Vitality Blast T20 2022: All Matches Sunday July 3rd - Latest News, Scores and Match Reports
Here is all the latest news, scores and match report updates from the Vitality Blast T20 2022: All Matches Sunday July 3rd
Live Scores, Match Reports and Stats - Vitality Blast T20 2022: All Matches Sunday July 3rd
Leicestershire Foxes finished off their Vitality Blast season with a fifth straight win but it was a bitter-sweet victory after it was revealed just hours before the match that they had suffered a two-point deduction as a result of two disciplinary offences committed during their dramatic one-run victory over Northamptonshire Steelbacks on Friday evening, making it impossible for them to qualify for the quarter-finals.
The Foxes finished with 211 for seven from their 20 overs after skipper Colin Ackermann made an unbeaten 72 off 46 balls, backed up by Nick Welch’s rapid 46 in the powerplay and Louis Kimber’s 30 off 11 balls at the death, David Willey taking three for 29 for the Vikings.
In what would have been a play-off for the final quarter-final place from the North Group with Leicestershire just a point behind Yorkshire ahead of the game, but the deduction rendered the result academic, with the Vikings progressing in fourth place despite mustering only 151 for nine in reply.
Rehan Ahmed finished with an impressive three for 17 to total 19 wickets in his debut season, Adam Lyth’s 52 from 25 balls for the Vikings an effort in vain.
The Foxes’ fate was decided by the ECB’s Cricket Discipline Commission on Saturday evening but the announcement was delayed until the Commission’s report was published at 11am on Sunday. The Leicestershire club have offered supporters who had bought tickets but did not attend after hearing that the match was effectively a dead rubber the chance to apply for a refund.
Put in on the same pitch that was in use when they stacked up 215 against the Steelbacks, their highest total of the season, the Foxes looked to be on course for something similar when they raced to 56 for two in the powerplay.
It was almost all down to Welch, who pulled and drove five sixes, two off George Hill, one off David Willey and another couple off Pakistan leg spinner Shadab Khan before he was caught at deep midwicket in the fifth over, having hit his 46 off 23 balls after Lewis Hill had chipped to mid-off in the opening over to fall without scoring.
Lilley, dropped on seven, joined Ackermann as the runs continued to pile up, the Foxes completing half their overs on 97 for two, only just shy of where they had been at the same point on Friday.
Having launched Shadab Khan over long on for long off for six, Lilley edged to short third man for 35 off 23 balls in the 11th and when Willey dismissed Wiaan Mulder, caught at mid-off, and Ben Mike, catching a miscue in his follow-through, with consecutive balls in the 14th, the innings looked at risk of falling away at 131 for five.
Rishi Patel was caught on the cover boundary but after Kimber hit back-to-back sixes off Jordan Thomson before falling to a catch at extra cover in the final over from Willey, Yorkshire’s bowlers leaked 65 off the last four overs.
After that, Yorkshire needed a productive powerplay and got it as Lyth wallopped 52 off 25 balls before top-edging a Naveen ul-Haq bouncer to be caught at fine leg, a 50th Blast wicket in two seasons for the Afghanistan pace bowler. The Vikings opener hit seven fours and two sixes, one each off Naveen and Mulder, who bowled three wides as he conceded 22 in an over.
But 70 for one turned into 86 for three in the ninth and 103 for four in the 11th as the Foxes bowlers fought back, Finn Allen driving Callum Parkinson in the air to mid-off, Rehan Ahmed tossing one up to Tom Kohler-Cadmore, who promptly picked out long off, before Dawid Malan bottom-edged Ackermann into his stumps.
Willey missed a slog-sweep and was leg before Brook skied a catch to the wide long-on boundary off Mulder, who had Jordan Thompson caught behind first ball.
At 124 for seven, Yorkshire’s chance had gone but with the result academic, it mattered little that Shadab Khan and Matthew Revis holed out to Rehan Ahmed as they slid to a 60-run defeat.
Wayne Madsen scored his first T20 century as Derbyshire Falcons finished their Vitality Blast North Group campaign with a record-breaking five wicket victory over Durham at Derby.
Madsen scored a brilliant unbeaten 100 off 47 balls with 11 fours and three sixes as the Falcons completed their highest T20 run chase by cruising to 194 for 5 to set them up for the quarter-finals.
Durham had posted a challenging 193 for 5 through Ollie Robinson’s 43 from 27 balls and Michael Jones’s 42 off 22 with Falcons leg-spinner Mattie McKiernan taking 3 for 29.
But Madsen was at his inventive best and supported by Shan Masood’s 31 off 28 balls and Hilton Cartwright, 38 from 23, the Falcons sealed a ninth group win with five balls to spare.
Durham had lost nine of their previous matches but started well after Jones smashed 19 from the first over by Ben Aitchison who was making his first Blast appearance of the season following a back injury.
The seamer was driven for three consecutive fours before Jones launched him over the long on boundary and with Scott Borthwick finding his range after an uncertain start, Durham were 67 without loss after the powerplay.
But Matt McKiernan shifted the momentum by removing them both in consecutive overs as Borthwick failed to clear long on and Jones drove to long off.
Ashton Turner pulled the leg-spinner for six but fell next ball trying to repeat the shot and it was left to Robinson to pick up the tempo.
After he survived a sharp chance on 20 at backward point, Robinson pulled and drove Alex Hughes and Luis Reece for three sixes as 31 came from the 14th and 15th overs.
Robinson skied Aitchison to long off but Brydon Carse scored 17 from nine balls and Jonathan Bushnell an unbeaten 25 off 20 to take Durham to a competitive total.
The Falcons lost Reece in the first over, lbw playing across the line at Carse, but Masood was soon into his elegant stride, easing the ball to the ropes on both sides of the wicket.
Madsen scooped Ben Raine over the wicketkeeper for six in the fifth over and pulled Nathan Sowter for another before a savage straight drive almost took out Raine on its way to the fence.
The danger signs were flashing for Durham as Madsen tore into Carse, pulling him for four and driving him for a third six to reach 50 off only 25 balls.
Durham had to break the stand and Andrew Tye delivered by trapping Masood lbw in the 10th over which cost only three runs.
Raine struck in the 11th when Leus du Plooy cut to backward point but Cartwright marked his first Blast appearance for the Falcons by driving Borthwick and Sowter for sixes..
Cartwright pulled and cut Tye for two fours and Madsen inflicted further damage in the 16th when he pulled Borthwick for four before the bowler’s shy at the stumps fizzed away to the boundary.
Cartwright was caught at long off but Madsen cruised to his hundred to complete a memorable afternoon for him and the Falcons.
Hampshire warmed up for the Vitality Blast quarter-finals with their ninth victory in ten matches when they beat the Sussex Sharks by five wickets at Hove. For Sussex, it was their eighth defeat in their last nine games.
The only surprise was that Sussex took the game to the final over. Hampshire looked on course for a more comfortable victory when their prolific captain James Vince and Ben McDermott put on 86 for the first wicket, striking at ten runs an over.
But Hampshire’s batting faltered after Vince skied Delray Rawlins to the keeper for a 42-ball 65. After the powerplay some tight bowling from Rashid Khan and Ravi Bopara and a flurry of middle order wickets left them needing 43 off the final five overs and then 39 off the last three.
When that boiled down to 19 off two Sussex were still in the game. But when George Garton was called up to bowl the penultimate over Ross Whiteley and James Fuller thumped it for 15. That meant that leg-spinner Will Beer was on a hiding to nothing when he was called up to bowl the last over, in his last game for the club, with just four runs needed. Fuller cracked the first delivery over midwicket for four.
The match was something of a dead rubber as Hampshire had already qualified for the quarter-finals, while Sussex were out of the competition. For that reason Tom Alsop, originally signed on loan from Hampshire - but recently signed on a permanent basis - was given special permission to play, though ultimately illness meant he was not available.
The Sussex Sussex innings was full of cameos. They lost powerplay wickets and after five overs had scored only 28 runs for two. In the second over the recently prolific Ali Orr skied Brad Wheal to Vince at mid-on. Then Josh Philippe lost his middle stump playing on to Chris Wood, who swung the ball in unpromising conditions.
Sussex red ball captain Tom Haines, playing his first t20 game of the season, and Harrison Ward, took 21 off the sixth over, but then Ward lofted Tom Prest to long on and Haines was stumped charging a googly from Mason Crane. Rawlins swatted two sixes in a 22-ball 29 and Bopara made 35 off 25.
The most entertaining batting came at the end. Garton top-scored with 37 off just 17 deliveries, with three fours and three sixes, one a vast one over long-on. And Rashid Khan scored a typically unorthodox 25 off a dozen balls. Somehow, Sussex had scrambled together a competitive score.
James Kirtley (Sussex coach): “We haven’t been consistently good enough. That’s the brutal truth. The biggest frustration is that we’ve not been able to put out our strongest side. We wanted Tymal Mills to play 11 or 12 games, and we wanted to see more of Luke Wright and George Garton. And we’ve had to juggle our overseas. The South group is also very tough. But there have been plusses. What is encouraging is seeing a player like Ali Orr striking the ball like he did the other night. And Delray Rawlins bowled well throughout the competition and batted really well in the last few games. And Tom Alsop played well.”
James Fuller (Hampshire): “It was important to win the game to keep our momentum going into the quarter-finals. Winning is a habit and we want to keep that habit. We were hitting the ball so well it looked like we might get it done in 15 overs but you can never really think that way when you’ve got a bowler like Rashid Khan to contend with.”
Notts Outlaws missed out on a quarter-final spot in the Vitality Blast for the first time in seven years despite ending the North Group campaign with a five wicket success over Worcestershire Rapids at New Road.
The Outlaws had been an unexpected life-line in their hopes of reaching the last eight after Leicestershire had been deducted two points by the ECB Cricket Discipline Commission.
But it would have needed an Outlaws win, dramatic turn-around in run-rate and for Yorkshire Vikings to lose heavily to Leicestershire for them to claim fourth spot.
Instead they had to settle for completing 2022 with a fourth successive win eight balls to spare.
Jake Ball bowled superbly, during the powerplay and at the conclusion of the innings, on a slowish pitch to take his wicket tally in the tournament to 18.
He was well supported by the spin trio of Sol Budinger, Samit Patel and Calvin Harrison who had combined figures of 3-57 from 10 overs.
Nottinghamshire lost early wickets in the madcap chase to try and achieve their target and in the end needed a half century from Ben Duckett to see them over the finishing line
Worcestershire were reflect on a disappointing campaign in which they won only two matches and finished bottom of the North Group.
Matthew Wade’s decision to pull out of a contract for the entire summer was a major blow, particularly in T20 cricket, and the unavailability of captain Moeen Ali and Dwayne Bravo for the opening four games, all away from home, left them with a mountain to climb.
The Rapids were put into bat and former Nottinghamshire batter, Jake Libby, soon departed after nicking a delivery from Ball.
Colin Munro, in the final innings of his third spell at New Road, looked in good touch and struck Lyndon James for 4-6-4 and also lofted Steven Mullaney over the long on boundary.
But Ball returned to strike twice with Club Captain, Brett D’Oliveira, holing out to mid off and Munro, having made 27 off 14 balls, bowled behind his legs attempting a sweep.
Ball had figures of 3-5 after his opening two overs as the Rapids reached 41-3 by the end of the powerplay.
Rapids captain Moeen Ali, subject to reports linking him with a move to Warwickshire, has struggled to produce his accustomed form during his current spell at New Road.
He looked in decent touch in adding 49 in partnership with Kashif Ali but on 28 picked out long-on off Sol Budinger to end the Rapids campaign with 107 runs from seven knocks.
Kashif slapped the same bowler to cover and Gareth Roderick played back to Samit Patel and was bowled.
It was left to Ed Barnard to provide some late momentum with 38 off 28 balls.
He hit James for two fours and a six in the penultimate over from James before finding Duckett at long on and then Dwayne Bravo became Ball’s fourth victim at deep mid wicket.
Nottinghamshire had to try and reach their target in the shortest time possible in a bid to improve their run rate but lost three early wickets.
Joe Clarke sliced the first delivery from Mitchell Stanley straight into the hands of third man and Sol Budinger, after making 24 off 12 balls, lofted the young pace bowler straight to deep mid wicket.
Alex Hales smashed successive sixes over the mid-wicket boundary off Dillon Pennington but then tried to steer him to third man and was caught behind.
The Outlaws were 68-4 when Steven Mullaney was beaten in the flight and lbw to Bravo
Duckett and James added 52 before the latter tried to hit D’Oliveira over long on and had to depart thanks to the combined efforts of Libby and Barnard on the boundary.
But Duckett played sensibly to complete a 39 ball fifty and ended unbeaten on 62 to finish as the Outlaws leading scorer with 396 runs.
The Rapids players wore shirts in support of the Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust, the Club’s Official Charity Partner for 2022.
Left-arm spinner Tom Hartley hit two sixes as Lancashire secured a home quarter-final in the Vitality Blast with a dramatic two-wicket victory over Birmingham Bears at Emirates Old Trafford.
Needing 13 off the final over, Hartley’s second maximum had given his side a sniff of victory and but the win was only confirmed when Richard Gleeson edged a front-foot no-ball from Henry Brookes to the boundary to settle matters with two balls to spare. Hartley finished unbeaten on 18 but the result was hard on the Bears’ Olly Stone who took a career-best four for 21.
The result means that Lancashire will entertain Essex on Friday whereas the Bears, who finished top of the North Group, will take on Hampshire at Edgbaston on Thursday.
In the first innings of the game Birmingham scored only a modest 39 runs in their Powerplay and lost three wickets in doing so. The first of these was that of the former Lancashire favourite, Alex Davies, who was caught at slip by Keaton Jennings off Richard Gleeson for five, but the real damage was done in Hartley’s first over, the fifth of the innings.
Having made nine, Sam Hain miscued Hartley’s second ball to Dane Vilas at mid-off and then Paul Stirling, who made 12, sliced the left-arm spinner’s fifth delivery to Gleeson at third man. Chris Benjamin and Adam Hose rebuilt the innings, Benjamin taking 10 runs off two balls from Hartley, but Birmingham were only 73 for three at the midpoint of their 20-over allocation.
Benjamin and Hose put on 63 for the fourth wicket without breaking the shackles imposed on them by Vilas’s bowlers and Benjamin was bowled for 35 in the 13th over when he dragged a Luke Wells delivery onto his stumps. Matters improved for the Bears when Dan Mousley pulled Luke Wood for successive sixes and the left-hander had made 41 off 20 balls when he was bowled by Wells, who finished with two for 35 from his four overs.
Carlos Brathwaite was caught on the point boundary off Gleeson for six before both Adam Hose and Henry Brookes were run out by throws from Phil Salt in the final over of the innings. However, Hose’s 39-ball 50, which contained two sixes but no fours, had helped Birmingham post a defendable 168 for 8 in 20 overs. Gleeson ended with two for 23 and Hartley took two for 32.
Lancashire’s reply began moderately when they scored six more runs than their opponents had managed in their Powerplay but lost two wickets in doing so. Olly Stone did the damage in the space of three balls, Keaton Jennings skying him to Danny Briggs at backward point and Steven Croft miscuing a drive to Carlos Brathwaite at mid-off and departing for a second-ball nought.
Any thoughts that Vilas and Salt had seized control of the match with a 67-run stand for the third wicket were dispelled when both were dismissed in successive overs. Vilas was leg before to Danny Briggs for 42 and Salt was caught at long on off Stone for 33.
The vital wicket of Tim David fell to Jake Lintott, who had the Singaporean caught at long off by Benjamin for only 12 in the 14th over at the end of which Lancashire needed 60 off 36 balls. That seemed unlikely until Hartley got out the long handle.
Dane Vilas, Lancashire captain, said:
Importantly we’ve kept the right environment in the changing room even when we’ve had losses this season.
The good thing to see in those losses, bar one or two, is that they have been very tight games. We’ve played good cricket but sometimes just haven’t got over the line.
So when we get over the line in a tight game, that’s good for us. So important we just play the right sort of cricket. The crowd tonight were great and gave us great support. It’s so good to hear the cheer of Lanky, Lanky, going up! It gives you a real pump to hear it.
My aim was to help Phil Salt and add a bit of impetus. It was just unfortunate that I got out at the time at a crucial stage. But I was happy with what we were chasing.
[On losing players to England for the Q-F)
It’s always difficult when you have to rejig your side but we’ve been in this situation before and we know what’s coming. We’ve got guys who want to come in and it will be an opportunity for them.
We thought about picking the players who’ll be playing in the quarter-finals but we wanted to make certain we got a home quarter-final and we’ve done that.
Carlos Brathwaite, Birmingham Bears captain, said:
Olly [Stone, career-best 4-20 T20 figures] Olly has been sensational all season. We actually asked him to rest but we wanted to go and he was ready to go. I’m very pleased for him.
I didn’t think our score was too far off par to be honest. Perhaps the wicket was a little slower than we had been used to but you can’t and blitz it for 240 every time. Maybe we left a few runs out there and I thought it was important we lost a few wickets in the final two overs.
A couple of extra boundaries may have made all the difference. If we’d got to 175, perhaps we would have won the game but just came short.
Glamorgan have thrashed the Kent Spitfires by 35 runs in their final Vitality Blast game of the season at Canterbury.
The death overs proved fatal for Kent, as an unbeaten stand of 95 between Dan Douthwaite and Billy Root turned the game on its head, steering Glamorgan to 190 for five. The visitors had been 95 for five in the 14th over, but Douthwaite smashed 51 not out in and Root ended unbeaten on 38.
Qais Ahmad took two for 36, but dropped catches and indifferent bowling that gifted the visitors 20 extras meant the total was at least 30 runs higher than it could have been.
James McIlroy then took three for 31 as the Spitfires were bowled out for 155, Darren Stevens the top scorer with 34. The defeat means the reigning champions finish bottom of the South Group just a year after winning the competition.
A crowd of around 3000 witnessed the dead rubber at the St Lawrence, with Glamorgan unable to finish higher than sixth and Kent looking to avoid matching their worst ever Blast season, when they won just three matches in 2013.
The visitors chose to bat and were 46 without loss at the end of the powerplay, but lost Tom Bevan for 21, lbw to Qais Ahmad attempting to reverse sweep, before Matt Milnes bowled Sam Northeast for 33.
Qais switched to the Nackington Road End and immediately bowled Chris Cooke for one and Colin Ingram was out for 26 when Grant Stewart sent his off stump flying.
Jack Leaning then had Eddie Byrom caught by George Linde at backward point for a second ball duck but Qais’s final over, the 16th, was expensive, going for 16, including a reverse swept six by Root.
The indifferent fielding that has dogged Kent throughout their Blast defence continued with two drops in Milnes’ 17th over. Root skied one to Tawanda Muyeye, who seemed blinded by the late evening sun, before Douthwaite was spilled by an inrushing Leaning.
The 19th over had a whiff of Stuart Broad’s record-breaking calamity at Edgbaston the previous day. Root hit Milnes’ first ball for six and was then caught by Muyeye off a no-ball. A further no ball and five wides saw the Welsh side cash in with 22 from the over.
Fred Klaassen’s final over was nearly as gruesome, going for 19 and Kent’s chase got off to an equally dismal start when Joe Denly was run out by Root in the first over.
Muyeye cracked three elegant boundaries but then swiped Jamie McIlroy to Byrom and was out for 13, before Jordan Cox fell for one, pulling James Weighell to Ingram at mid-wicket.
Alex Blake hit his 100th Blast six when he hammered Douthwaite over cow corner, but when Leaning chipped a return catch to Salter for 10 Kent, were 46 for four.
Stevens’ return after a lengthy injury lay-off produced the biggest cheer of the night but this was a rescue act beyond even him, although he did flick Prem Sisodiya for a six that nearly cleared the flats on the Old Dover Road side.
Blake went down swinging for 32, skying a Salter delivery to Northeast and Stevens’ cameo ended when he hit a Douthwaite full toss to Bevan on the boundary.
Grant Stewart offered some fight 23 from 10 before he hit Sisodiya to Bevan and Qais had his stumps splayed by McIlroy for four. McIlroy then had Linde caught by Root for 21 and Glamorgan’s victory was sealed when Milnes hit Douthwaite to long off and Bevan held his third catch of the innings.
Glamorgan's Matthew Maynard: “”It was a nice way to end the campaign, but we’re all disappointed in there that we haven’t managed to qualify. There were one or two games when we couldn’t get it over the line and that ultimately is the game of T20 cricket, you know? To come here against the champions, the way Dan Douthwaite and Billy Root batted was superb and it gave us a platform to put such a good total on the board on a slowish wicket.
“We’re very pleased to end this way but the guys are gutted we’re not going to be making Finals Day either.
“It just shows that if you get a partnership that goes deeper, rather than 30 or 40, if you’re getting 70 or 80 it’s amazing how the runs come. We saw that last night and we saw it tonight as well, it’s just the way it is. They were ahead, way ahead after 15 overs, but the way we finished there was terrific.”
Kent’s coach Matthew Walker said: “We finished how we started really and a lot in between. It’s pretty obvious where we lost this game. We were brilliant up to 13 and a half overs, I thought we were outstanding with the ball and were really back to our best, especially our seamers. I thought we bowled really well and I think 150 was about right, but those last seven overs cost us 100 runs and some of it was our own doing. Some of it wasn’t but there were missed opportunities and missed catches, which is never a good thing when you’re trying to squeeze a side.
“We were really only a couple of wickets away from getting into their tail. We gave them an opportunity to make us pay and they did. When you lose three wickets in the powerplay it’s very difficult to wrestle it back from that situation. There was a bit of huff and puff and some decent cameos, but nothing of substance, which you need when you're chasing 190.
“We had to gamble a bit and people had to chase down 12, 13 and over and we came well shot. We’re extremely disappointed with how today went and how the whole campaign went. It’s not what I’d hoped for and not what I’d expect. We know this division’s very difficult, we know you’ve got to play really good cricket to get through the qualifying stages and if you miss out having played good cricket you accept that, but I don’t think we’ve really played our best cricket. On a few occasions we did against some good sides, but overall we’ve got a lot to talk about and a lot to think about.”
Glenn Phillips went out on a high, scoring a brilliant 52 from 39 balls as Gloucestershire successfully chased a victory target of 164 with one ball to spare to defeat Middlesex by five wickets in a dramatic finish to their final Vitality Blast match of the season at the Seat Unique Stadium in Bristol.
Overseas star Phillips and Jack Taylor added 81 for the fifth wicket in nine overs as the home side recovered from 73-4 in the 11th over to set-up a grandstand finish. And Benny Howell finished things off in fine style, hitting Tom Helm for six off the penultimate ball to snatch a victory that sees Gloucestershire finish fifth in the South Group.
Middlesex earlier won the toss and raised 163-4, Matt Holden contributing a quickfire 37 and Stephen Eskinazi carrying his bat to post a useful 65 not out. But Howell and Smith returned tidy figures to keep the visitors within sight, both taking a wicket and conceding just 45 runs in eight overs between them.
Holden provided Middlesex with a turbo-charged start to their innings, crashing 37 from 19 balls and dominating an opening stand of 57 in 4.3 overs with Eskinazi. The left-hander combined clean hitting with clever improvisation to accrue half a dozen fours and a six, taking advantage of some loose bowling to help the visitors raise 50 from 23 balls.
Gloucestershire held their nerve, weathered the early storm and breathed a collective sigh of relief when Holden miss-timed a drive off Glenn Phillips and holed out to Tom Price at long-off. Tom Smith had Joe Cracknell held at backward square leg on his way to figures of 1-22 from four overs, while Benny Howell bowled John Simpson to reduce Middlesex to 74-3 in the ninth, at which point three wickets had fallen for the addition of 18 runs in four overs.
Playing a captain's innings, Eskinazi set his sights on carrying his bat, sharing a stand of 64 in 8.5 overs with Josh De Caires to repair the damage and at least ensure Middlesex posted a competitive total. It may not have been spectacular fare - his 50 occupied 46 balls - but his innings exerted a steadying influence upon a team that has struggled to find a winning formula in the short format this summer.
Attempting to force the issue in the closing overs, De Caires skied Jack Taylor to Howell at short extra cover for 24 as Gloucestershire's bowlers kept a lid on things, Howell returning impressive figures of 1-23 from four overs. Eskinazi finished unbeaten on 65 from 55 balls, managing just 2 fours and a brace of sixes in a pragmatic knock which proved effective rather than memorable.
Gloucestershire's reply made a stuttering start, openers George Scott and Chris Dent departing cheaply in a six-over powerplay that saw the hosts limp to 38-2 in the face of nagging accuracy from Max Harris and Tom Helm. Harris then accounted for James Bracey, the Bristolian holing out to deep mid-wicket in pursuit of a second successive maximum as the hosts slipped to 52-3 in the eighth over.
Phillips and Miles Hammond advanced the score to 72-3 at halfway, at which point Gloucestershire required a further 92 runs to win at 9.2 an over. Under pressure to accelerate, Hammond promptly pulled Thilan Walawallita to deep mid-wicket as Middlesex further turned the screw. Chris Green, Luke Hollman and Walawallita took the pace off to good effect during the middle part of the innings as the required rate climbed to above ten an over for the first time.
In his last appearance for Gloucestershire before teaming up with the New Zealand tourists, Phillips responded by driving Walawallita for six over long-on and then plundering another leg-side maximum off Jason Behrendorff, while Taylor played second fiddle and rotated the strike expertly to keep the home side in the hunt.
With 31 needed off three overs and the fifth wicket pair well-established, Gloucestershire must have fancied their chances of completing the job. Pacing his innings to perfection, Phillips smashed Helm back over his head for a straight six as the target came down to 21 off two overs.
Phillips went to 50 via 37 balls, but Green conceded just eight runs off the penultimate over, leaving Gloucestershire to score 13 off the last to win. Helm responded magnificently under pressure, having Phillips caught at deep mid-wicket to put the outcome in doubt. But Howell remained cool as a cucumber. smiting the penultimate delivery for an almighty six over long-on to win the day.
Middlesex captain Stephen Eskinazi said: "It's a young side and there has definitely been progress this season. But no-one is pretending we have played well enough in T20 for a club of our size or expectation. There have been some big nights and the players will learn from their experiences. This game was another one of those learning curves. I thought 163 was about a par score on a worn wicket and we had to play smart cricket rather than just be aggressive and hit them up. Our strength is in taking the pace off in the middle overs and I felt we did that quite well today. Unfortunately, it is also Gloucestershire's strength and they did it slightly better than we did."
Gloucestershire overseas signing Glenn Phillips said: "It was a good way to go out and important to give the supporters the exciting finish and result they deserve. Benny Howell was brilliant in that last over and that's the kind of thing that keeps fans coming back for the next season. I felt 163 was a par score and we had some quality bowling from Tom Smith and Benny Howell to thanks for pulling the game back after Middlesex made such a good start. I always felt the run chase was in hand, although we couldn't risk going after their spinners too early after losing three early wickets. Ten an over is basically a boundary and a single off almost every other ball, and that's what we managed to do."
Will Smeed fell two short of a first Vitality Blast century as Somerset made sure of a home quarter-final with a 47-run win over South Group winners Surrey at the Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.
The 20-year-old opener smashed 10 fours and 5 sixes in his 51-ball innings, sharing a scintillating third-wicket stand of 165 in 12.3 overs with skipper Tom Abell, who hit 70, to help the hosts reach 218 for eight after losing the toss.
In reply, Surrey posted 171, Chris Jordan making a career-best 73, from 35 balls, with 7 fours and 4 sixes, only Laurie Evans (39) offering any meaningful support. Craig Overton returned four for 25.
The result meant Somerset finished runners-up to their opponents in the group. Abell joined Smeed in the fourth over, which had seen Tom Banton run himself out for nine, attempting a second run, and Rilee Rossouw caught in the deep second ball.
Surrey could feel satisfied at the end of the six-over powerplay, reached with the home side 44 for two.
But the next ten and a half overs saw Smeed and Abell smite 150, clearing the ropes eight times between them. Their partnership also yielded 17 fours.
Smeed brought up a 29-ball fifty in the tenth over and the century stand was completed three overs later from 53 deliveries.
Abell lost nothing in comparison with his partner and moved to a half-century off 27 balls in the 14th over, sent down by Cameron Steel, which cost 23.
Somerset looked on course for 250 until Reece Topley returned to have the captain caught at deep backward square, having faced 51 deliveries, and Smeed followed in the same over, miscuing a catch to deep mid-wickct.
At that point, Somerset were 197 for four with three overs to build. But Topley finished with a creditable two for 26, while Atkinson and Jordan, who claimed three wickets in the final over, ensured only 21 were added.
Surrey made a disastrous start to their innings, Overton having Will Jacks and Tom Curran caught at mid-on off the second and fourth balls of the opening over.
The seamer followed up by having Jamie Smith taken at slip in the third over to leave the visitors 11 for three.
Evans and Jordan addressed a potentially embarrassing situation with aplomb. When Jordan hit Lewis Gregory for 6,6,4,6 in a ninth over that cost 23, his side were back in the game.
Evans had faced 32 balls, hitting 3 fours and 2 sixes, when Roelof van der Merwe had him caught at long-off in the tenth over, which ended with Surrey 94 for four.
Jordan breezed to his maiden Blast fifty off 22 balls, with 5 fours and 2 sixes, but it never looked like being enough.
There was a nice sub-plot in the 14th over when Overton bowled to twin brother Jamie, who had struck him with a bouncer and forced him to retire from the LV= Insurance County Championship clash between the sides at Taunton this season.
Revenge was sweet when Jamie edged the fifth delivery though to wicketkeeper Tom Banton and Craig celebrated football-style.
When Jordan fell to Peter Siddle in the 17th over, caught at deep extra cover by George Bartlett, substituting for Abell, who had injured himself batting, Surrey’s race was run.
Atkinson was unable to bat as his side suffered only their third group defeat.
©Cricket World 2022