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Vitality Blast Quarter Finals – Latest News and Match Reports

Leicestershire Foxes miss out on Finals day
Leicestershire Foxes miss out on Finals day

All the latest news and match results from the Vitality Blast Quarter Finals today......

Notts Outlaws, Surrey, Lancashire Lightning and Gloucestershire are through to the Vitality Blast Finals Day at the Weekend....


Thursday October 1st 2020

Surrey vs Kent

Surrey 169/2 (20 overs) beat Kent Spitfires 113/7 (20 overs) by 56 runs at the Kia Oval


Will Jacks took 4 for 15 to destroy Kent’s star-studded top order at the Kia Oval as Surrey outclassed Kent Spitfires in all departments to win their Vitality Blast quarter-final by 56 runs and reach Finals Day for the first time since 2014.

Jacks’ off spin brought him his T20-best figures and reduced Kent initially to 51 for 4, and they could eventually only make 113 for 7 in reply to a Surrey total of 169 for 2 in which Hashim Amla and Jason Roy both hit controlled and classy half-centuries.

Exploiting a used pitch expertly, Jacks – who had earlier finished on a quickfire 23 not out from 18 balls – began by dismissing both Daniel Bell-Drummond and Zak Crawley in his first over, the second of Kent’s reply.

Bell-Drummond inside-edged a sweep on to his pad for keeper Ben Foakes to take a simple catch as the ball looped up into the air, and then Crawley – having swept Dan Moriarty’s left-arm spin for an opening four – bottom-edged an attempted cut to Foakes to go for 7.

The 21-year-old all-rounder did get hit for a straight six by Joe Denly in his second over but, brought back for the 8th over, Jacks had Denly caught at deep midwicket for 16 from a mistimed smear.

Then, in the 10th over, he left Kent with little hope by bowling Sam Billings for 18 with a ball that turned sharply past the England one-day batsman’s attempted sweep.

Billings had got off the mark with a pulled six off Reece Topley, in the 5th over, but at no stage did Kent look capable of chasing down their victory target. Jack Leaning top-scored with a 28-ball 34 before falling to a fine catch by Rory Burns on the deep mid wicket ropes off Topley from the last ball of the penultimate over.

Alex Blake got to 14 before pulling Moriarty to deep mid wicket in the 13th over and Grant Stewart was sixth out, caught in the deep off Gareth Batty for 10 as Surrey, who qualified for the knock-out matches by topping the South Group, comfortably completed an eighth successive Blast victory.

Batty’s off breaks earned him 1 for 21 from his four overs and Moriarty took 1 for 24; in total, 12 overs of spin had brought Surrey six wickets for 60 runs.

Surrey’s 169 for 2 was based on an opening stand of 115 between Roy and Amla that was fluent throughout even though they never quite broke free of a limited but dogged Kent attack in which Denly’s four overs of leg spin for 24 runs stood out.

Amla struck a six and nine fours in his unbeaten 73 from 53 balls, while Roy’s 56 took him 42 balls and included eight fours. He took two fours in Denly’s first over, as the powerplay brought 50 runs, and also two fours in Imran Qayyum’s opening over, while Amla pierced the field almost at will in his stylish knock.

Roy and Amla were not parted until the 13th over, with Roy skying Qayyum’s slow left arm towards long on and Blake jogging in to take the catch.

It was a great platform for Surrey to build on but Qayyum then had Laurie Evans caught by Blake for 7 in similar fashion in his next over and both Tim Groenewald and Fred Klaassen conceded just four runs from the 16th and 19th overs respectively.

Jacks did crunch Qayyum over extra cover for two fours in the 17th over, giving the bowler final figures of 2 for 34, and both he and Amla took fours off Stewart’s 18th over – Amla with a beautiful checked drive high over mid off.

The first six of Surrey’s innings did not arrive, however, until the second ball of the last over when Amla seized on a Groenewald slower ball to hit it sweetly over the wide long off ropes. Groenewald, though, finished the over well as 88 runs came from the second half of the innings.

It proved more than enough and Surrey will now try to win the Twenty20 title for the first time since they became inaugural winners of the competition in 2003.




Gloucestershire vs Northamptonshire

Gloucesteshire 114/3 beat Northamptonshire Steelbacks 113 by seven wickets at the Bristol County Ground 


Gloucestershire romped to their first T20 Finals Day since 2007 with a seven-wicket Vitality Blast quarter-final annihilation of Northamptonshire Steelbacks at the Bristol County Ground. 

The visitors could post only 113 all out after winning the toss, Tom Taylor top-scoring with 27. Benny Howell claimed three for 16 and Ryan Higgins three for 24. 

In reply, Gloucestershire breezed to 114 for three with more than eight overs to spare, Chris Dent leading the way with 40 and Ian Cockbain contributing an unbeaten 30. 

It is hard to imagine a more emphatic victory and the West country side, who have now won eight of their last nine Blast games, need fear no one in Saturday’s Finals at Edgbaston. 

There were two wickets each for David Payne and Graeme van Buuren as Gloucestershire produced a T20 masterclass in supporting skilful bowling with immaculate fielding on a sunny, but crisp October afternoon. 

They were all over the Northants batsmen from the opening over of the game, which saw Paul Stirling caught at mid-wicket off Payne’s fifth delivery without scoring. 

Only two boundaries were scored in the first six-over power-play, which also saw Richard Levi depart for 14, bowled by left-arm spinner van Buuren, and ended with Northants 29 for two. 

Tom Smith and Howell then applied the mid-innings squeeze on the batsmen, which has become Gloucestershire’s trademark. Josh Cobb was bowled aiming a big hit off Howell, who alse sent back Adam Rossington, caught of a skyer at mid-wicket. 

At the midway point for their innings, Northants were becalmed on 53 for four. Smith finished his four overs, having conceded just 24 runs. 

Rob Keogh became Howell’s third victim and van Buuren clean bowled Saif Zaib. When Luke Procter, on 18, drove a catch to cover off Higgins it was 80 for seven. 

Taylor at last cleared the ropes with two defiant sixes off Higgins, who claimed two of the last three wickets as the Steelbacks’ sorry innings, which ended in the final over, featured only 5 fours. 

That didn’t deter Gloucestershire opener Miles Hammond, who reverse swept a six off only the second delivery of his side’s reply, bowled by Cobb. 

As if contemptuous of the Northants total, Hammond and Dent wasted no time going on the attack and took the score to 30 after three overs, 13 coming from the third, bowled by Taylor. 

The pair had put together a stand of 48 in only 4.3 overs when Nathan Buck had Hammond caught at mid-off, having struck 20 off 10 balls. 

By then Dent was already on 28, having cleared the ropes off Buck, and the outcome was all but settled. 

After six overs the scoreboard read 59 for one, with only 55 needed. Dent fell with the total on 74, caught behind off White. having faced 25 balls and hit 6 fours and a six. 

It made no difference to Gloucestershire’s approach. James Bracey fell cheaply to White, but Cockbain is among the leading run-scorers in the competition and runs were soon flowing from his bat again. 

The 33-year-old Merseysider has never looked in better form than this season and scored his runs off 20 balls, with 4 fours.  

Higgins finished the game with four successive boundaries off White as Gloucestershire reached their target in just 11.5 overs. 


Sussex vs Lancashire

Hove: Lancashire 140-8 (20 overs) beat Sussex 95 (17.2 overs) by 45 runs


Lancashire Lightning reached Vitality Blast finals day for the eighth time after thrashing Sussex Sharks by 45 runs in a low-scoring game at Hove.

The 2015 champions will face the winners of the Nottinghamshire-Leicestershire quarter-final later today in the second of Saturday’s semis at Edgbaston and they will fancy their chances if they encounter a pitch similar to the slow surface their bowlers relished here.

Sussex appeared to be favourites when Lancashire were restricted 140 for eight after being put in, but their attack – particularly spinners Matt Parkinson, Tom Hartley and Liam Livingstone – did such an outstanding job that Sussex were dismissed for 95, their lowest total in the competition since 2011, in 17.2 overs.

Only Luke Wright (36) offered much resistance but when he became Livingstone’s second victim in the 13th over – well caught by the diving Steven Croft at long-off for 36 – their last five wickets subsided for just 18 runs in 19 balls.  

Leg-spinner Parkinson took three of them in four balls in the 15th over and, between them, Lancashire’s spinners finished with combined figures of eight for 50 from 9.2 overs.

Although Phil Salt hit the first ball of the reply for four, it was one of only four boundaries in the first half of Sussex’s innings. Salt fell to Saqib Mahmood’s first delivery and neither Delray Rawlins (6), Ravi Bopara (9) or David Wiese, who hit the only six of the innings, couldn’t give Wright the support he needed. Even the normally free-scoring Sussex captain found it difficult to time the ball, but he hit four of only seven boundaries in the innings from 35 balls faced.

Lancashire has been restricted to 140 for eight after being put in but the runs scored by the experienced Croft (41) and skipper Dane Vilas (40) were to prove crucial.

Wright employed six bowlers in the first nine overs on a hybrid pitch offered little pace and it was only when Croft and Vilas added 43 in 5.2 overs for the fourth wicket that Lancashire were able to find any momentum.

Sussex restricted them to 34 from the power-play while also removing Livingstone, who hit Ollie Robinson for two sixes before succumbing to Robinson’s yorker, and Keaton Jennings (5), who drove George Garton’s slower ball to mid-on.

Alex Davies, Lancashire’s leading scorer in this year’s Blast with 284 runs, was unusually subdued, making 16 off 19 balls before falling in the tenth over to an excellent diving catch by Wiese running in from the square leg boundary.

Croft hit three sixes in six balls off Delray Rawlins and Robinson only to succumb looking to hit Garton over deep square in the 15th over and, after a heavy shower had forced the players off for 30 minutes, Lancashire lost two wickets in the first over following the resumption to Tymal Mills, while Vilas was deceived by Garton’s slower ball in the final over, having made 40 off 28 balls. Garton took his tally to 14 wickets, including 11 in his last three games, with 3 for 28.


Nottinghamshire vs Leicestershire

Notts Outlaws scraped through to their fourth Vitality Blast Finals Day in five years in the most dramatic fashion with victory over Leicestershire Foxes at Trent Bridge.

Both sides scored 139 for seven from their 20 over allocation but the Outlaws progress ‘on countback’ having scored more runs than their opponents during the initial six over powerplay.

At the start of the match the Foxes were reduced to seven for two and only had 22 runs on the board after six overs.

Harry Swindells and Colin Ackermann revived their spirits with a fourth wicket stand of 66.

Ackermann cleared the ropes on three occasions but then paddled Matt Carter’s first delivery into the hands of Chris Nash at short fine leg to depart for 43, made from only 33 deliveries.

Lewis Hill made 17 from only 12 balls before falling to Dan Christian, shortly after Swindells brought up his 50 from 39 deliveries.

Christian finished with two for 24 and Jake Ball collected two for 30 for the hosts.

Notts lost Alex Hales for only nine at the start of their chase, bowled by a peach of a delivery from Callum Parkinson that pitched on middle and leg and took out the off stump.

Despite that setback the runs flowed from the bat of Joe Clarke and his power hitting ensured that Notts had 42 on the board after six overs – crucial at the end of the day.

Clarke hit three sixes, one a huge blow onto the top tier of the Hound Road Stand, before holing out for 35.

Nash, playing his final innings at Trent Bridge before leaving Notts, made just 17 and the middle order began to fall behind the rate after a slump from 58 for one to 67 for four.

Tom Moores hit 26 but was then bowled by Ackermann, who followed it with the wicket of Christian to collect figures of three for 27. Gavin Griffiths took three for 21 and when he removed Steven Mullaney it appeared as if the Foxes were heading back to their first Finals Day since 2011.

With only seven balls left Notts still required 17, with Samit Patel and Imad Wasim together at the crease. Patel hit the ball straight to Arron Lilley at deep midwicket but inexplicably the fielder took his eye off the ball and it went through his legs for four.

In the final over Patel hit Will Davis for a huge six over extra cover, leaving four needed from three balls.

One came from the penultimate delivery but then more heartbreak for the Foxes as Dieter Klein mis-fielded the final ball of the match, allowing a second, decisive run to be taken to tie the scores.

Notts celebrated, already aware that the countback counted in their favour, and advance through to a meeting with North Group rivals Lancashire Lightning at Edgbaston on Saturday.


Colin Ackermann (Leics captain)

“Obviously that’s a bitter pill for us to swallow. We felt we’d done enough to win, although we thought that wewere probably 10 or 15 runs short with the bat.

“The fight and character we showed was outstanding and to put Notts under pressure right to the end was phenomenal for us.

“We’ve shown great growth this season and everyone has contributed. We’ve had the youngest side in the competition and have learnt a lot this year.”

Dan Christian (Notts captain)

“I thought I was packing my bags and heading off home because we’ve got away with one there. But it helps when you’ve got people with the experience of Samit Patel and Imad Wasim coming in down the order at number eight and nine.

“We’ve got the experience down there and it was just enough for us to get over the line – or at least to get to the tie which was enough.

“Credit to all the staff for this, we stuck to our plans with the ball. I thought it was fantastic and would have taken 140 at the start of the day.

“We’ll take tomorrow off now, rest up, have a big breath and chat to the analyst about how we approach Saturday.”

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