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Vitality T20 Blast match results and reactions from today’s matches – July 26th

©Cricket World /John Mallett

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

Sussex Sharks shared a thrilling tie with Surrey in the Vitality Blast on Jofra Archer’s return to action for the first time since England’s World Cup final victory.

Archer could have been forgiven for feeling a sense of déjà vu, 12 days on from his Super Over heroics at Lord’s, as Surrey tailenders Gareth Batty and Imran Tahir took 11 from David Wiese’s final over to share the points.

Batty scrambled two from the final ball after Tahir had cleared the ropes in a memorable final over in front of a packed crowd at Hove.

Archer claimed two for 21 from four typically hostile overs, including the wicket of dangerman Aaron Finch, after he was declared fit to play following concerns over a side strain he picked up during the World Cup.

Babar Azam hit 95 on his home Somerset debut but it was not enough as a late Hampshire rally secured a four-wicket win with three balls to spare at Taunton.

Hampshire were struggling in pursuit of 172 for three until lusty hitting from James Fuller (28) kick-started their chase. Liam Dawson kept a cool head with an unbeaten 47 from 39 balls as Lewis McManus snatched the win with a six in the final over.

Glamorgan were on the wrong end of a hat-trick for the second time in as many days as they fell to an eight-wicket defeat to Middlesex in Cardiff.  

Toby Roland-Jones claimed the final three wickets from successive balls – after Tom Curran’s hat-trick against the Welsh County on Thursday night – as he returned figures of five for 21. Stevie Eskinazi hit 51 from 29 balls as Middlesex cruised to victory with 16 balls to spare.

Kent Spitfires joined Middlesex at the top of the South Group with a 22-run win over Essex Eagles with Heino Kuhn’s unbeaten 55 from 31 balls helping them to 175 for six.

Adam Milne ran out Cameron Delport cheaply to ensure he could not replicate his fireworks from last Friday night, when the Essex opener blasted a 38-ball century, as the Eagles fell short.

Lancashire Lightning sit top of the North Group with an unbeaten record following a rain-affected 21-run win over champions Worcestershire Rapids at Emirates Old Trafford.

Liam Livingstone claimed three for 31 before his 21 from 14 balls ensure the hosts were ahead on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method when rain arrived to end the game prematurely.

A Durham record opening stand of 133 between D’Arcy Short and Scott Steel eased the visitors to a comfortable nine-wicket win over Leicestershire with 53 balls to spare.

The Durham openers shared 10 sixes with Short unbeaten on 77 after Steel was the only wicket to fall when he was on 70.

Harry Gurney claimed five for 30, including three wickets in four balls, after half-centuries from Alex Hales and Ben Duckett as Notts Outlaws defeated local rivals Derbyshire Falcons by 27 runs.

Northants Steelbacks picked up their first win by 21 runs on the DLS method against Birmingham Bears. Rob Keogh’s career-best 59 helped the Steelbacks to their first home win in the Blast since 2017.

Leics v Durham

Leics 158 all out

Durham 161-1

Durham Jets win by 9 wickets

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

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

Lancashire v Worcestershire

Lancashire Lightning 71-1 

Worcestershire Rapids 130-9

Lancashire Lightning win by 21 runs (DLS Method) (D/L)

An expert bowling display and some brief Jos Buttler-esque fireworks from Liam Livingstone led unbeaten Lancashire to a thumping 21-run win on Duckworth Lewis Stern over Vitality Blast champions Worcestershire at Emirates Old Trafford.

Livingstone returned three for 21 from four overs of leg-spin as pace off largely did the trick for the Lightning on a used hybrid pitch, with the Rapids restricted to 130 for nine having elected to bat in a repeat of last year’s semi-final.

The Red Rose are England’s most successful county in terms of T20 matches won - this was their 107th in their 201st fixture since the competition’s inception in 2003 - and you can see why.

Livingstone’s wickets included visiting captain Brett D’Oliveira with his first ball and New Zealand opener Martin Guptill for 37.

He then scooped Wayne Parnell for two sixes in a 14-ball 21 as the Lightning, celebrating Buttler’s three-year contract extension, got off to a flyer at 38 for one after four overs in pursuit.

Rain later halted proceedings at 71 for one after nine overs, including Alex Davies’ unbeaten 29.

Lancashire have now won three matches added to a No Result, while Worcester have won one, lost one and had a No Result from three.

Livingstone, who wowed the crowd with his sixes, was then given a taste of his own medicine as he departed courtesy of a stunning one-handed catch at backward square-leg from Ed Barnard later in the fourth over.

Having viciously connected with a pull, he saw Barnard sprint to his right approximately 15 yards in from the rope and grab the ball in his right hand diving full length.

Unfortunately for Worcester, it was their only moment to savour as Lancashire won their third successive match and their second in as many nights having only just beaten Yorkshire.

Pace off was their main weapon on a hybrid pitch which slowed up from its first use against Durham on Sunday.

But new ball quick Richard Gleeson removed Callum Ferguson (lbw) and Ross Whiteley (bowled) with searing yorkers as the visitors fell to 84 for five after 14 overs.

Livingstone had D’Oliveira caught at deep backward square-leg sweeping with his first ball of the competition in the 11th over (66 for three) having only returned from an intercostal injury in last night’s Roses win.

He later had Guptill caught at long-off for an innings-high score and Ben Cox caught at short fine-leg.

Leg-spinner Matthew Parkinson benefitted from Worcester’s pursuit of quick runs and claimed two wickets, while Australian overseas left-arm seamer James Faulkner matched him.

Faulkner (two for 21 from four overs) took his wickets at either end of the innings and was particularly effective with his variations. He bowled the only wide of the innings at the start of the 20th over.

Lancashire announced the re-signing of World Cup winner Buttler shortly before the toss.

And after Livingstone, who is cut from a similar cloth in his style of batting, departed, there was no way back for the Rapids.

Opening partner Davies hit four fours in his 24-ball effort and was being well supported by Steven Croft’s unbeaten 13 when rain arrived just after 8.30pm with the hosts in control.

THE TURNING POINT: Liam Livingstone’s leg-spinners removed Brett D’Oliveira and Martin Guptill both caught in the deep, leaving Worcester 76-4 in the 13th over.

OVER OF THE MATCH: Forget shot or ball of the match, the fourth over of Lancashire’s chase was remarkable, with Liam Livingstone scooping two sixes off Wayne Parnell before Ed Barnard’s stunning one-handed catch diving to his right at deep backward square-leg removed him. Lancashire were 38 for one.

UNSUNG HERO: Australian overseas James Faulkner has been quietly superb with the ball in Lancashire’s two wins in as many nights, returning two for 21 from four overs here. He also took a catch at long-off to help Livingstone remove Guptill.

WHAT’S NEXT: Lancashire face Derbyshire at the County Ground on Sunday (2.30pm) as they bid for the fourth straight victory. Worcestershire, meanwhile, host Durham at New Road.

Lancashire Lightning - Alex Davies, Liam Livingstone, Steven Croft, Glenn Maxwell, Keaton Jennings, Dane Vilas(c)(wk), James Faulkner, Josh Bohannon, Saqib Mahmood, Matthew Parkinson, Richard Gleeson

Worcestershire Rapids - Martin Guptill, Riki Wessels, Callum Ferguson, Daryl Mitchell, Brett D'Oliveira(c), Ben Cox(wk), Ross Whiteley, Ed Barnard, Wayne Parnell, Dillon Pennington, Patrick Brown

Northamptonshire v Birmingham Bears

Northamptonshire 155-6

Birmingham Bears111-8

Northamptonshire Steelbacks win by 21 runs (DLS Method) (D/L)

Rob Keogh’s career-best 59 helped Northamptonshire to a first win in this season’s Vitality Blast as they beat Birmingham Bears by 21 runs in front of over 4,500 on a balmy night at Wantage Road.

Without a T20 win at home since 2017, Northants responded to a bumper crowd to snap a losing streak of eight matches. Keogh rescued Northants from 36 for 3 to post 155 for 6 having been sent in before a revised target of 133 in 16 overs after steady rain was well defended as the Bears slipped to a first defeat in this season’s Blast.

Keogh’s was a well-paced innings and just his first T20 half-century, neatly in his 50th match. He shared an important partnership of 84 for the fourth-wicket with Alex Wakely, who took their side the final over of the Powerplay to 120 for 4 in the 17th over.

Keogh steered Ashton Agar’s left-arm spin past short-third man before cutting another boundary past extra-cover. He stepped down the wicket to lift the same bowler down the ground onto the roof of the Spencer Pavilion for the evening’s first six - and just the fourth in his T20 career - and a nudged two through midwicket brought him fifty in 42 balls. He struck a sixth four in the final over, straight driving Jeetan Patel.

Wakely, after two failures, twice reverse-swept Patel past short-third man, cut Agar through the covers and also pulled the Bear’s captain between two fielders in the deep on the leg-side but miscued a pull in Edwards’ final over to be caught and bowled for 38.

Initially, Northants’ batting followed a familiar pattern with early wickets going down. Ben Curran, playing his first T20 of the season, skied an attempted drive against Fidel Edwards to cover point before Henry Brookes took two wickets from the Wilson End. A nasty lifter took an edge from Josh Cobb through to Michael Burgess before Adam Rossington slapped to extra-cover to fall for 13 in the sixth over.

But Keogh and Wakely got Northants stuck into the innings and gave the hitters a chance in the final overs. Dwaine Pretorius sliced a cut over backward point but hoisted James Wainman, on his Bears T20 debut, to deep midwicket where Sam Hain judged a tremendous catch. Matt Coles arrived and swing his second ball over deep midwicket for six before brutally slamming Patel over his head for four in the final over.

Rain arrived to extend the interval and the revised chase began in perfect fashion for the home side as Ed Pollock slapped the first ball of the reply, from Ben Sanderson, straight to cover. But Michael Burgess gave the chase a bright start with 18 in 13 balls, pulling Coles for a flat six wide of deep square and driving Faheem Ashraf fiercely past point for four. But trying to utilise the last over of the Powerplay, skied a pull against Nathan Buck and was held at extra-cover.

Sam Hain, following his 85 in 61 balls against Derbyshire, again looked in good touch and pulled and cut Ashraf for boundaries before late-cutting Coles past short-third man.

Adam Hose skipped down to lift Graeme White into the sight-screen but a tight over from Buck left 75 needed from 48 balls. Hain responded by lifting Sanderson over mid-off for four before pulling White into the hands of deep midwicket.

Suddenly the required rate was into double figures and Agar lifted Buck over long-on and pulled Ashraf for four but swung past the next delivery and was bowled for 17.

36 were required from the final three overs and Ashraf sent down a superb over for just four runs and yorked Hose for 31, leaving 32 from 12. Sanderson cleaned up Will Rhodes in the penultimate over before Pretorius defended 26 from the final six deliveries with ease.

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

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

Glamorgan v Middlesex

Glamorgan 136 all out

Middlesex 137-2

Middlesex win by 8 wickets

Glamorgan - Fakhar Zaman, David Lloyd, Colin Ingram(c), Billy Root, Chris Cooke(wk), Owen Morgan, Andrew Salter, Dan Douthwaite, Graham Wagg, Marchant de Lange, Lukas Carey

Middlesex - Stevie Eskinazi, Dawid Malan(c), Dan Lincoln, Max Holden, George Scott, John Simpson(wk), Toby Roland-Jones, Tom Helm, Nathan Sowter, Steven Finn, Mujeeb Ur Rahman

Somerset v Hampshire

Somerset 172-3

Hampshire 174-6

Hampshire win by 4 wickets

Liam Dawson’s unbeaten 47 guided Hampshire to an improbable four-wicket Vitality Blast victory over Somerset with three balls to spare in the first T20 match under the Taunton floodlights.

Somerset looked favourites for most of the evening after Babar Azam marked his home debut with an extraordinary innings of 95 from 61 balls, including 9 fours and 3 sixes, in a total of 172 for three after losing the toss..

A packed crowd of around 7,400 saw Hampshire struggle to 96 for four after 14 overs before a late onslaught from Dawson and James Fuller, who hit three sixes in scoring 28 off 12 balls, pulled off an amazing success.

After three overs of their innings, the hosts had scored just ten for the loss of Tom Banton, caught at mid-off trying loft Chris Wood back over his head.

The power-play ended with the Somerset on only 30 for one. Gradually, Azam began to keep pace with partner Peter Trego, but the halfway point of the innings was reached with the hosts becalmed on 65 for one.

That became 72 for two when Trego’s middle stump was knocked back by Wood in the 11th over with his score on 35. Hampshire still had the scoring rate under control when Azam reached a scratchy half-century from 40 balls.

But if Somerset fans were disappointed in the new overseas recruit at that point, they were soon to see why Azam is regarded among the best young batsmen in the world.

The 15th over saw him launch Chris Morris for two big sixes, while James Hildreth also struck a maximum as the over cost 22.

Hildreth reverse swept a six off Dawson in contributing a typically breezy 28 before being yorked by Morris, who bowled the 18th over for just four runs.

Azam then produced an extraordinary back-foot shot to hit Abbott for six over wide long-off. Now he was in full flow and helped Somerset add 24 from the last two overs before leaving the arena to a standing ovation.

Hampshire were well in the game, but lost three wickets in the power-play, two of them to Jerome Taylor. The West Indian seamer had Rilee Rossoux caught by the diving Max Waller at mid-off and Sam Northeast taken at short mid-wicket in bowling his first two overs for seven runs.

The key wicket of James Vince was sandwiched in between, caught at short cover for only a single off Craig Overton. At 42 for three after seven overs the required run-rate had risen to more than ten.

Donald hit a six and 6 fours before being caught at mid-off from the final ball of the 13th over, sent down by Lewis Gregory. Morris hit Overton for two sixes in the 15th over, but Somerset looked sure to win until Taylor conceded 24 off the 17th over, Fuller smashing 3 sixes.

Suddenly Hampshire looked favourites as Dawson lofted the previously economical Roelof van der Merwe over deep square for six to leave 18 needed from two overs.

Fuller was caught behind for 28 off the first ball of the 19th, bowled by Gregory, but Taylor had only eight runs to play with when sending down the last and a Lewis McManus six clinched an unlikely win.

THE TURNING POINT: James Fuller is no stranger to big-hitting and his three sixes off Jerome Taylor in the 17th over gave Hampshire a first glimmer of hope having been largely outplayed to that point.

SHOT OF THE DAY: When Kyle Abbott dropped slightly short in the 19th over, Azam went onto the back foot and played through the line, sending the ball soaring over long-off for six.

UNSUNG HERO: Aneurin Donald – When three wickets went down in Hampshire’s power-play the opener had to rein himself back, but his 48 proved invaluable in setting up the late swing in fortunes.

WHAT’S NEXT: Somerset have home advantage again on Sunday when Sussex provide the opposition for a 2.30pm start. Hampshire have no game until next Thursday night when they take on Essex at Chelmsford.

Somerset - Babar Azam, Tom Banton(wk), Peter Trego, James Hildreth, Tom Abell, Lewis Gregory(c), Tom Lammonby, Roelof van der Merwe, Craig Overton, Jerome Taylor, Max Waller

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

Derbyshire v Notts

Derbyshire 171-8

Notts 198-5

Notts Outlaws win by 27 runs

Derbyshire Falcons - Luis Reece, Billy Godleman(c), Wayne Madsen, Leus du Plooy, Fynn Hudson-Prentice, Alex Hughes, Matthew Critchley, Daryn Smit(wk), Mark Watt, Logan van Beek, Ravi Rampaul

Notts Outlaws - Joe Clarke, Alex Hales, Ben Duckett, Jake Libby, Tom Moores(wk), Daniel Christian(c), Samit Patel, Imad Wasim, Matthew Carter, Jake Ball, Harry Gurney

Kent v Essex

Kent 175-6

Essex 153-7

Kent Spitfires win by 22 runs

Kent Spitfires maintained their leadership of the Vitality Blast south group after defeating Essex Eagles by 22 runs at a jam-packed Canterbury.

An unbeaten 55 from Heino Kuhn coupled with some wily bowling and a decent fielding stint helped ease the hosts to a third straight victory in front of their biggest crowd of the summer.

In pursuit of 176 at an asking rate of 8.8 an over, Essex lost dangerman Cameron Delport in only the third over. Having set off for a risky single to cover, the South African – fresh from his 129 of 49 balls against Surrey – was rightly sent back by Varun Chopra only to lose the race against Adam Milne’s spectacular direct hit.

Tom Westley followed in Hardus Viljoen’s next over, losing his off stump when working across the line, then Heino Kuhn held on to a stunning catch, diving full-length to his left at ‘cow corner’ at account for Chopra.

The asking rate was already above 10 an over as Eagles reached 67 for three after 10 overs when Dan Lawrence smeared across one from Viljoen to be caught at wide mid-off.

Then, when Ravi Bopara clattered an innocuous wide and short delivery from Fred Klassen to extra cover, Essex’s chase was all but run despite Ryan ten Doeschate’s valiant, unbeaten 58 – the top score of the game.

Batting first after winning the toss, Kent openers Daniel Bell-Drummond and Zak Crawley posted 51 in 29 balls before Essex removed Crawley, bowled around his legs after missing a Matt Quinn full-toss.

Crawley was replaced by Ollie Robinson, who duly launched the first six of the night over mid-wicket off the bowling of Bopara as Kent reached 93 for one at the innings mid-point.

Bopara won revenge in his next over when Robinson, in risking another slog-sweep from outside off, dragged the ball onto his stumps.

Kuhn, back in the Spitfires side having missed Kent’s opening two games under the concussion protocol, opened his boundary account with a reverse paddle against Simon Harmer and then clattered Delport back over his head for six.

Bell-Drummond was caught at deep mid-wicket for a season’s best 43 then, two runs later, Mohammad Nabi danced past his first ball, a turning delivery from Adam Zampa, to gift Adam Wheater a stumping.

With 30 deliveries remaining, Alex Blake aimed for the short, leg-side boundary only to hole out and give off-spinner Simon Harmer his sole success in a canny spell of one for 28.

With boundaries hard to come by – Kent went 28 balls without one – Spitfires’ rookie Jordan Cox skied to mid-wicket against, only for Kuhn to redress the balance by taking 21 off Snater’s last over to finish unbeaten with 55 from 31 balls.

THE TURNING POINT: Kent were in serious danger of underachieving with the bat until Kuhn clattered five successive fours off the final over of the innings from Snater. Spitfires grabbed the momentum and never let it slip thereafter.

SHY OF THE MATCH: Milne’s pick up, instant throw and direct hit - with only one stump to aim at from cover - ran out Delport by a couple of yards to give Spitfires a massive boost early in the Eagles reply.

THE UNSUNG HERO: Aussie leg-spinner Adam Zampa sent down four tricky, boundary-free overs, including the pressure-packed second over of the game, to finish with classy figures of one for 24.

WHAT’S NEXT: Unbeaten Kent make the short journey to London to take on Surrey at The Kia Oval on Tuesday, July 30 (start 6.30pm), while Essex entertain Gloucestershire in Chelmsford tomorrow, Saturday, July 27 under the lights at New Writtle Street (Start 7pm) looking for their second win from four starts.

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

Essex Eagles - Cameron Delport, Varun Chopra, Tom Westley, Ryan ten Doeschate, Dan Lawrence, Ravi Bopara, Adam Wheater(wk), Simon Harmer(c), Shane Snater, Adam Zampa, Matthew Quinn

Sussex v Surrey

Sussex 144-8

Surrey 144-8

Match Tied

Twelve days after his heroics in the World Cup final, Jofra Archer made a highly impressive return to action with two wickets as Sussex Sharks tied with Surrey in a Vitality Blast thriller at Hove.

The 24-year-old showed no ill effects from the side injury which troubled him throughout the World Cup during four hostile overs, bowled in three spells at a cost of 21 runs, during which he picked up the wickets of Aaron Finch (6) and Surrey’s top scorer Ollie Pope, who was dropped on 16, for 43.

Fifteen days after removing him for a golden duck in the World Cup semi-final, Archer had Finch well caught on the square-leg boundary by Delray Rawlins. He returned in the 14th over with a superbly disguised slower ball to dismiss Pope, who had just hit four boundaries in an over off Danny Briggs and appeared to be guiding Surrey to victory.

Archer had bowled in the nets under the supervision of England’s medical staff earlier in the day and could now be in the Ashes squad when it is named tomorrow.

A 6,000 sell-out crowd had given Archer a standing ovation when he went out to bat earlier in the evening and they were treated to a thrilling finale. Surrey looked favourites with 29 needed off the last five overs with five wickets in hand but Tymal Mills dragged Sussex back into contention when two searing yorkers accounted for Tom Curran (19) and Ryan Patel (0) in the 18th over.

Then off the final ball of the 19th Rikki Clarke holed out to long on leaving ninth-wicket pair Gareth Batty and Imran Tahir with the task of scoring 12 from the last over from David Wiese, who was bowling his only over of the night.

Wiese conceded singles off the first two balls then Tahir stylishly upper-cut a full toss for six. Two runs came off the next two deliveries, leaving Batty to score three to win off the final ball. He drove to long on and the pair scrambled back for a second after Sussex missed with two throws at the stumps, either of which would have run him out had they been on target.

Earlier, Sussex had finished on 144 for 8 which was something of a disappointment after skipper Luke Wright and Phil Salt had smashed 50 in the first four overs.

Salt, dropped by Curran off his second ball when on nought, hit 27 off ten balls including successive sixes off Jade Dernbach. But the Sharks were never the same when he holed out later in the same over and it needed an unbeaten 76 from skipper Wright to get them to a competitive total.

Sussex only managed six boundaries after the sixth over with Wright unable to go onto the offensive because wickets were falling too regularly at the other end. Veteran off-spinner Batty had figures of 3 for 8 at one stage while only Ben Brown (10) got into double figures. Wright hit 14 off Jordan Clarke in the 18th over and finished with 76 off 59 balls including a six and nine fours.

THE TURNING POINT: Surrey were on course for victory when Tymal Mills produced two rockets in the 18th over to dismiss Tom Curran and Ryan Patel.

SHOT OF THE DAY: Imran Tahir’s upper cut for six in the final over off David Wiese should have set up Surrey for victory but they were unable to close the deal.

UNSUNG HERO: Gareth Batty knocked the stuffing out of the Sussex batting with three wickets in successive overs.

WHAT’S NEXT: Sussex head to Taunton on Sunday to play Somerset while Surrey are back at the Kia Oval next Tuesday when they entertain Kent.

Sussex Sharks - Philip Salt, Luke Wright(c), Laurie Evans, Delray Rawlins, David Wiese, Ben Brown(wk), Rashid Khan, Jofra Archer, Danny Briggs, Reece Topley, Tymal Mills

Surrey - Will Jacks, Aaron Finch, Mark Stoneman, Ollie Pope(wk), Rikki Clarke, Tom Curran, Jordan Clark, Ryan Patel, Jade Dernbach(c), Gareth Batty, Imran Tahir

©Cricket World 2019