latter castled, before Blake helped jump the score.

It only took three balls for Blake to pump Aron Nijjar for six over long-on, to start a profitable middle-overs spell for the designated away side.

Blake’s big blows were mimicked by Bell-Drummond, who pulled powerfully to the boundary to reach his 22nd format fifty in 26 balls, before thrashing over mid-wicket for a maximum of his own.

The 64-run stand ended when Bell-Drummond was lbw swinging across the line to Harmer – who was the only Essex bowler to return figures, two for 21, worth boasting about.

Blake continued in Bell-Drummond’s absence, eventually scoring four sixes and two fours, on his way to a 31-ball half-century.

But Kent’s quest to reach 200 fell short though as Jack Leaning, Grant Stewart and Jordan Cox all fell cheaply late on, as Blake ended on an unbeaten 52.

Essex motored out the blocks through the free-swinging Cameron Delport in their chase but regular wickets thwarted their hopes of victory.

The South African reached a quick-fire 28, which included huge sixes over mid-wicket and straight, but fell when he attempted to reverse lap a slower ball from Tim Groenewald.

After his first-innings runs, Bell-Drummond kept himself in the game with a catch at point to dismiss Tom Westley, before Dan Lawrence holed out to long-off – both off Qayyum.

Varun Chopra had held the innings together with 41 off 33, but having been dropped on 39 he was stumped off, again off the left-arm spinner.

Paul Walter was run out, Ryan ten Doeschate – after an enterprising 42 – was caught at cow corner and Simon Harmer was bowled.

Snater and Adam Wheater flailed 20 runs together but fell 29 runs short as they ended on 163 for seven.

Essex Eagles captain Simon Harmer:

“We lacked desperation in the field and with our batting.

“We are not where we need to be in terms of putting in a proper campaign and trying to defend our title.

“We’ve been pretty poor so far and with only a few games left it has made it difficult to push for a play-off place.

“If you look at how Kent bowled they obviously learned from what we did wrong in the powerplay. We could have been more savvy with slower balls, taking pace off and hitting back of a length.

“Whenever our backs are against the wall it gets the best out of the players and that is where we are again.

“It isn’t a great situation to be in but with five games to go there is still an opportunity if games go our way.”

Kent Spitfires captain and batsman Daniel Bell-Drummond:

“It was an awesome both personally and from the team. I was really proud of the guys; we started brilliantly and kept that going through the 40 overs.

“I think the way the game is going you have to keep up with it and I have made a big effort to do that and I have been backed by the management and support start to bat that way.

“I enjoy doing it and I want to continue with it.

“It is great batting with Zak. He has had a brilliant summer but it is great to have him back amongst the guys and it is rubbing off on everyone.

“I am confident in the guys that everyone is hitting their straps well. We just need to stay confident and keep sticking to our plans [to make sure we get through].”


Surrey CCC vs Middlesex Vitality Blast 2020 The Kia Oval, London

 Surrey 116/4 (18.1 overs) beat Middlesex 113/9 (20 overs) by 6 wickets

 Surrey 2pts, Middlesex 0

Ben Foakes and Jamie Smith put together a high-quality unbroken 93-run stand as Surrey beat London rivals Middlesex by six wickets in an otherwise unexpectedly low-scoring affair at the Kia Oval to go second in the Vitality Blast’s south group.

Foakes made 60 not out and Smith an unbeaten 38 in a calm and assured fifth wicket partnership to steer Surrey past Middlesex’s 113 for 9 with an ultimately comfortable 11 balls to spare.

Earlier in the day Kent’s batsmen had pummeled 192 for 6 on the same pitch, in a victory against Essex which saw 355 runs scored, but under lights the second part of Sky Sports’ double-header was for long periods a totally different spectacle.

On a sluggish pitch taking spin, Middlesex struggled badly against Surrey’s trio of slow bowlers but, when Surrey replied, they were also soon 23 for 4 as paceman Steven Finn removed Will Jacks and Laurie Evans in his first two overs and leg spinner Nathan Sowter then sent back Hashim Amla and Rory Burns in a dramatic fifth over.

Foakes, however, hit eight fours in a 50-ball knock full of Test-class strokes on both sides of the wicket, and 20-year-old Smith was almost as good with four boundaries in his 35-ball effort. At halfway, Surrey still had a bit to do at 55 for 4 but Foakes and Smith were more than equal to the challenge in a controlled exhibition of batting under pressure.

Earlier Gareth Batty, Surrey’s 42-year-old captain, picked up 3 for 18 with his off spin, while Jacks took 2 for 16 and did not concede a single boundary in his four overs of off breaks.

Slow left-armer Dan Moriarty was wicketless but bowled tidily, as did left-arm seamer Reece Topley with 1 for 21, while 22-year-old fast bowler Gus Atkinson was also impressive with 2 for 18 from three overs.

Middlesex, after choosing to bat, got off to a poor start with Stephen Eskinazi bowled for 2 by one that turned from Jacks, trying to flail a ball through the off side in the second over.

Martin Andersson, who straight drove Atkinson’s first ball beautifully for four, then drove all round the seamer’s second delivery and was bowled for 7 to leave Middlesex 15 for 2 in the fourth over

Only a wild first over by Jamie Overton, costing 14 and in which Max Holden carved a no ball full toss for four and also pulled fiercely to the boundary, helped Middlesex get to 39 for 2 by the end of the powerplay – but the innings then fell away badly as the Surrey spinners tightened the noose.

Left-hander Holden, having reached a run-a-ball 29, chopped on against Jacks and Batty’s introduction for the 11th over suddenly left Middlesex in real trouble at 63 for 5 as 20-year-old debutant Jack Davies mishit a reverse sweep to point to go for 16 and James Harris was leg-before for 2.

Worse was to follow in Batty’s second over when Dan Lincoln (4) pulled a short ball to deep mid wicket and from 75 for 6 Middlesex limped into three figures as catches in the deep, off Topley and Atkinson respectively, undid both John Simpson (11) and Luke Hollman (17) before Sowter was run out for 3 in the final over attempting a second run to Moriarty’s partial misfield at short fine leg.

Sowter’s evening did get better later when former South Africa star Amla chipped a return catch to him off a leading edge and Burns was leg-before for 0 two balls later, sweeping.

With Finn having hit Jacks a painful blow on the hand, which needed on-field treatment, prior to getting him caught at mid on for 4 off a skier, and then foxing Evans (1) with a slower ball, Surrey were suddenly up against it.

Foakes and Smith, though, showed that batting was still very possible even though Sowter finished with 2 for 16 and Finn 2 for 21.

 

Surrey batsman Ben Foakes said: “The pitch was pretty slow when we batted but we thought it might skid on a bit for us when we batted under the floodlights. Against the spinners it was quite hard to score but we felt it would be easier against the seamers towards the end and that’s how it proved.”

Surrey captain Gareth Batty added: “That was one heck of a partnership between Ben and Jamie, under huge pressure. Jamie is a great young prospect and tonight he accumulated well before playing some bigger shots at the end, while Ben is just a bit of star quality in our batting line-up and it is great to have him back from the Test bubble to hold an innings together. He’s already done it a few times since his return.”

 

Middlesex captain Steven Finn said: “If we had got twenty or more runs on the board it would have been interesting.  I think we showed in the first ten overs that we could have put them under a lot of pressure. We were very competitive in those early overs, and overall we gave it a good shot. Ben Foakes and Jamie Smith both batted really well, and for our younger players it is another step on the learning curve.”

 

 ©Cricket World 2020