T20 Blast: Essex keep knockout hopes alive, Middlesex edge out Kent

Essex's Tom Westley
Tom Westley’s half-century was his first for Essex in the T20 Blast this season

Holders Essex kept their faint hopes of qualifying for the T20 Blast knockout stages alive with a 54-run win over Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.

Tom Westley (51) and Dan Lawrence (49 not out) led them to 168-3 and the home side could only muster 114-9 in reply.

Meanwhile, Kent suffered only their second South Group defeat as Middlesex won a last-ball thriller by two runs.

Surrey face Sussex in the later game, with Glamorgan hosting Somerset and Yorkshire at home to Durham.

Finding form too late?

Essex failed to win any of their first six games in this year’s T20 Blast before finally breaking their duck against Sussex Sharks on Monday.

And they were given a flying start against Hampshire as Westley and Cameron Delport put on 57 in 6.5 overs before the latter was caught off spinner Mason Crane for 31.

Westley reached his fifty off 35 balls but was caught behind trying to dab the ball fine and it was left to Lawrence and Ryan ten Doeschate (29 not out) to round off their innings with an unbroken stand of 58.

Hampshire’s chase was effectively over before it ever really began as they slumped to 38-6 in the seventh over, with James Vince among the early casualties as he was given out caught behind down the leg-side for a first-ball duck.

Spinner Aron Nijjar took 3-22 as the home side settled for making sure they were not bowled out for under 100, but Essex remain next to bottom in the group and will need to win their final two games as well to have a chance of squeezing into the quarter-finals.

Final over costs Kent

Middlesex reached 184-5 against Kent after Joe Cracknell smashed 50 off 22 balls and John Simpson and Luke Hollman (both 46) shared a 70-run stand before both were run out.

England’s Zak Crawley made an unbeaten 108 in Kent’s previous game but this time only faced two deliveries before holing out at mid-on for a single.

Joe Denly followed for 14 and at 94-5 in the 14th over, they were well behind the required rate before Daniel Bell-Drummond and Jordan Cox added 82 in 6.4 overs to leave just nine needed off the last six balls.

But Bell-Drummond flashed a catch to point, departing for 89, and Grant Stewart was run out, leaving Cox stranded at the wrong end on 39 for the final ball, from which Matt Milnes could only pick up a single, instead of the boundary they required.

Coming next

Thursday, 17 September (start times BST)

18:00 – Notts Outlaws v Derbyshire Falcons – Trent Bridge

18:35 – Lancashire Lightning v Yorkshire Vikings – Old Trafford

BBC News