Round-up from Friday night’s Vitality Blast action, where Birmingham Bears And Hampshire Hawks both booked quarter-final spots, Surrey guaranteed a home fixture in the last eight and England one-day captain Jos Buttler featured in a defeat for Lancashire.
Birmingham Bears qualified for next week’s Vitality Blast quarter-finals as North Group winners by defending a 239 target in a run-fest against fellow challengers Yorkshire Vikings at Headingley.
Birmingham’s 238-5 was the fourth-highest total in this season’s Blast – they also hold the highest, 261-2 against Nottinghamshire – and included 81 in 41 balls for Ireland opener Paul Stirling and a late career best 63 not out off 25 for Dan Mousley, who also claimed a wicket with his off-spin.
This was also the highest total Yorkshire have ever conceded. But they valiantly chased, finishing on 207 all out with Adam Lyth’s 69 their top score. Bears captain Carlos Brathwaite returned a season’s best 3-32 in a 31-run win.
Fourth-placed Vikings head into Sunday’s final group game at Leicestershire, who are a point behind in sixth, with all manner of possibilities at play. A win will qualify them, as will a tie or no result, while they could also still finish in the top two for a home quarter-final or be knocked out with a loss.
Jos Buttler suffered disappointment in his first match since being appointed England’s new white-ball captain, as an astonishing Lancashire Lightning batting collapse saw the visitors go down to a 29-run defeat against bottom-placed Worcestershire Rapids at New Road.
Live Vitality T20 Blast Cricket
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Eoin Morgan’s replacement was dropped before he had scored but then smashed 42 off 29 balls with three sixes and two fours as he and Phil Salt plundered 85 from 8.2 overs in pursuit of a 179 target.
The Lightning looked well on course to seal the victory that would have booked their place in the quarter-finals, but then Brett D’Oliveira’s career best T20 return of 4-20 was the centre part of a dramatic reversal in fortunes for the Lightning.
Ten wickets went down for 64 runs in 11.1 overs to leave Lancashire’s hopes of qualifying for the last eight now hanging in the balance heading into their final game with Birmingham Bears on Sunday.
Leicestershire Foxes beat the Northamptonshire Steelbacks by one run to keep alive their hopes of snatching a quarter-final place in the Vitality Blast, with the dramatic victory – coupled with Yorkshire’s loss – giving the hosts the night they were hoping for.
Skipper Colin Ackermann hit three sixes and nine fours in a career-best 85 from 44 balls to lead Leicestershire to a season’s best 214-6 after Nick Welch (38) and Lewis Hill had plundered 59 from the first 32 balls.
The Steelbacks, likewise needing a win, responded with half-centuries from Chris Lynn, Josh Cobb and Jimmy Neesham. However, chasing down the total proved just beyond them despite an extraordinary last over in which they needed 19 to win and might have pulled it off had Neesham not been run out with three balls to go.
Nottinghamshire Outlaws‘ last desperate hopes of a seventh-successive T20 quarter-final berth finally vanished despite a comfortable four-wicket victory over Durham at Trent Bridge.
Amongst other things, Nottinghamshire needed a tie, no less, in the match in Leicester to retain any hope but it was not to be as Leicestershire edged out Northamptonshire.
It was at least a rousing farewell for Dan Christian, Nottinghamshire’s departing veteran captain, who led the Outlaws to T20 glory in 2017 and 2020. He could revel in watching 51 from 30 balls from Joe Clarke and Ben Duckett’s unbeaten 53 from 34, as the hosts chased down a target of 184 with three overs to spare.
Surrey clinched a home Vitality Blast quarter-final after beating Kent Spitfires by four wickets with rapid half-centuries from Jason Roy and Sam Curran leading a spectacular chase in a high-scoring affair.
A full house crowd of 30,000 at the Kia Oval lapped it up as hosts Surrey hunted down Kent’s 191-5 with nine balls to spare as England duo Roy, with 58 off 27 balls, and Curran, 50 off 30, starred.
It was a 10th win from 13 group games for long-time leaders Surrey, with one match rained off, and Laurie Evans and Will Jacks also made solid contributions with 26 runs each as Kent’s bowlers simply could not defend what seemed a challenging total.
Josh Davey returned to haunt his former team-mates as Somerset beat Middlesex by two wickets in a Vitality Blast thriller at Lord’s to qualify for the quarter-finals. Davey took 1-25 from four frugal overs before striking Chris Green for six as the visitors won a see-saw encounter with two balls to spare.
Essex vs Glamorgan
July 2, 2022, 6:25pm
The Cidermen had looked like chasing down a target of 161 with some comfort thanks to Tom Banton’s 39 and 36 for skipper Tom Abell, but Jason Behrendorf’s 3-30 and two wickets on debut for Max Harris made it tight before Davey’s last-over heroics.
Earlier, Middlesex’s tally of 160-6 owed much to Chris Green’s unbeaten 44 and 41 for Luke Hollman, but it was not enough to prevent their ninth defeat of the competition.
James Fuller’s quick-fire 45 and impeccable bowling from Liam Dawson and Nathan Ellis fired Hampshire Hawks into the Vitality Blast quarter-finals at the expense of Gloucestershire.
All-rounder Fuller needed only 24 balls to smack his haul at the death to drag Hampshire to an above-par 140.
Gloucestershire, who needed to win to keep their knockout hopes alive, lost wickets with regularity, with Dawson returning 2-16 and Australian Ellis 1-14 in his four overs, as Hampshire won by 15 runs.
A magnificently miserly bowling stint from Essex Eagles captain Simon Harmer led his side to victory by 28 runs runs in their Vitality Blast match against Sussex Sharks at Hove.
Harmer conceded just 18 runs from his four overs and also picked up the wickets of danger man Ali Orr, Tom Alsop and George Garton.
It was the eighth win of the campaign for Essex as Sussex disappointed once again before a sell-out crowd. But Orr, the hero of Sussex’s first championship win of the season two days before, threatened more heroics as Sussex chased a challenging 198 for victory.