Lancashire edge out Northants in final-over thriller; Adam Lyth and David Willey star in Yorkshire win; Will Smeed blasts unbeaten 94 in Somerset victory; defending champions Kent suffer fifth defeat in five
Last Updated: 03/06/22 11:20pm
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Alex Hales hit 12 fours and five sixes in a dominant performance helping the Notts Outlaws to a win over the Derbyshire Falcons
Alex Hales hit a blistering 91 off just 33 balls to power Nottinghamshire to a seven-wicket win over Derbyshire in the Vitality Blast on Friday night.
In a stunning display of hitting, Hales smashed 12 fours and five sixes as he dominated an opening stand of 119 from 51 balls with Joe Clarke (25 off 20) as the Outlaws chased down their target of 179 in 17.1 overs.
Hales raced to 50 in just 18 balls, plundering 20 from George Scrimshaw’s fourth over, while he then took apart Sam Conners’ sixth – 26 coming from it – as Notts sored to 95 without loss by the end of the opening powerplay.
Hales drove Matt McKiernan for a pair of sixes in the seventh over, but the leg-spinner broke the stand in his next, picking up Clarke caught at deep square-leg.
Hales’ brutal innings came to an end four balls later as he skied Scrimshaw to the fielder placed at long-leg, but the Outlaws romped home with 17 balls to spare.
Earlier, Leus du Plooy top scored for Derbyshire with 51 and Wayne Madsen made 40 but Jake Ball pegged the Falcons back by taking three wickets in the final over to finish with 4-40.
Lancashire‘s batsmen held their nerve to secure a tense two-wicket victory over Northamptonshire off the final ball of their clash at Emirates Old Trafford.
Chasing 154 and needing six to win off the final over, the home side’s chances appeared to have gone when Jimmy Neesham dismissed both Danny Lamb and Tim David, but with three needed off one ball, the New Zealander bowled a wide and then a no-ball to give Lancashire the spoils.
However, David’s 26-ball 42, which included a trio of sixes had been just as vital in ensuring Lancashire remain unbeaten in this year’s Blast, preserving their 100 per cent record at home.
Earlier, Saif Zaib struck 57 off 41 balls as Northants posted 153-6 after electing to bat first.
Yorkshire raced to a record target of 208 to beat Durham in a mesmerising match at Headingley as Adam Lyth and David Willey both starred with the bat.
Yorkshire were rocked by Durham’s total of 207-8 batting first, including a 37-ball 65 from opener Graham Clark and a career best 56 off 34 from on-loan Kent wicketkeeper Ollie Robinson.
But their mood was quickly turned by left-handed opener Lyth, who broke the back of the chase with 10 fours and three sixes in his 77 off 33 balls, before England all-rounder Willey saw the side home by six wickets and with 2.2 overs to spare, crashing eight fours and three sixes in his 75 not out off 39 deliveries.
Yorkshire, who survived the loss of England’s Harry Brook for four following his release from the Test squad for the game, had never before chased 200. Their previous highest successful chase was 196 against Derbyshire in 2005.
Worcestershire celebrated their first Blast win of the season as Brett D’Oliveira hit a competition-best 71 in a 15-run win over the Birmingham Bears at New Road.
D’Oliveira fired three sixes and six fours in his impressive 38-ball knock as the Rapids amassed 217-5 from their 20 overs – their fifth highest-ever T20 total.
D’Oliveira was given superb support by Jack Haynes (53no), who struck a 22-ball half-century, and by New Zealand’s Colin Munro (41 off 21) after the Bears had put the home side in to bat.
A three-wicket burst with the new ball by Dillon Pennington (3-30) then had the Bears on the back foot before a Sam Hain rally – the middle-order batsman hitting 45 off 33 deliveries – helped lift the team up over 200 only to still fall some way short on 202-8.
Moeen Ali, fresh from being awarded an OBE, returned to lead Worcestershire for the first time this season after a short break following his spell in the IPL with the Chennai Super Kings. He scored 16 off 15 balls, while his one over with the ball went for 22 runs.
Will Smeed gave another reminder of his precocious talent with a scintillating 94 not out from just 41 balls as Somerset returned to winning ways with a nine-wicket trouncing of Glamorgan at Taunton.
The visitors posted 173-7 after losing the toss, former Somerset player Eddie Byrom top-scoring with 37 off 26 balls and all-rounder Ben Green claiming career-best figures of 5-29.
In reply, Somerset openers Smeed and Tom Banton (45 off 30) put on a superb stand of exactly 100 from 9.2 overs, paving the way for a comprehensive win with 5.5 overs to spare.
Twenty-year-old Smeed blasted eight sixes and six fours in a memorable exhibition. The result left Somerset riding high, with four wins from their opening five group matches, while for Glamorgan it was a third defeat in five games.
Reigning Vitality Blast champions Kent continued their abject title defence with a 32-run defeat to Surrey at Canterbury.
The Spitfires have now lost all five of their Blast matches this season as, after limiting Surrey to 159-6, they slumped to 127-9 in reply.
It was a comprehensive and fully deserved win for the visitors, who smothered Kent’s run chase and shared the wickets around, with all six bowlers claiming at least one victim.
Reece Topley had Surrey’s best figures with 3-24, while Chris Jordan took 2-27. Joe Denly made 44 for Kent, but lacked any real support during an increasingly doomed run chase.
Sam Curran was Surrey’s top scorer with 43, while Jamie Overton added 27 at the death to tilt the momentum in the visitors’ favour.
At Hove, Ravi Bopara’s captain’s innings of 54 not out off 36 balls helped Sussex inflict a first defeat of the 2022 Blast campaign on Middlesex.
Bopara was joined in a decisive sixth-wicket unbroken stand of 58 in 6.5 overs by Harrison Ward as Sussex won a rain-affected contest by five wickets with three balls to spare.
Earlier, West Indian left-arm fast bowler Obed McCoy claimed 4-30 as Middlesex were bowled out for 163, with their former bowler Steven Finn also pitching in with 3-29. Joe Cracknell hit two sixes and eight fours as he top-scored with a 49-ball 68.
Rain delayed the start of Sussex’s chase, leaving them to score 146 from 17 overs to win on Duckworth-Lewis-Stern regulations and, despite slipping to 37-3 at one stage, Bopara helped steady the ship and steer the Sharks to victory.
Elsewhere, the South Group match between Gloucestershire and Essex was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain.