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Vitality T20 Blast match results and reactions from today’s matches – 7th August

Vitality T20 Blast match results and reactions from today’s matches – 7th August
Vitality T20 Blast match results and reactions from today’s matches – 7th August

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

Leicestershire captain Colin Ackermann claimed world-best figures of seven for 18 to guide the Foxes to a 55-victory over Birmingham Bears in the Vitality Blast.

The South African off-spinner took three wickets in a single over twice durig a stunning four-over burst as the Bears lost their last eight wickets for just 20 runs to be skittled for 134.

No other bowler in top-flight Twenty20 cricket had taken more than six wickets before, with Somerset’s Arul Suppiah having held the previous world-best figures when he took six for five against Glamorgan in 2011.

Leicestershire posted 189 for six on the back of half-centuries from Harry Swindells and Lewis Hill as the win moved the Foxes into the quarter-final places in the North Group.

Somerset thrashed Essex Eagles by 114 runs at the Cloudfm County Ground at Chelmsford after a powerful display with bat and ball.

The visitors crashed 225 for six – the third highest score of the tournament this summer – with their Pakistan opener Babar Azam leading the way with 56. Roelof van der Merwe then claimed five for 32 with his off-spin to bowl the hosts out for 111 in 12.5 overs.

Kent Spitfires missed the opportunity to move back to the top of the South Group following a five-wicket defeat to Gloucestershire at Bristol.

Captain Daniel Bell-Drummond provided almost half of the Spitfires’ 125 for eight after the opener batted through until the final over for his 62 from 56 balls.

Gloucestershire reached the target with seven balls to spare as Jack Taylor and Benny Howell guided them home with an unbroken 35-run stand from 22 deliveries.

Rob Keogh was the unlikely hero with the ball for Northamptonshire as the Steelbacks defended 145 for six to beat Durham by 21 runs at Wantage Road and claim their second.

Alex Wakely’s unbeaten 47 in 35 balls gave the hosts a defendable total before Keogh took advantage of a pitch that gripped to take a career-best three for 30 as Durham could only make 124 for eight in reply.

Northamptonshire - Richard Levi, Adam Rossington(wk), Josh Cobb(c), Alex Wakely, Dwaine Pretorius, Rob Keogh, Matt Coles, Faheem Ashraf, Graeme White, Nathan Buck, Ben Sanderson

Durham - Scott Steel, D'Arcy Short, Graham Clark, Jack Burnham, Alex Lees, Peter Handscomb, Stuart Poynter(c)(wk), Brydon Carse, Liam Trevaskis, Matthew Potts, Nathan Rimmington

Gloucestershire v Kent

Gloucs 131-5

Kent 125-8

Gloucestershire win by 5 wickets

Kent Spitfires suffered a jolt to their previously excellent Vitality Blast South Group campaign with a five-wicket defeat by Gloucestershire at the Bristol County Ground.

The visitors could post only 125 for eight after losing the toss on a slow pitch, Daniel Bell-Drummond contributing almost half the runs with 62. There were two wickets each for David Payne, Chris Liddle and Andrew Tye.

In reply, Gloucestershire reached 131 for five, winning with 7 balls to spare, Jack Taylor (19 not out) and Benny Howell (25 not out) seeing them home. Fred Klaason claimed two for 15 and Hardus Viljoen two for 30.

Kent scored only 33 from their six-over power-play, losing Zak Crawley for a first ball duck, caught at mid-wicket off the fifth delivery of the match from Payne and Ollie Robinson, who holed out to deep mid-wicket in the fourth over, bowled by Liddle.

Several other balls in the air just eluded fielders as the Spitfires batsmen, Bell-Drummond apart, failed to come to terms with deliveries sticking in the pitch.

Gloucestershire employed their familiar tactics of taking pace off the ball in the middle overs through seamer Benny Howell’s bag of tricks and the left-arm spin of Tom Smith. Together they ensured the halfway point was reached with Kent becalmed on 51 for two.

Heino Kuhn broke the shackles with a swept six off Smith. But when he attempted to hit Howell over wide long-on he only found the safe hands of Andrew Tye and departed for 23.

Mohammad Nabi, on three, was next to loft a catch, Michael Klinger brilliantly accepting the chance off Liddle, running away from the pitch as the skied ball came over his shoulder at mid-wicket.

Gloucestershire’s excellent fielding continued when Jack Taylor ran out Alex Blake for two with a direct hit sprinting in from deep cover as the batsmen attempted a second run.

Only Bell-Drummond showed the necessary degree of patience, moving to fifty off 48 balls, with 4 fours. But wickets continued to tumble at the other end and when he fell to Tye in the final over the Spitfires’ total looked well below par.

Soon Gloucestershire’s batsmen were having their own problems with the pitch, Miles Hammond (19) and Klinger, who could make only five, falling attempting boundaries in the power-play, which ended at 42 for two.

There was no pressure to play big shots. But James Bracey perished to one, caught at cover for 22 off Nabi, who came on for the seventh over.

At 58 for three in the ninth over, Gloucestershire had to exercise a degree of caution. That became even more the case when Ian Cockbain, on 15, picked out cover with a mistimed shot off Fred Klaason to make it 73 for four. 

Ryan Higgins lofted only the game’s second six over deep square off Hardus Viljoen and Taylor followed suit with a big hit over cow corner from Nabi’s last ball, which saw him finish with one for 26.

Higgins then drove a catch to mid-off to give Viljoen his second wicket. But Kent simply did not have enough runs to defend and three Howell boundaries in succession off the 17th over, sent down by Milne, ended any doubt about the outcome.

Howell then ended the game with a six and claimed the man-of-the-match award.

  • THE TURNING POINT: There wasn’t one. Gloucestershire controlled the match from first ball to last after winning the toss.
  • SHOT OF THE DAY: T20 cricket is not all about hitting sixes. Miles Hammond’s exquisite cover-driven four off Adam Milne in the first over of Gloucestershire’s innings was right out of the textbook.
  • UNSUNG HERO: Chris Liddle: Two key wickets and an excellent economy rate for the left-arm seamer, called into the side for the last two games.
  • WHAT’S NEXT: Gloucestershire face the test of a bumper crowd against Surrey at The Oval on Friday night, while Kent travel to take on Somerset under the new Taunton floodlights on Saturday evening.

Gloucestershire - Michael Klinger(c), Miles Hammond, Ian Cockbain, Ryan Higgins, James Bracey(wk), Jack Taylor, Benny Howell, Tom Smith, Andrew Tye, David Payne, Chris Liddle

Kent- Daniel Bell-Drummond(c), Zak Crawley, Ollie Robinson(wk), Heino Kuhn, Mohammad Nabi, Alex Blake, Jordan Cox, Hardus Viljoen, Adam Milne, Mitchell Claydon, Fredrick Klaassen

Northamptonshire v Durham

Northants 145-6

Durham 124-8

Northants win by 21 runs

Alex Wakely said:

“I thought 160 might be a good score, it wasn’t the usual wicket we expect here it was a bit sticky and a bit slow and it spun.

“But we defended brilliantly. We haven’t always scrapped very well in the past few years but we fielded superbly and took our catches well.

“We’ve been okay with the bat so far but we have just struggled to finish well and get a partnership together so we wanted to put that right today.

“Myself and Dwaine managed to get us up to a decent score and then the early wickets set us up well."

James Franklin said:

“I think we let ourselves down, Northants bowled and fielded very well but our application with the bat wasn’t that great.

“Peter Handscomb played great and if he’d just had a foil at the other end I think we’d have chased the score down.

“I thought they scored 10-15 too many as well because we dropped a few catches so it was generally a pretty sloppy night.

“It been frustrating for us because we’ve been close to stringing some performances together but nights like tonight don’t help."

Essex v Somerset

Essex 111 all out

Somerset 225-6

Somerset win by 114 runs

Babar Azam pumped his third fifty of the Vitality Blast as Somerset steamed back to form with a 114 run victory over Essex Eagles at the Cloudfm County Ground, Chelmsford.

After scores which have included 95 not out, 83 and 43, the Pakistan superstar collected 56, his first half-century away from Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.

Azam was accompanied with full-blooded contributions from Tom Banton, skipper Tom Abell and in form hitter Eddie Byrom, 39, 54 and 44 respectively, as Somerset crashed their joint-sixth highest T20 total of 225 for six.

In reply, Roelof van der Merwe snatched three wickets in an over to stunt the Eagles, on his way to his maiden format five-wicket haul, as they were eventually skittled for 111.

The result sees Somerset overtake Essex into sixth in the South Group of the Blast.

Somerset won the toss and let Banton and Azam loose on Essex’s bowling attack – with the former destroying Aaron Beard’s first over by taking 22 runs, including a trademarked reverse flick, off it.

The formidable opening pair put on 51 for the first wicket in 26 balls before Ravi Bopara entered the match after two games left in the dressing room.

Firstly, he found Banton scooping to fine leg before James Hildreth was caught by a howitzer of a snaffle by Paul Walter at mid-wicket.

The two wickets slowed the run-rate down for around seven overs before Tom Abell scooped a six and 24 was taken off a Simon Harmer over.

Azam was quickly, but quietly, going about his business from the other end as he continued his impeccable Blast form with a 37-ball fifty, to go alongside scores of 95 not out, 83 and 43.

But the Pakistan superstar and Abell departed in bang-bang style following a 79-run stand, the former caught off Bopara – the only Essex bowler to come out the innings with creditable figures, three for 18.

With four overs to go, Somerset were on 156 for four and floundering in their bid to find the par 200, but Eddie Byrom saw Chelmsford’s small boundaries and picked spots in the parameter to blitz.

Having been dropped on 10, the Zimbabwean craned three maximums off a Mohammad Amir over, which went for 18, before plonking Adam Zampa for 16 in three balls before picking out long-off.

Van der Merwe departed but Craig Overton fired a further two sixes to take the visitors to 225 for six – the joint-fourth T20 score on the ground – after 96 had been mullered in the final 24 balls.

In reply, Essex openers Cameron Delport and Tom Westley kept at around the rate for four overs before both fell in consecutive – caught at cover and mid-on respectively.

After a limp start, Adam Wheater and Dan Lawrence compared six-hitting skills before but fell to catches at mid-wicket.

Ryan ten Doeschate, Bopara and Walter all departed in a single van der Merwe over, he ended with career-best figures of five for 32.

Harmer, Beard and Amir also departed in tame style as Essex lost eight wickets in 31 balls fall well short of the required runs.

  • THE TURNING POINT:  Roelof van der Merwe put the skids under an already sluggish Essex innings when he claimed three wickets in four balls in the 10th over to reduce Essex from 88 for four to 89 for seven – and the end was in sight,
  • SHOT OF THE MATCH: Tom Abell played an exquisite ramp over Adam Wheater’s head for six and then returned to orthodox next ball with a full-bloodied cover drive off Aaron Beard for four.
  • THE UNSUNG HERO: With every other Essex bowler posting economy rates in double-figures, Ravi Bopara returned to the side with three wickets for just 18 runs from his four overs. It might have been four wickets but Mohammad Amir dropped Ed Byrom at short third man,
  • WHAT’S NEXT: Essex head across the Severn Bridge in an attempt to revive their fading qualification hopes against Glamorgan on Friday. Meanwhile, buoyed by climbing above Essex in the table, Somerset look for a fourth win of the season at Hampshire, also on Friday.
Essex - Tom Westley, Cameron Delport, Adam Wheater(wk), Ryan ten Doeschate, Dan Lawrence, Ravi Bopara, Paul Walter, Simon Harmer(c), Mohammad Amir, Aaron Beard, Adam Zampa

Somerset - Babar Azam, Tom Banton(wk), James Hildreth, Tom Abell(c), Edward Byrom, Tom Lammonby, Roelof van der Merwe, Craig Overton, Tim Groenewald, Jerome Taylor, Max Waller