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Vitality Blast T20 match results and reactions from today’s matches – 15th August

Leicestershire Foxes pointing their way to success tonight

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

Sussex Sharks suffered their first defeat of the Vitality Blast as Surrey kept their quarter-final ambitions alive with a 26-run win in front of a full house at The Kia Oval.

Ollie Pope and Sam Curran inspired Surrey to 163 for eight before Imran Tahir and Tom Curran claimed three wickets each to pin back the Sharks’ chase.

Pope top-scored with 48 from 44 balls while Sam Curran provided the fireworks with a 24-ball 47 after he was excused from Ashes duties at Lord’s to take his place.

Sussex remained top of the South Group despite blemishing their eight-game unbeaten run to start the competition.

Defending champions Worcestershire Rapids snatched a three-run win in a low-scoring contest at Durham to move second in the North Group.

The Rapids looked set for a fourth successive game without a win when they could only muster 117 for seven before Durham openers D’Arcy Short and Scott Steel shared a 79-run stand from 11.4 overs.

But Durham’s batsmen succumbed to some astute Rapids bowling thereafter and, with nine needed from the final over, Pat Brown held his nerve to close out victory for the visitors.

In-form Leicestershire Foxes moved into the quarter-final places after a dramatic top-order collapse from the Derbyshire Falcons at the Pattonair County Ground.

Opener Mark Cosgrove’s 38 led the way for the Foxes in a modest-looking total of 149 for seven.

But a week after his world-record seven-wicket haul Colin Ackermann was again on hand to help rip the home batting apart as the Falcons slipped to 24 for six in reply.

Ackermann claimed three for nine, and also ran out veteran Darren Stevens with a direct hit, while Gavin Griffiths took three for 14 as Derbyshire were bowled out for 94 to suffer a 55-run defeat.

Durham v Worcestershire, North Group Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street 

Match Summary

Durham 114 - 6

Worcestershire Rapids 117 - 7

Result - Worcestershire Rapids win by 3 runs

Worcestershire Rapids produced a brilliant comeback to defeat Durham by four runs in a low-scoring Vitality Blast North Group clash at Emirates Riverside.

The Rapids struggled to put runs on the board after being put into the bat. Durham restricted the visitors to 117-7 from their 20 overs as Matty Potts claimed a career-best 3-22, while Tom Fell top scored with 29. Worcestershire's total looked well short of a competitive total, especially after Scott Steel and D'Arcy Shirt made a dominant start.

However, once the Durham openers were dismissed, Worcestershire took control. The rest of the home side's batting line-up succumbed the pressure of the chase. Pat Brown held his nerve from the final over to secure the win for the Rapids, keeping them on course for a place in the quarter-finals of the competition, while the hosts were made to rue a costly collapse.

Martin Guptill tormented Durham in the earlier meeting between the two sides, scoring an unbeaten 86 at Blackfinch New Road. Durham would have feared the worst when Liam Trevaskis put down the New Zealander off his own bowling from first ball of the game. However, Guptill slapped the second ball straight to Graham Clark at cover, allowing Trevaskis to breathe a sigh of relief.

The Rapids struggled to find the fence in the powerplay amid tight bowling from the hosts. Riki Wessels attempted to up the ante, striking Potts' first delivery over his head for a boundary. However, his next effort landed safely into the grasp of Brydon Carse. Frustration then got the better of Callum Ferguson in his innings of 18, playing on to his stumps from an attempted cut shot against Carse.

Durham's bowlers remained in control and Steel entered the wicket column as Wayne Parnell sent a hopeful drive straight down the throat of Potts at long on, leaving the visitors in trouble at 53-4 in the 11th over. Tom Fell was the one Rapids' batsman that was in tune with the pace of the pitch. He dispatched Short into the stand with a slog sweep before belting a short delivery from Liam Trevaskis down the ground.

Trevaskis had his revenge by bowling Fell for 29 from the following ball. Worcestershire's bid to accelerate was restricted by the hosts in the closing overs, striking with regularity while boundaries were at a premium. Potts claimed the wickets of Ben Cox and Ed Barnard, although the Rapids did end the innings with Ross Whiteley pulling to the fence to set Durham a total of 118 to win.

Steel and Short were measured at the start of the chase, taking calculated risks to propel their side above the required run rate. Steel notched the first six of the innings, blasting Dillon Pennington over his head and into the stand. Unlike the Rapids, the duo were able to time the ball, reaching their fifty partnership in the eighth over.

Short began to assert himself at the crease, pulling a half-tracker from Barnard into the Don Robson Pavilion. Barnard displayed resilience to fight back in the same over to remove Steel for 31, breaking the opening stand at 79. The game then turned on its head when Daryl Mitchell struck in successive deliveries to dismiss Graham Clark and Short, who was caught on the boundary for 42.

The Rapids put the clamps on the new batsmen, which saw the required rate climb. Peter Handscomb succumbed to the pressure slicing a delivery from Brown straight up to allow Parnell to take a simple catch. Parnell then delivered in his next over to dismiss Jack Burnham, raising the tension at the Riverside. Nine runs were required from the final over and Brown held his composure to complete a memorable victory for  Worcestershire.

TURNING POINT: Durham were well set after an opening stand of 79 between Scott Steel and D'Arcy Short. However, the hosts lost three wickets in the space of an over to allow the Rapids back into the game. From that point onwards, Worcestershire's bowlers put the clamps to snatch a vital victory.

SHOT OF THE MATCH: Scott Steel took a couple of strides down the wicket before crunching a delivery from Dillon Pennington over his head and all the way over the fence, inches from the car park.

UNSUNG HERO: Daryl Mitchell claimed two vital wickets, most notably the scalp of Short for 42. Those two strikes turned the game on its head, allowing the Rapids to take control and close out a surprise victory.

WHAT'S NEXT: Durham travel to face the Yorkshire Vikings at Headingley on Friday, while the Rapids are next in Blast action against the Birmingham Bears next Friday.

Durham's Alex Lees

'We obviously should have chased that total down in the 20 overs. It's bitterly disappointing to lose that. We've had two of those now that could cost us moving forward in the competition. Regardless of the wicket 117 is a total we should be able to chase. We need to reassess and go again. We have a fixture tomorrow against Yorkshire, weather permitting, that we need to bounce back. We've put ourselves in a pretty poor position going into the last four games."

Worcestershire's Pat Brown

"Obviously we didn't have the best start to the game with the bat. We know that we're a really strong bowling team, especially on pitches like that - it's what we thrive on. We knew at halfway that we were under par, but we thought we definitely had a chance of restricting them and putting the pressure on. Our focus was to squeeze it as much as we could, causing pressure shots. Thankfully it bought us a wicket or two and thankfully it was our day today."

Surrey v Sussex, South Group Kennington Oval, London 

Match Summary

Surrey 163 - 8

Sussex Sharks 137 - 8

Result - Surrey won by 26 runs

Another sell-out Vitality Blast crowd of 25,000 at the Kia Oval saw lowly Surrey shock south group leaders Sussex Sharks with a 26-run victory in an attritional contest.

It was the Sharks’ first defeat of the campaign, in their ninth match, and followed a tied game between the two sides at Hove on July 26, but Surrey were superb in the field to record a third win by restricting Sussex to 137 for 8 in reply to their own 163 for 8.

South African leg spinner Imran Tahir was one of Surrey’s bowling heroes, taking 3 for 24 from his four overs and fatally undermining Sussex’s chase by dismissing Laurie Evans for 34 in the 13th over and then, after David Wiese had given the Sharks a final glimmer of hope with a straight six and four off Jordan Clark, having both Alex Carey and Delray Rawlins caught in the 17th over.

Tom Curran then removed Rashid Khan and Chris Jordan cheaply in the next over and, with 44 still needed from the last two overs, the game was up for Sussex. Wiese, in a last show of defiance, hit the penultimate ball of the match, from Sam Curran, for six to finish 31 not out.

Sam Curran, with a 24-ball 47, and Ollie Pope, whose more workmanlike 48 was his T20 best, top-scored for Surrey, with leg spinner Will Beer’s 3 for 22 the outstanding bowling effort for the Sharks.

Sussex’s chase began brightly, with Phil Salt and Luke Wright taking 30 from the first three overs before Salt, on 15, skied a pull at Tom Curran and keeper Ben Foakes took a swirling catch well.

Wright included three offside fours in his 25 from 21 balls, before he skied a return catch in seamer Clark’s first over – the ninth of the innings – and, at halfway, Sussex were 70 for 2. But then their reply fell away dramatically as Tahir’s three-wicket burst reduced them to 117 for 5 with overs fast running out.

Earlier, Curran junior hit three sixes and five fours in his explosive counter-attacking effort, which rallied Surrey after the early losses of openers Aaron Finch and Mark Stoneman. But, from the rest of Surrey’s batting line-up, there were only another seven boundary hits, with the trio of Sharks spinners proving particularly hard to get away.

Finch hit two fours, off Reece Topley and Wiese, before pulling the tenth ball of the match to mid wicket to go for 9. Stoneman was then run out for 1, failing to beat Luke Wright’s throw to keeper Carey from wide mid on after Curran, who had hit the shot, sent him back instead of answering his partner’s call for a second run.

Curran pulled both Topley and Wiese for sixes, and later swung Danny Briggs’ left arm spin for another maximum, but there was also a nicely-timed square drive for four off Jordan and a deft guide to the third man ropes later in the same over. After the six-over powerplay, Surrey were 61 for 2.

Beer, though, struck with his third ball to end Curran’s innings in the eighth over and then sent back both Foakes, who top-edged a sweep on 12, and Will Jacks, who gave a simple return catch off a leading edge to depart for just 1.

That left Surrey 98 for 5 and it was left to Pope to do his best to resuscitate the innings. He managed only two fours, from 44 balls faced before Jordan hit his off stump with a yorker, but he had at least kept the scoreboard ticking and two successive sixes over long off by Clark, in the 19th over, then boosted Surrey’s total.

Clark perished for 15, skying to long off when attempting to hit Topley’s left arm swingers for a third six in a row, and Tom Curran’s useful 17-ball 23 ended in the final over when he swung and missed at Jordan. In the end, those late runs were crucial for Surrey.

THE TURNING POINT: It was not obvious at the time, but Sam Curran’s early assault after Surrey had been put in by Sussex made all the difference in the end on a used pitch on which shot-making was not easy.

SHOT OF THE DAY: A perfectly executed and powerfully-struck sweep for four by Laurie Evans off Imran Tahir, the South African leg-spinner, which was only ten yards wide of a fielder at deep square leg but gave him no chance of cutting it off.

UNSUNG HERO: Despite being on the losing side – leg spinner Will Beer, one of the most underrated short-form cricketers in the land, who delivered another superlative spell for the Sharks. His 3 for 22 from four consecutive overs from the Vauxhall End stifled Surrey’s run rate as well as claiming the important wickets of Sam Curran, Ben Foakes and Will Jacks. His career T20 haul is now 87 wickets from 106 matches, at an average of 26.58.

WHAT’S NEXT: A quick turn-around for both counties, with Surrey travelling to the Ageas Bowl to take on Hampshire tomorrow night and Sussex facing Kent Spitfires at Canterbury – also tomorrow evening.

Surrey’s Ollie Pope said: “It is nice to follow up Sunday’s performance at Glamorgan with another win tonight.

“On that wicket i think it was a pretty complete performance and we were very happy at halfway with our total.

“We thought 150 would be a par score but the way Sam Curran batted to get us off to a great start in the power play was pretty special. And then Jordan Clark hit those two sixes towards the end to get us above par, so that was great.

“The pitch suited a number of their bowlers in the middle overs so I thought we were smart in the way we built our total, and then we bowled excellently to get their asking rate up above 10 an over.”

Sussex’s Will Beer said: “That’s my first game in the T20 this season so it’s good to bowl well - but it’s also the first game we’ve lost!

“Surrey played better than us on the night so fair play to them, and in hindsight it might have been better to have opted to bat first because, although we knew the pitch was a used one and would be slow and low, it did seem to get worse as the game went on.”


Derbyshire v Leicestershire, North Group County Ground, Derby 

Match Summary

Derbyshire Falcons 94 all out

Leicestershire Foxes 149 - 7

Result - Leicestershire Foxes won by 55 runs

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