Vitality Blast T20 match results and reactions from today’s matches – 14th August

Alex Davies hits 75  for Lancashire Lightning
Alex Davies hits 75 for Lancashire Lightning
©@lancscricket
 

All the Vitality Blast T20 match results and reactions from today’s matches…

Essex v Middlesex, South Group County Ground, Chelmsford 

Game abandoned without a ball bowled

Middlesex missed the chance to move to the top of the Vitality Blast South Group as their clash with Essex Eagles was washed out.

The Eagles and Middlesex had never previously seen a T20 game between each other rained off, while the wash out between the two counties at Chelmsford came in the 1985 John Player Special League.

The latest start time, for a five overs-a-side smash out, would have been 9.27pm but after steady rain throughout Wednesday at the Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford, the outfield proved too wet to start.

The umpires eventually abandoned the match at 7.50pm.

Dawid Malan’s side have enjoyed their best campaign for three years having won six of their opening nine fixtures, and sit two points adrift of leaders Sussex.

That form has been underpinned by Malan and overseas star AB de Villiers’ combined 623 runs, although the South African was unavailable for the trip to Essex.

Instead, new signing, Pakistan batsman Mohammad Hafeez, was due to make his Middlesex debut.

Mystery spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s spell in north-west London has now come to an end, after seven wickets, and a superb economy, in nine matches, after he was recalled by Afghanistan.

On the other hand, Essex have struggled to get their Blast campaign flowing, with only two victories stunting their hopes of progression.

Rain has prevented the Eagles from gaining momentum, with this their third no result of the year.

Essex only need to wait until Friday to get back to Blast action, when they face Glamorgan at the Cloudfm County Ground.

While Middlesex’s next outing comes against Sussex in the Specsavers County Championship, starting on Sunday, before returning to the Blast a week on Thursday vs Hampshire at Lord’s.

Kent v Glamorgan, South Group St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury

Kent’s Vitality Blast south group clash with Glamorgan was abandoned without a ball being bowled in rain-sodden Canterbury.

Despite the best efforts of the ground staff at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, constant, heavy drizzle ensured that match officials Jeremy Lloyds and Ben Debenham had little option but to call the game off at 8pm with the sides sharing one point apiece.

With six wins, Kent remain in the top four qualification berths after suffering their first wash-out of the campaign, while winless Glamorgan remain rooted to the bottom having suffered their third abandonment.

WHAT’S NEXT: Kent start their 168th Canterbury Week fixtures with the visit of high-flying Sussex for a crucial south group local derby. As for Glamorgan, they stay on the road looking for their first win and make the short journey to New Writtle Street, Chelmsford to take on Essex.

Northamptonshire v Lancashire, North Group County Ground, Northampton

Result

Northamptonshire Steelbacks 157 - for 7 wickets

Lancashire Lightning 160 - for 2 wickets

Lancashire Lightning win by 8 wickets

Alex Davies led Lancashire home with a season’s best unbeaten 75 in a simple chase of 158 to beat Northamptonshire by eight wickets at Wantage Road.

 The disastrous weather that affected much of the UK throughout Wednesday surprisingly left Northampton by mid-afternoon and Lancashire took advantage to extend their lead at the top of the North Group of the Vitality Blast to five points with four matches remaining.

 Davies had been short of form in the competition but got the chase off to a perfect start with three consecutive boundaries off Ben Sanderson. He then swept Graeme White’s final ball of the seventh over, one of eight boundaries in his seventh T20 fifty, this in 38 balls.

 As ever, Davies’ running between the wickets was sublime and demoralised Northants with many scampered twos, showing tremendous awareness of the field. Later in the chase, captain Dane Vilas joined in the dashing, taking two straight to third man in what proved to be the final over.

 Vilas, like Steven Croft before him, arrived after Northants had been offered a little hope and immediately kept the chase right on track with clever batting. Vilas struck the winning boundary through the legs of Alex Wakely at deep square as Lancashire waltzed home with nine balls to spare.

 Liam Livingstone played his part with 22 in 10 balls, slamming Nathan Buck’s first ball over long-on for six and carving a boundary over cover before holing out to deep midwicket. Croft made a run-a-ball 27, showing great wrists to work the bowling around, before being yorked by Faheem Ashraf. The Pakistani did his job again for Northants but was the only bowler who threatened.

 Northants fell to a fourth defeat but still remain in the mix for qualification with five games to play. Here, having been sent in, their 157 for 7 always looked short. 

 Richard Levi pulled and flicked James Faulkner for two boundaries in the opening over and then pulled Saqib Mahmood for a a third four but trying to flick Faulkner as he changed ends, got a leading edge to third man to fall for 18. Josh Cobb then dragged his sixth ball to deep square to fall for a duck as Northants finished the Powerplay on 41 for 2.

 Adam Rossington provided  some momentum. He pulled his first ball for four and whipped Danny Lamb wide of deep square to end the 10th over with another boundary as Northants reached 69 for 2 at half-way. But trying to target Livingstone’s leg-spin, picked out long-on and fell for 40 in 32 balls.

 The home side then ate up too many balls in the middle overs and were 104 for 4 after 16 overs. Finally Northants broke the shackles as Dwaine Pretorius swung Matt Parkinson over long-on and deep midwicket for sixes in the penultimate over and Rob Keogh also cleared the fence as 29 runs came in overs 17, 18 and 19. But Faulkner went for only four, and took two wickets, in the final set and Lancashire’s batsmen backed the effort up in some style.

David Ripley said:

“We were battered really. Our batting was very patchy. Our Powerplay was two sided. We had a slump in the middle and were grateful to a burst at the then to make the score we did.

“We’ve had a couple of games here when that score has been competitive but from the first ball we were never in it and Alex Davies bringing the stump in was a painful lesson for us.

 “With hindsight we could have brought the boundaries in and squeezed them a little more but at least we took the game as deep as we did so there’s not too much run-rate damage.”

 Alex Davies said:

“We were on it straight away. Up top the seamers were pretty good at the end of the Powerplay and then we pegged them back well with spin in the middle.

 “They were probably under par so we were happy, it’s a good place to chase here and we managed to get off to a flier.

 “Sunday we weren’t at our best in any facet but it gave us a bit of a shock and we’ll try and gain some momentum from this."