Vitality T20 Blast match results and reactions from today’s matches – July 21st

Kent Spitfire's Mohammad Nabi
Kent Spitfire's Mohammad Nabi
 

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

Kent left-hander Alex Blake smashed back-to-back sixes to snatch a thrilling two-wicket win over Hampshire with one delivery remaining in the Vitality Blast.

Kent had needed 16 from the final over at the Ageas Bowl, bowled by Chris Wood, who initially restricted Blake to a pair of twos from the first three deliveries.

But with the game seemingly slipping away Blake responded with successive sixes to end the contest and send the Spitfires top of the fledgling South Group table with a 100 per cent record.

Blake finished unbeaten on 57 from 38 balls after arriving at the crease with his side 41 for four in pursuit of Hampshire’s 146 for eight. Captain James Vince top-scored for Hampshire with 51.

Fidel Edwards claimed three wickets in the first over of the match at Edgbaston as Birmingham Bears secured a comfortable seven-wicket win over Leicestershire.

The Bears were immediately set on course for victory thanks to their 37-year-old West Indian paceman Edwards when he uprooted Neil Dexter’s off stump from the very first delivery.

Mark Cosgrove and Arron Lilley then also followed in an extraordinary start to the match to give the Bears an advantage they never surrendered. Edwards finished with figures of four for 22 as Leicestershire eked out 115 for nine.

Ashton Agar’s unbeaten 41, from 28 balls, ensured the Bears coasted to victory with 31 balls in hand.

Lancashire secured a 72-run win over Durham after Steven Croft and Glenn Maxwell helped them to 189 for three in front of a healthy crowd of 13,710 at Emirates Old Trafford.

Maxwell hit four sixes in his 33-ball 58 while Croft batted through the innings with an unbeaten 65 from 43 balls with the pair adding 93 for the second wicket.

Scott Steel’s 58 was the only meaningful contribution in Durham’s chase as the visitors were bowled out for 117. Leg-spinner Matt Parkinson claimed three for 30.

Lancashire v Durham

Match Summary

Lancashire Lightning 189 - 3

Durham 117

Result - Lancashire Lightning won by 72 runs

All-rounders Steven Croft and Glenn Maxwell hit half-centuries as Lancashire brushed Durham aside by 72 runs in a one-sided Vitality Blast clash at Emirates Old Trafford.

Powerful with the bat and clinical with the ball and in the field, the Lightning claimed their first win in their second North Group game after Friday’s No Result at Leicestershire.

Watched by a non-Roses record crowd of 13,710 for the club’s Community Day, Croft and Australian international Maxwell underpinned an imposing 189 for three having elected to bat.

In response, Durham, who have now won one and lost one, did not threaten the target and were bowled out for 117 inside 17 overs, including opener Scott Steel’s spirited 58.

This clash was played out on one of the new hybrid pitches - a mixture of grass and astroturf - which do not deteriorate anywhere near as quickly as normal pitches.

They have been installed by many counties to help manage the load of a hectic schedule this summer and beyond. But this was the first county fixture played on one.

And while the true surface favoured the batsmen, Durham’s task of chasing close to 200 was just too tall.

Croft, 34, opened the batting for the first time in T20 in 10 years and top-scored with 65 not out off 43 balls, including two of nine sixes in the innings.

He became only the sixth Lancashire batsman to bat through an innings and shared 93 in 8.3 overs for the second wicket with overseas all-rounder Maxwell, who came in with the score at 39 for one in the sixth.

Maxwell, fresh from a disappointing World Cup, crashed four sixes in 58 off 33 balls, including one off Short’s left-arm wrist spin which thudded into the pavilion’s third tier balcony.

He later pulled the same bowler to deep square-leg when threatening to go into overdrive as Lancashire fell to 132 for two in the 14th over.

Earlier, Alex Davies (24) had set the tone with successive sixes off seamer Brydon Carse in the fifth over, including one pulled out of the ground.

Croft then opened the bowling with his off-spinners and only conceded three off the first over before James Faulkner’s third ball of left-arm seam accounted for the key wicket of compatriot and Big Bash team-mate Short, who lost his off-stump for five (10 for one in the fourth over).

Steel hit successive sixes - straight and over long-on - off Toby Lester at the start of the fifth over.

But Maxwell ran Ben Raine out with a direct from mid-on at the non-striker’s end as Durham ended the power play at 30 for two.

Matthew Parkinson later had Durham captain Stuart Poynter caught at short fine-leg as the visitors fell to 64 for four after eleven overs to all but end their hopes.

It was a particularly poignant moment for the leg-spinner following the sudden death of his mother Maria on Monday, with him pointing to the sky in celebration before receiving hugs from all his team-mates.

Parkinson later had Steel, trying to reverse sweep a second six in the 14th over, caught on the deep point boundary and Carse caught at deep mid-wicket to finish with three for 30 from 3.4 overs.

THE TURNING POINT: If Durham were going to have any chance of overhauling their target, D’Arcy Short needed to do the bulk of the damage. But he lost his off-stump to Hobart Hurricanes team-mate James Faulkner as the visitors fell to 10-1 in the fourth over.

SHOT OF THE MATCH: Lancashire’s Alex Davies pulling Brydon Carse - bowling from the Brian Statham End - for a second successive six in the fifth over of the match, clearing the Red Rose suite at mid-wicket and out of the ground onto Statham Way.

UNSUNG HERO: Lancashire’s fielders. They were excellent. Added to two Maxwell run outs, they the hit the stumps plenty more besides.

WHAT’S NEXT: It’s the big one for Lancashire on Thursday, the Roses clash at Emerald Headingley (7pm). Durham are next in action on Friday against Leicestershire at Grace Road (6.30pm).

Lancashire Lightning - Steven Croft, Alex Davies, Glenn Maxwell, Keaton Jennings, Dane Vilas(c)(wk), Josh Bohannon, James Faulkner, Danny Lamb, Richard Gleeson, Matthew Parkinson, Toby Lester

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

Birmingham Bears v Leicestershire

Match Summary

Birmingham Bears 117 - 3

Leicestershire Foxes 115 - 9

Result - Birmingham Bears won by 7 wickets

Fidel Edwards made one of the most spectacular starts in Vitality Blast history to set Birmingham Bears motoring to a seven-wicket victory over Leicestershire in front of a bumper crowd at Edgbaston.

The West Indian paceman, making his debut on loan from Hampshire, took wickets with his first, third and sixth balls to leave the Foxes in immediate disarray at two for three after one over.

There was no way back from that for the visitors who mustered only 115 for nine, Edwards finishing with four for 22 while captain Jeetan Patel added two for 24.

To the delight of most in a noisy Edgbaston crowd of 11,442, the Bears then eased to 117 for three from 14.5 overs thanks to Sam Hain, who struck 31 (33 balls) and Aussie debutant Ashton Agar (41 not out, 28 balls).

Put in, Leicestershire were immediately blitzed by Edwards who bowled openers Neil Dexter and Mark Cosgrove for golden ducks and had Arrun Lilley caught at deep square leg. It is thought to be the first innings in Blast history in which the first four balls were faced by four different batsmen.

From such a terrible foundation, the Foxes' recovery was only ever partial. Harry Dearden (27, 23 balls) and Colin Ackermann (26, 28) added 45 for the fourth wicket but were then bowled in the first overs from Jeetan Patel and Will Rhodes respectively. Agar chipped in with the wicket of Lewis Hill, caught at long on, as Leicestershire crawled past 100 in the 18th over.

Edwards returned to add his fourth wicket when Callum Parkinson skied to wicketkeeper Michael Burgess. Ben Mike, recently a popular loanee with the Bears, batted intelligently for 19 but was bowled slogging at Patel.

When the Bears set out in pursuit of their small target, Leicestershire desperately needed to take early wickets but snared only one, Michael Burgess who chipped Parkinson to mid-wicket. Ed Pollock thrashed 27 from 16 balls and, after he was caught off Dieter Klein's first ball, Hain and Agar added 49 in seven overs before the former heaved Mike to deep square leg.

As Agar accelerated, the Bears coasted to victory in serene fashion in a match which will long be recalled for Edwards' sensational start - a true 'I was there' occasion for the big crowd.

THE TURNING POINT: came at the very start as Leicestershire ended the first over of the match on two for three. West Indies paceman Fidel Edwards, on his Bears debut, bowled openers Neil Dexter and Mark Cosgrove for golden ducks and had Arron Lilley caught in deep to end his first over with figures of 1-0-2-3.

DELIVERY OF THE MATCH: First ball of the match. Fidel Edwards' first ball for the Bears. Neil Dexter's off-stump out of the ground. What a start!

THE UNSUNG HERO: While Edwards took the headlines, Jeetan Patel supported him superbly with 4-0-24-2, his two wickets coming at important times to snuff out counter-attacks from Harry Dearden and Ben Mike.

WHAT’S NEXT: Birmingham Bears return to action at Edgbaston on Wednesday, against Derbyshire Falcons. Leicestershire will seek to bounce back at home to Yorkshire Vikings on Tuesday.

Birmingham Bears - Ed Pollock, Michael Burgess(wk), Sam Hain, Adam Hose, Will Rhodes, Liam Banks, Ashton Agar, Alex Thomson, Jeetan Patel(c), Henry Brookes, Fidel Edwards

Leicestershire Foxes - Harry Dearden, Neil Dexter, Colin Ackermann(c), Mark Cosgrove, Arron Lilley, Lewis Hill(wk), Ben Mike, Callum Parkinson, Dieter Klein, Gavin Griffiths, Chris Wright

Hampshire v Kent 

Match Summary

Hampshire 145 - 5

Kent Spitfires 146 - 8

Result - Kent Spitfires won by 2 wickets

Alex Blake dragged Kent Spitfires to an incredible two wicket Vitality Blast victory over Hampshire to replicate his 2015 heroics.

Big hitting Blake powered 57 off 38 balls to maintain the Spitfires’ 100 percent record in the competition, having come to the crease with his side in dire straits.

Four years ago, Blake left the Ageas Bowl open mouthed as he crashed 71 in 30 balls, having arrived at the crease at 70 for five chasing 178.

On this occasion, the 30-year-old walked out at 41 for four, still requiring 105, and took Kent over the line by striking back-to-back sixes from the final Chris Wood over to secure two points from a tight encounter with a ball to spare.

After Hampshire had scored a par 145 from their overs, Kent lost stand-in captain Daniel Bell-Drummond to the fifth ball of the reply when he chopped Chris Wood behind.

Ollie Robinson clubbed World Cup winner Liam Dawson over the midwicket boundary but only picked out Aneurin Donald when attempting an action replay.

The Spitfires were then stunned to 32 for three when overseas star Mohammad Nabi mistimed a pull off Kyle Abbott to Vince at mid-off.

Abbott, who only played three times in last season’s Blast, picked up a quick-fire second when Zak Crawley leading edged to mid-on.

The slide continued when Sean Dickson was stumped off Mason Crane, although Blake powered the leg-spinner to two straight sixes to keep the run-rate manageable.

At the other end, Dawson pinned Jordan Cox lbw, Abbott bowled Adam Milne, Chris Morris caught and bowled Hardus Vijoen but Blake was still there.

And with 16 needed from the last over Hampshire were still favourites.

But two twos and a pair of ginormous straight sixes sent Blake running around in delight.

Earlier, Hampshire elected to bat first in front of the Ageas Bowl’s highest domestic crowd for two years, with around 10,000 packing the ground including thousands of youngsters on All Stars Day.

They weren’t treated to an electric start from Rilee Rossouw and Aneurin Donald as the former was dropped at midwicket.

Donald did smash Hampshire’s first maximum of the competition, over fine leg, but departed next ball when he skied straight up in the air, before Rossouw nicked off.

England World Cup hero James Vince proved his hangover had abated a week after that thrilling final at Lord’s when he drove and then cut his first two deliveries the boundary.

The Hampshire skipper then dispatched two sixes off an Imran Qayyum over as he reached 29th T20 fifty in 33-balls.

But two balls later he handed Nabi a caught and bowled which the hosts failed to recover from.

Fred Klaassen, who dismissed James Fuller and Sam Northeast in consecutive balls, and Viljoen ended with figures of two for 27 and two for 20 respectively as Kent strangled Hampshire – with only 42 runs coming in the last six and a half overs.

THE TURNING POINT: Alex Blake pumping Mason Crane was sixes in back-to-back overs kept Kent interested, although the game only really tipped the Spitfires way with the winning six.

SHOT OF THE MATCH: Chris Wood is a canny white ball bowler but Alex Blake made a mockery of his prestige with two sixes to win the match. The copy-and-paste efforts never appeared in doubt of dropping shot.

THE UNSUNG HERO: James Vince shook off his post-World Cup hangover to smash 51, while England’s other hero Liam Dawson snaffled a pair of wickets.

WHAT’S NEXT: Hampshire will aim to kick-start their Blast in the second part of El Clasicoast at Hove on Wednesday evening. Kent will be gagging for Friday to arrive after two wins from two; they face Essex at Canterbury.

Hampshire - Rilee Rossouw, Aneurin Donald, James Vince(c), Sam Northeast, Liam Dawson, James Fuller, Chris Morris, Lewis McManus(wk), Chris Wood, Kyle Abbott, Mason Crane

Kent Spitfires - Daniel Bell-Drummond(c), Zak Crawley, Ollie Robinson(wk), Mohammad Nabi, Alex Blake, Sean Dickson, Jordan Cox, Adam Milne, Hardus Viljoen, Imran Qayyum, Fredrick Klaassen

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