6/17/2016 0 Comments
It was an exciting Friday night of T20 Blast action as the matches that survived the again horrendous weather provided the thrills and spills that we have so come to love of this format. In the South, Surrey ran home comfortable victors over London rivals Middlesex, taking bragging rights by a margin of 29 runs. In Cardiff, David Lloyd struck the highest score of the evening, blasting 97 in Glamorgan's 55 run D/L win over Kent. Elsewhere, Gloucestershire snuck home with a single ball remaining in negotiating a tricky chase of 159 to overcome rivals Somerset.
Two matches made it past the rain in the North group – wins for Birmingham and Northamptonshire to consolidate their positions at the top of the standings. Birmingham's Ateeq Javid struck a last-ball four to reach a nervy four-wicket win against the Derbyshire Falcons while in Northampton, Durham stumbled out of the blocks and never recovered in their chase of 162 and despite a Paul Coughlin hattrick, Northamptonshire recorded a solid 26 run win.
Surrey vs Middlesex
At a sold out KIA Oval, Surrey recorded a derby victory over Middlesex by 29 runs – Middlesex were always struggling in their chase of 174 which always looked a step too far as wickets fell at regular intervals to give Surrey the edge. West Indian Ravi Rampaul took an impressive 3 for 21 from 3 overs including the big scalp of Brendon McCullum, while there were two wickets apiece for spin twins Gareth Batty and Zafar Ansari. James Franklin's top score of 39 from 30 balls including two sixes but it came too late in the piece for Middlesex to mount a serious challenge. Earlier, Jason Roy hit a quickfire 35 from 19 balls with a couple of sixes, while Ansari and Tom Curran provided late impetus striking 46 in the 22 balls they were together. Surrey now sit second in the standings and look in a strong position to qualify for the quarter-finals, while Middlesex are not out of the question by any means – sitting fifth with 5 points, just 3 points behind their rivals.
Gloucestershire vs Somerset
In the South Group's second derby of the evening, Gloucestershire took the bragging rights over West Country rivals Somerset in a thrilling finish which saw the 11,000 strong crowd get the result many of them will have wanted. Skipper Michael Klinger's 60 was the lynchpin of the hosts' innings before it was left to Gareth Roderick to hit Yasir Arafat's penultimate ball of the match to the boundary to seal a four-wicket win. The match began in peculiar fashion, Chris Gayle playing out a maiden off Jack Taylor – but it wasn't long until he gave the crowd what they wanted, after taking nine balls to score his first run the West Indian hit 6 fours and blasted two huge sixes to top score for the visitors with 40. Jim Allenby and Mahela Jayawardene provided ample support for the Jamaican, scoring 27 and 24 respectively before Lewis Gregory and Roelof van der Merwe took Somerset beyond 150 to set Gloucestershire 159 for victory. Australian Klinger lost partner Hamish Marshall to the first ball of the innings but soon had the runs flowing alongside Ian Cockbain – making 40 together in 5 overs before the latter departed to Jamie Overton. Chris Dent then made 22 before he was the first of Dutchman van der Merwe's three victims – an impressive bowling performance from the experienced spinner who's four overs yielded just 16 runs. Klinger fell in the 17th over, leaving Roderick and Andrew Tye to see their side nervously home. With 14 runs required from the final over, Tye's six swung the momentum before two singles, a three and then a boundary from Roderick sealed the win to the joy of the highest crowd seen at Bristol.
Glamorgan vs Kent
In a rain-affected match at the SWALEC stadium in Cardiff, Glamorgan's powerful batting performance overwhelmed an off-colour Kent to have them beaten by 55 runs (D/L). David Lloyd launched a brutal assault on Kent's bowling attack to make 97 not out from 48 balls and set Kent an unlikely victory target of 177 from 16 overs. Lloyd's innings contained 10 fours and 4 maximums, and in partnership with Colin Ingram who contributed 60, took the game away from the Spitfires to leave them chasing the game. Fabian Cowdrey, in particular, took some tap but then again he was not alone on a sorry night for Kent. No bowler went for less than 8 an over, Mitch Claydon's figures looking the most respectful at 2-27 from 3 overs. Kent's chase stumbled from the get-go, the in-form Daniel Bell-Drummond falling to the international quality of Dale Steyn in the first over for four-ball duck. From then, wickets fell regularly and consistently and Kent eventually stumbled to 121 all out. Steyn took three more to end up with 4-18 from his four overs and was ably assisted by Michael Hogan who took 3-12 from 2.5 overs and Timm van der Gugten who finished with 2-18 off three. The only real resistance to the Glamorgan bowling was provided by Joe Denly (23 from 17, 1 six), Alex Blake (30 from 25, 1 six) and Matt Coles (31 from 16, 2 sixes) but Glamorgan never looked troubled in the field, and eventually cruised to victory.
Hampshire vs Sussex
It was somewhat of a farce at the Ageas Bowl as Hampshire's interesting looking context with Sussex was abandoned without a ball bowled after somewhat of a shambolic turn of events. A heavy 15-minute shower put pay to the match, with the groundstaff slow to cover the pitch, meaning water damaged the wicket. Indeed, the announcement was met with a bad reception as the soon to be sun-kissed ground would be left without any cricket.
Birmingham vs Derbyshire
A last ball four from all-rounder Ateeq Javid sealed victory for Birmingham at the 3aaa County Ground, who had let the game slip from a comfortable looking position to a situation of peril with the visitors requiring 10 from the final over. Ian Bell's 67 from 54 balls was invaluable to the Bears' cause and set up the last minute scramble for victory. Derbyshire had earlier been restricted to what looked like a below-par 141-7, Wayne Madsen making a well-paced 38 from 34 balls including two sixes on a track that lacked pace. Hamish Rutherford also chipped in with 33 at just over a-run-a-ball with three fours before two late sixes from Shiv Thakor took Derby to a competitive total. Rikki Clarke, once again, provided four cheap overs at the top of innings – taking outstanding figures of 2 for 17, while there were also two wickets for Oliver Hannon-Dalby. Ian Bell and Sam Hain got the Bears' reply off to a flyer, amassing 48 runs without loss from the first six overs to have their side in the box seat. However, the innings soon stagnated and when Hain holed out to Matt Critchley for 28 the Bears lost their momentum. It was left to captain Bell to bat through the majority of the innings for his 67, but when he fell in the penultimate over 15 runs were still required. That came down to ten from the last six balls, Aaron Thomason fell to the second ball of Jimmy Neesham's last over before Rikki Clarke's movement on the crease fooled Derbyshire wicket-keeper Tom Poynton and the ball ran away for four byes. There was still drama afoot, Chris Woakes was run out from the penultimate ball chasing a match winning second after a misfield before the cool head of Ateeq Javid saw the Bears over the line with a drive past Neesham's desperate dive.
Northamptonshire vs Durham
The first hat-trick of this year's Blast from Paul Coughlin was not enough to prevent Northamptonshire from achieving a comfortable victory over Durham by 26 runs. Coughlin's 5 for 42 included a hat-trick in the final over of the innings, an astounding triple-wicket maiden which helped to restrict Northants to what looked a beatable score of 161-9. Northamptonshire began at an alarming pace, Alex Wakely made a 15-ball 28 before his dismissal brought Josh Cobb to the wicket. Cobb top scored with 68 from 48 balls, his four sixes and five fours keeping up his fine record to date in this year's competition. Stephen Crook too chipped in with 18 before it was left for Coughlin to mop up the tail. He removed Rob Newton, Graeme White and Richard Gleeson to claim his five-fer and his hat-trick, albeit at the expense of a hefty 42 runs. Durham's reply began shambolically. Mark Stoneman, Jack Burnham and Michael Richardson were dismissed for ducks, and Phil Mustard went for 2 to leave the Jets reeling at 9-4 in the fourth over of the innings – three wickets for Moin Ashraf on debut and one for Richard Gleeson. Paul Collingwood and Scott Borthwick went about bringing some respectability to the chase, and even attempted to take Durham towards an unlikely victory. They put on 59 together before Collingwood holed out to long on trying to up the tempo. Borthwick soon followed and despite a six from Keaton Jennings in the final over of the match, Durham had limped to a sorry 135-8 to fall 26 short. Ashraf's debut figures of 3-17 will have impressed, and Josh Cobb topped a fine all-around performance with 2-29 in a victory that never looked out of sight.
Yorkshire vs Nottinghamshire
Both sides look to be struggling for momentum in this year's group stage as their match was abandoned without a ball bowled at Headingley. Yorkshire captain Alex Lees had earlier sacrificed his place at the top of the batting order to find room for England's Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow to come into the side – but neither were able to showcase their talent as persistent rain took another match from the schedule.
Leicestershire vs Worcestershire
Rain again was the victor at Grace Road as neither side could advance on their strong start to this year's Blast as each side suffered their first wash-out of the competition.
Reports by Charlie Jennings (@AVCJX)
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