Vitality T20 Blast match results and reactions from today’s matches – 9th August
All the Vitality T20 Blast match results and reactions from today’s matches…
Sussex Sharks moved clear at the top of the Vitality Blast South Group with a four-wicket win over Middlesex at the 1st Central County Ground in Hove.
Ollie Robinson claimed four for 15 to restrict a Middlesex side without Eoin Morgan and AB de Villiers to 127 for six.
Stevie Eskinazi hit an unbeaten 57 in the absence of the Seaxes’ stars but the Sharks’ overseas signing Alex Carey led the way with 32 as the hosts reeled in the target in 16.1 overs.
Babar Azam, the tournament’s leading runscorer, smashed his career-high Twenty20 score in Somerset’s rain-affected 63-run win at Hampshire.
Azam posted an unbeaten 102 from 55 balls to move to 425 runs in the competition – 99 more than his closest rival D’Arcy Short – as Somerset recorded comfortable back-to-back wins to breathe life back into their campaign.
Somerset’s hopes of an historic domestic treble had looked in jeopardy before thrashing Essex Eagles by 111 runs on Wednesday night and they eased to victory again after posting 202 for four before Hampshire limped to 69 for six from 12.1 overs when rained ended the match early.
Durham opener Short hit 68 from 48 balls before spinner Liam Travaskis’ three for 16 proved crucial as the visitors hung on for a seven-run win over the Derbyshire Falcons at the Pattonair County Ground.
Short’s opening partnership with Scott Steel has been crucial to Durham’s success in the tournament and they shared a 114-run stand to set their side on course for a winning total of 160 for five.
Notts Outlaws moved second in the North Group with a 28-run win on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method against Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston.
Luke Wood’s three for 23 restricted the Bears to 119 for nine which Outlaws opener Joe Clarke made short work of with a quickfire 47 not out from 32 balls to complete the chase in just 11 overs.
The Outlaws still remain four points adrift of leaders Lancashire Lightning despite their Roses clash with Yorkshire Vikings at Emirates Old Trafford falling foul of the rain without a ball bowled.
Gloucestershire defeated Surrey by nine runs in another rain-affected match at the Kia Oval.
Ian Cockbain’s 40 from 28 balls helped Gloucestershire to 165 for eight and while Sam Curran again impressed up the order, hitting an unbeaten 51 from 35 balls, the hosts were behind the rate when the rain stopped play.
The wet weather forced Leicestershire Foxes and Northamptonshire Steelbacks to share the points while only four overs were possible in the match between winless Glamorgan and Essex Eagles at Sophia Gardens.
Leicestershire v Northamptonshire
Birmingham Bears v Nottinghamshire
Sussex v Middlesex
Sussex Sharks strengthened their grip on the South Group in the Vitality Blast after easing to a four-wicket wicket win over Middlesex.
A sold-out 6,000 crowd at Hove saw third-placed Middlesex recover from 40 for 5 to 127 for 6 with Ollie Robinson taking 4 for 13. Despite losing two wickets in the power-play Sussex sealed their victory with 22 balls to spare.
It was their sixth win in eight games with one match washed out and the other tied and means they have opened up a two-point lead at the top of the South Group.
Australian Alex Carey, who was dropped at third man by Tom Helm off Steven Finn on 20, top-scored with 32 while skipper Luke Wright and David Wiese both made 26 with Wiese smashing two leg-side sixes, one of which cleared the main scoreboard, off Finn. Delray Rawlins cleared the ropes off Helm to win the game.
Middlesex were without Eoin Morgan, who has a sore back, and AB De Villiers, who has returned to South Africa after playing in their first seven games and they never really recovered after a terrible power-play which ended with them reeling on 28 for 4.
Rawlins held a well-judged catch on the mid-wicket boundary to remove Paul Stirling (6) in Chris Jordan’s first over before Robinson, benefitting from some seam movement on a sticky pitch, picked up three wickets including two in his third over on his way to career-best figures of 4 for 13.
Dan Lincoln played on for a duck, Dawid Malan (7) inside-edged to wicketkeeper Carey and John Simpson (0) was caught at short fine-leg after gloving Robinson’s short ball.
Steve Eskinazi and George Scott took the score to 40 when Scott (6) was leg before playing across the line in the ninth over to give Briggs, who conceded just 16 runs in his four overs, a deserved wicket.
Middlesex were in danger of being bowled out but Eskinazi and Toby Roland-Jones, who was dropped on 7 and 9, consolidated before pushing the accelerator in the final five overs as they added 76 off 57 balls with Eskinazi lodging his fifth T20 half-century.
Roland-Jones supported him well with 40 off 34 balls including two fours and two sixes before Robinson yorked him in the penultimate over to claim his fourth wicket. Eskinazi finished on 57 not out from 48 balls with six boundaries.
The visitors needed early wickets and soon had Sussex 15 for 2. Phil Salt was superbly caught on the run by Nathan Sowter at deep mid-wicket and Laurie Evans (8) edged Mujeeb Ur Rahman to slip. Wright (26) looked in good order until he mis-timed a drive and was taken at mid-off but Middlesex simply didn’t have enough runs to defend.
Turning Point: Two power-play wickets in three balls from Ollie Robinson put Middlesex under pressure straight away and they never really recovered.
Shot of the Match: Alex Carey slammed a perfectly good-length ball from Steve Finn back down the pitch for six.
Unsung hero: Danny Briggs was outstanding again. The left-arm spinner conceded just two runs in the first over and finished with 1 for 16 without conceding a boundary.
What’s next? Middlesex go to Radlett on Sunday for a sold-out home game against Gloucestershire. Sussex are next in action at the Kia Oval next Thursday when they face Surrey.
Surrey v Gloucestershire
Surrey were beaten by nine runs by Gloucestershire on Duckworth Lewis Stern calculations, suffering their sixth defeat in eight Vitality Blast outings this season, when a rain delay left them needing to score 52 from another 4.1 overs at the Kia Oval.
They managed 42 of them, taking their total of 52 for 2 from 7.5 overs when the rain came, in reply to Gloucestershire’s 165 for 8, to an eventual 94 for 2. When they were left needing 25 from the last over, however, the game was already all but over.
Sam Curran swung Benny Howell for six and Andrew Tye for two more maximums in the final over to reach a defiant 51 not out from 35 balls, while Ollie Pope finished on an unbeaten 13.
But Howell, fellow medium-pacer Ryan Higgins and fast bowler Tye – who between them sent down the 25 balls after the restart – kept their cool despite understandably greasy conditions to earn Gloucestershire a third win of the T20 campaign and keep them in contention for quarter-final qualification from the south group.
Gloucestershire’s 20-over total was built on a 15-ball 30 up front from Miles Hammond, James Bracey’s 25-ball 33 and 40 from 28 balls from Ian Cockbain in the middle overs, and then a useful 22 not out at the end by Jack Taylor, from 12 balls and with four well-struck fours.
Surrey suffered two early blows when Aaron Finch, their big-hitting Australian opener, edged a rising ball from Chris Liddle to keeper Bracey to depart for 12 to the last ball of the fourth over, and Will Jacks was caught at extra cover off a leading edge for 15 in slow left-armer Tom Smith’s first over.
From 42 for 2 much depended for Surrey on the youthful third wicket pair of Curran and Pope, but they had only added ten runs when rain arrived at 8.35pm to drive the players off, with one ball of the eighth over remaining. When play was able to resume, at 9.30pm, there was time only for another 25 balls and the pair faced an almost impossible task.
Gloucestershire, who won the toss, reached 48 for 1 in their initial six-over powerplay with most of those runs coming from opener Hammond who struck Imran Tahir for two fours in the opening over, took two legside fours off Sam Curran in the third over and then lofted brother Tom over long on for six in the next over.
When Hammond’s violent cameo ended with a carve to deep cover off Jade Dernbach, it was left to Bracey to join Michael Klinger and add 24 for the second wicket before the Gloucestershire captain top-edged a pull at Sam Curran to deep square leg to go for 12.
Bracey played some fine shots as Gloucestershire made it to 82 for 2 at the halfway point, but he was caught at long on off Sam Curran in the 12th over and the visitors needed a busy 17 from Higgins for forward momentum until Cockbain took two straight fours and three twos off the 16th over, bowled by Dernbach and costing 15.
Cockbain then swung South Africa leg spinner Tahir for a massive six over mid wicket but, later in the same 17th over, perished to a catch at long on and Howell, Tye and Smith all fell in the frenetic final overs as only Taylor’s judicious late hitting – when he could get the strike – enabled Gloucestershire to post a competitive total.
THE TURNING POINT: In such a tight contest, it was ultimately the two fours which Jack Taylor plundered off Tom Curran in the final over of Gloucestershire’s innings which decided it.
SHOT OF THE DAY: A neat reverse flick for four by left-hander James Bracey off Imran Tahir’s leg spin was typical of Gloucestershire’s resourceful approach to building a competitive total.
THE UNSUNG HERO: Left-arm seamer David Payne, one of the most underrated bowlers in domestic limited-overs cricket, delivered again for Gloucestershire by conceding only nine runs from three controlled and canny overs with the new ball. It meant Surrey fell immediately behind the asking rate – scoring just 38 runs from the initial six-over powerplay.
WHAT’S NEXT: Surrey travel to Cardiff on Sunday to play Glamorgan, while Gloucestershire stay in London tomorrow in preparation for their fixture on Sunday against Middlesex at Radlett.
Hampshire v Somerset
Babar Azam smashed his first Vitality Blast century, and highest career T20 score, to set up a crushing 63-run DLS win for Somerset over Hampshire.
Pakistan star Azam is the leading run-scorer in the Blast and now has 425 runs in eight innings in the competition this season, 99 more than nearest rival D’Arcy Short.
Azam already had good memories of the Ageas Bowl, having struck 40 and 51 in ODIs on the ground and added to them with a remarkable 102 not out – which included seven fours and six maximums.
The victory leaps Somerset above Hampshire into fifth, after consecutive wins, to boost their hopes of a knockout place.
James Vince won the toss and threw the ball to Chris Wood – and the seamer grabbed a wicket in his first over for the fourth time this season when Tom Banton was caught at mid-on.
James Hildreth departed soon after when he clattered a cut to point to leave Somerset 37 for two.
After two short rain delays, Azam and Tom Abell ramped up the scoring rate with a series of well-timed cricket shots, with a smaller than usual Ageas Bowl outfield assisting them.
Their 50 partnership came up in 34 balls, soon before Azam’s square drive took him to his fourth half-century in the Blast, off 32 balls.
Abell followed the overseas batsman to the milestone, the first time he had reach 50 in T20 cricket, off 30-balls – reaching the landmark with back-to-back reverse sweeps to the boundary.
He, after putting on 113 with Azam, and Eddie Byrom both fell, but that simply spurred Azam on.
Azam had gone under the radar, preferring placement and skill to power but turned on the heat with his second fifty coming in just 23 balls.
It was breath-taking batting with his maximums flying over deep midwicket, point, an incredible strike over cover and finally, off the last ball of the innings, a sweet strike over square leg to bring up three figures for just the second time in his career.
That took Somerset to 202 for four, and Hampshire’s reply faltered in the second over as Tom Lammonby’s direct hit ran out Rilee Rossouw.
Wickets carried on falling at regular intervals thanks mainly to outrageous catches, curtesy of Max Waller, Banton and Roelof van der Merwe – somehow bettering each other with each fling at the ball.
With Vince, Aneurin Donald, Liam Dawson, Chris Morris and Sam Northeast all caught, Hampshire's hopes of victory had all but died.
And rain prevented further humiliation with eight overs and a ball to spare, with the hosts 63 adrift of the DLS score.
THE TURNING POINT: It might sound a bit glib but the moment Azam walked out to bat he never quite looked like getting out. The way he moved through the gears and avenged his unbeaten 95 in the reverse fixture was masterful.
SHOT OF THE MATCH: Take a pick from any of Babar Azam’s array of understated power strikes. But his six over extra cover in the penultimate over was a thing of true beauty. It wasn’t far from a yorker outside off-stump from Kyle Abbott but it was lapped over the ropes with aplomb.
THE UNSUNG HERO: Tom Abell celebrated his maiden format fifty but was completely overshadowed by Babar Azam. Despite his supporting role his 57 from 36 was a gem of an innings and once again proved he is more than a red ball player.
WHAT’S NEXT: Somerset are back in action within 24 hours as they face Kent at the Cooper Associates County Ground, as the second part of a double header with Kia Super League outfit Western Storm. Hampshire face Gloucestershire on the road on Tuesday.
Glamorgan v Essex
Derbyshire v Durham
Lancashire v Yorkshire
Match abandoned without a ball bowled
Lancashire and Yorkshire were left hugely frustrated as rain ruined their sold out Vitality Blast Roses clash at Emirates Old Trafford.
Rain overnight and throughout the day, particularly early evening, in Manchester meant umpires Ian Gould and Jeremy Lloyds called the game off just before 7.30pm.
Both sides have now been left with three rained off No Results from their eight North Group fixtures so far.
The frustration both sides felt was for completely different reasons.
For Lancashire, their chances of quarter-final qualification have not been harmed. They remain top of the table, unbeaten with five wins from eight.
But the fixture was due to be watched by a bumper 23,500 crowd, what would have been a record crowd for a Blast fixture, excluding Finals Day, outside of London.
For Yorkshire, however, they desperately needed to play and win.
They have now won only one of their eight matches, losing three added to a tie and are out of the top four quarter-final qualifying places in the table.
Both counties have six fixtures remaining, starting on Sunday.
Lancashire travel to Edgbaston to tackle Birmingham Bears (2.30pm), while Yorkshire return home to Emerald Headingley to take on Derbyshire Falcons (3pm).
The latter fixture is part of a double header with the Yorkshire Diamonds, who have a Kia Women’s Super League game against the Loughborough Lightning from 11am.
The Vikings are expected to hand a T20 debut to South African left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj.
He took 20 wickets and scored two fifties in their last three Championship games but missed the early stages of the Blast having returned home to attend an awards dinner, a requirement for all Cricket South Africa centrally contracted players.
While Lancashire awarded caps to Matthew Parkinson and Australian James Faulkner an hour before the scheduled start of 6.30pm, England star Jos Buttler was present with the World Cup trophy and due to parade it around the ground at the mid-innings interval.
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