Vitality Blasts Off – Match Results and Reactions July 18th
All the Vitality T20 Blast match results and reactions from today’s matches.
Middlesex v Essex, South Group Lord's, London 6:30 PM
Middlesex 166 - 3
Essex Eagles 164 - 6
Result - Middlesex won by 7 wickets
AB de Villiers sparkled on debut as Middlesex started the 2019 Vitality blast with a seven-wicket win over Essex at Lord’s.
The South African legend thrilled a packed house at the home of cricket with a match-winning 88 from just 43 balls as the hosts chased down a target of 165 with ease.
De Villiers’ innings was a mix of class and belligerence containing five sixes and six fours and it ensured Middlesex avoided a ninth successive defeat in the format.
Mujeeb took the new ball as he had done in the World Cup for Afghanistan, but it was Tom Helm (3-27) who made the initial incisions, getting Varun Chopra and Cameron Delport caught in the deep off successive deliveries.
Tom Westley launched an impressive counter offensive, seven fours taking him to 40 before Nathan Sowter (2-32) trapped him LBW.
The Australian leg-spinner also accounted for Dan Lawrence, caught by George Scott after de Villiers had palmed the ball back from the boundary.
At 73-4 Middlesex were in the ascendancy but Nick Gubbins dropped Ryan Ten Doeschate on the boundary when he’d made just 19.
It proved expensive as Ten Doeschate raced to 50 in 33 balls before helping plunder 19 from Steven Finn’s final over as the visitors posted an imposing 164-6.
The hosts made a frenetic start with Stirling being given two lives on five, Shane Snater dropping a simple caught and bowled before Delport juggled and grassed one at square leg off Adam Zampa.
Unlike ten Doeschate, the Irish international failed to make the most of the reprieves, nicking Matthew Quin through to the wicketkeeper Adam Wheater to depart for 10.
Gubbins quickly followed, but de Villiers soon signalled his intent, flat batting a four back over the bowler’s head and then hitting maximums in successive overs as he and skipper Dawid Malan raised the 50-stand in 33 balls.
De Villiers surged to 50 in 29 balls and Malan caught the mood, slamming Lawrence for four through cover before de Villiers almost deposited the same bowler onto the Grandstand roof.
The 100-partnership came at a rate of knots and though Malan (43) was stumped off Zampa with 20 needed, Middlesex stormed home with three overs to spare.
Turning Point: de Villiers’ first six off Ravi Bopara lit the touch paper for what was to follow on a great night for the South African legend.
Ball/Shot of the Match: It’s hard to look past de Villiers’ huge blow onto the grandstand roof, but Lawrence’s sweet straight six off Toby Roland-Jones was a strong contender.
Unsung Hero: Middlesex’s other debutant Mujeeb will be forgotten amid de Villiers’ heroics, but his four overs, three in the powerplay cost just a run a ball.
Middlesex must wait until Tuesday to build on the momentum of this win when they cross the Thames to face Surrey.
Essex have a quick turnaround as they face Surrey tomorrow night at the CloudFM County Ground.
Nottinghamshire v Worcestershire, North Group Trent Bridge, Nottingham 6:30 PM
Notts Outlaws 133 - 9
Worcestershire Rapids 161 - 6
Result - Worcestershire Rapids won by 28 runs
Moeen Ali and Ed Barnard powered Worcestershire Rapids to an impressive victory on the opening evening of this season’s Vitality Blast.
The defending champions have retained the ability to win tight encounters and they deservedly had the better of Notts Outlaws at Trent Bridge, winning by 28 runs.
Both Ali and Barnard had outstanding all-round matches. Ali scored 32 and took four for 18, whilst his younger team-mate hit an unbeaten 42 and played a decisive hand in the Outlaws’ unsuccessful run chase.
The visitors scored 161 for six, after winning the toss and opting to bat first, largely due to an unbroken seventh wicket stand.
Barnard put on 59 with Ben Cox, who made 21. Samit Patel, with two for 26, and Harry Gurney, who took two for 33, each picked up two wickets for the home side.
Notts recovered from 16 for two to 85 for three but the fall of Alex Hales’ wicket, bowled by Barnard for 52, sucked the life out of the run chase and the hosts limped along to 133 for nine.
Nine of the players that appeared for the Rapids in last year’s final victory over Sussex were involved, although two of them – Joe Clarke and Luke Wood – were wearing opposition colours.
Wood, who was on loan at New Road last season, bowled the opening over of the match and then almost had the first breakthrough as he threw down the stumps of Riki Wessels in the next over.
The former Outlaws batsman survived narrowly but then miscued Gurney high to short fine leg.
Callum Ferguson, who hit a century in the corresponding fixture last season, chopped Jake Ball onto his stumps, leaving the visitors on 41 for two after the powerplay.
Martin Guptill, central to the drama of the closing moments in Sunday’s ICC World Cup Final at Lord’s, opened his shoulders to club Matt Carter’s off-spin for a huge leg-side six.
The New Zealand international made 27 from 24 balls before giving Wood a return catch in the eleventh over.
Patel, playing his 169th domestic T20 match – drawing level at the top of the standings with Darren Stevens, removed Ali, then had Libby to thank for a stunning boundary catch to dismiss Ross Whiteley.
The Rapids scrambled their way to a competitive total by adding 45 runs in the final three overs of their innings.
The vast majority of the 12,613 crowd looked on in disappointment as Clarke cut to point for only five at the start of the run chase.
Pat Brown, who led the wicket-taking chart a year ago, with 31, needed only three deliveries to open his account for the new campaign, with Ben Duckett hitting him to cover.
Hales scored his runs from 34 balls, which included three fours and three sixes, but his departure prompted a dramatic collapse as the middle order fell away against Ali’s off-spin.
Barnard topped off a fine individual performance with a remarkable boundary catch to send back the unfortunate Jake Libby, with the next four wickets falling for only 15 runs to start the Worcestershire celebrations.
THE TURNING POINT: Alex Hales looked on course to mark his return to competitive cricket with a match-winning performance until Ed Barnard fired one through his defences to tilt the contest towards the holders.
SHOT OF THE MATCH: Despite it being in a losing cause, the powerful blow that Hales struck off Brett D’Oliveira will live long in the memory, clattering off the tiles on the roof of the nearby tavern.
UNSUNG HERO: Pat Brown proved he’s not going to be a one-season wonder at this level by bowling four very effective overs for his figures of two for 24.
WHAT’S NEXT: Neither side has very long to reflect on the outcome, with both back in action on Friday evening. Worcestershire Rapids kick off their home campaign at New Road with a fixture against traditional rivals Birmingham Bears, whilst Notts Outlaws travel to Emerald Headingley, to face Yorkshire Vikings.
Glamorgan v Somerset, South Group Sophia Gardens, Cardiff6:30 PM
Glamorgan 180 - 5
Somerset 181 - 2
Result - Somerset won by 8 wickets
©Cricket World 2019