Despite Bell-Drummond’s 89, Kent fell short by two runs. © Getty
Daniel Bell-Drummond 89 went in vain as Kent fell agonisingly short in a thrilling encounter at Canterbury. Chasing Middlesex’s 184, Kent’s innings had meandered off tempo with only the skipper Bell-Drummond holding one end up. At 84/5 in the 13th over, with the asking rate already past 12, the game appeared to be a lost cause. Bell-Drummond found an able ally in Jordan Cox and the duo swung for the fences. Between the two, they hit 12 boundaries and five sixes, with a vital turning point coming in the 16th over which saw Steven Finn conceding 16. The 18th and 19th overs brought 37 runs and suddenly Kent found themselves needing 9 runs. Inexplicably, however, Bell-Drummond fell first ball of the final over and Tom Helm delivered a tight over to seal a stunning two-run win.
Earlier in the game, Middlesex, who had been put in to bat, saw Joe Cracknell score a 22-ball 50 while J Simpson and Luke Hollman hit quickfire 46s from lower middle-order to power the team to what would eventually turn out to be a match-winning total.
Brief scores: Middlesex 184/6 in 20 overs (Joe Cracknell 50, J Simpson 46, Luke Hollman 46; Imran Qayyum 1-21) beat Kent 182/7 in 20 overs (Daniel Bell-Drummond 89, Jordan Cox 39*; Tim Murtagh 2-23) by 2 runs.
Tom Westley scored a half-century and Aron Nijjar produced a probing spell as Essex recorded their second win on the bounce. This win over Hampshire lifts defending T20 Blast champions out of the bottom place lifting some of the gloom around their capaign which saw four straight defeats. Essex were in charge for the entirety of this contest at Southampton since electing to bat.
The opening pair of Westley and Cameron Delport put on 57 in a little over six overs before the latter handed over the baton to Daniel Lawrence. The star in Essex’s first win two days ago, Lawrence, was in his elements once more, scoring an unbeaten 49 off 34. Westley, of course, managed to complete his half-century, allowing the total to reach a competitive 168. Hampshire were out of the game inside the PowerPlay of the chase, slipping to 32/4 – a position from which they never recovered. Nijjar picked up 3 for 22 while Jack Plom added two wickets with the hosts’ only solace being that they avoided getting bowled out.
Brief scores: Essex 168/3 in 20 overs (Tom Westley 51, Daniel Lawrence 49*; Mason Crane 1-27) beat Hampshire 114/9 in 20 overs (Chris Wood 18; Aron Nijjar 3-22, Jack Plom 2-18) by 54 runs
Will Jacks and Jamie Overton starred with the bat as Surrey secured a four-wicket victory against Sussex to seal a spot in the quarterfinals. With five successive victories, Surrey have 12 points, two more than the second placed Kent. Sussex, meanwhile, have nine points from eight matches.
Luke Wright’s 45 off 37 helped steady Sussex after they lost a couple of early wickets having been asked to bat. Calum MacLeod and Delray Rawlins supported Wright in useful stands. But when Wright fell in the 16th over, Sussex had only managed 108 and needed a late flourish. Ravi Bopara and David Wiese provided that as they scored five sixes between them to power Sussex to a competitive 165 for 7.
Will Jacks guided Surrey in the chase with his 39-ball 65 even as he watched wickets go down at the other end. He was eventually the fourth to depart, with Surrey having managed 101 in 11.3 overs. Rikki Clarke also fell cheaply but Overton helped them forward his solid knock. He brought down the equation to 16 off the last two overs before hitting two fours and a six to help Surrey win with five deliveries to spare.
Brief scores: Sussex 165/7 in 20 overs (Luke Wright 45, David Wiese 33; Will Jacks 2-29) lost to Surrey 167/6 in 19.1 overs (Will Jacks 65, Jamie Overton 40*; Will Beer 3-34) by 4 wickets.
Babar Azam scored his maiden T20 Blast ton as he starred in Somerset’s 66-run win against Glamorgan at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. The win was Somerset’s third and eight games and they now have seven points to be placed fourth in the Central Group. Glamorgan have only five points from eight games and are fifth in the group.
Having managed only 58 runs from his last four outings, Babar made up for it with an unbeaten 114 off only 62 deliveries – including nine fours and five sixes in his knock that came at a strike rate of 183.87. Somerset lost a couple of wickets early but Babar took upon the responsibility of leading his team to a good total. Lewis Goldsworthy scored 38 in a supporting role in a 110-run fourth wicket stand as Somerset finished with 183 for 3.
Glamorgan never got going in the chase as regular wickets hampered their progress. Barring Nicholas Selman and Owen Morgan, none of the batsmen crossed 20 as they ended up being bowled out for 117 in the 16th over. Craig Overton bagged three wickets while Roelof van der Merwe, Goldsworthy and Ollie Sale picked up two apiece.
Brief scores: Somerset 183/3 in 20 overs (Babar Azam 114*, Lewis Goldsworthy 38*; Prem Sisodiya 1-26) beat Glamorgan 117 (Owen Morgan 24; Craig Overton 3-36, Lewis Goldsworthy 2-24, Roelof van der Merwe 2-15) by 66 runs.
With four players missing from the team, including David Willey who tested positive for COVID-19, an under strength Yorkshire slipped to a 43-run loss against Durham at Headingley in Leeds. Yorkshire have only two wins from eight games, with four losses and two no results, and are sixth in the North Group table with six points. Durham, meanwhile, have seven points and are placed third.
Opting to bowl, Yorkshire saw Durham get off to a positive start but the hosts managed to pull it back with quick wickets. Graham Clark and Ben Raine fell after promising 20s, while David Bedingham and Farhaan Behardien were dismissed cheaply as Durham slipped to 94 for 5. Useful knocks from Brydon Carse, Paul Coughlin and Scott Steel helped them past 140 before they were bowled out in the final over for 147.
The chase didn’t start well for Yorkshire as they lost their top-order batsmen cheaply and were 22 for 3 in the fourth over. Will Fraine’s fighting 28 was the highest score for the team while no one else crossed 20 as Matty Potts and Coughlin picked up three wickets apiece to bowl the hosts out for 104 in the 17th over.
Brief scores: Durham 147 in 19.3 overs (Graham Clarke 28; Duanne Olivier 2-16, Jordan Thompson 2-30) beat Yorkshire 104 in 16.4 overs (Will Fraine 28; Matty Potts 3-14, Paul Coughlin 3-22) by 43 runs.