Rapids record third Blast win, plus T20 round-up


Martin Guptill’s run-a-ball 65 steered Worcestershire Rapids to their third win in three matches

Worcestershire Rapids maintained their perfect start with a third T20 Blast in as many games while holders Notts Outlaws recorded back-to-back wins.

Martin Guptill’s run-a-ball 65 ensured Worcestershire beat Derbyshire Falcons by six wickets, chasing down a target of 136 with eight balls to spare.

Notts took the honours in an East Midlands derby against Leicestershire as they won by 18 runs at Grace Road.

Meanwhile, Kent and Sussex made it two wins each from their opening two games.

There were also victories for Lancashire, Birmingham Bears and Gloucestershire on a sweltering Sunday afternoon.

Rapid start to campaign for men from Worcester

Worcestershire top the North Group with three wins out of three, their latest coming on the road at Derbyshire, who had laboured to 135-9.

New Zealand opener Guptill hit three sixes and two fours before being caught off fellow Kiwi Lockie Ferguson (2-25) 10 runs shy of victory, having earlier put on 70 with Daryl Mitchell.

Ross Whiteley won the game with a six, taking the Rapids to 136-4.

Derbyshire debutant Anuj Dal earlier top-scored with 35 on his 22nd birthday, but the Falcons have lost both their opening two games.

Holders Notts Outlaws have now won two and lost one of their first three matches

Having lost on the opening night at home against last year’s runners-up Birmingham Bears, Notts Outlaws appear back on course for another tilt at their title.

Half-centuries from Samit Patel (52) and Tom Moores (51), plus a quick-fire 47 off 29 balls from skipper Dan Christian saw them post 199-8 against Leicestershire.

Paceman Zak Chappell continued to impress for the Foxes with the ball, taking 3-25, but 200 proved too much for the hosts to chase down.

Despite Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammed Nabi making 32 off 18 balls, they fell short on 180-9.

At Edgbaston, Adam Hose and Ian Bell shared an unbroken stand of 83 in nine overs as Birmingham Bears beat Yorkshire by eight wickets.

Hose hit the final ball of the game for his fourth six to finish 51 not out, with Bell unbeaten on 50 as they reached 158-2 with 25 balls to spare.

The Bears’ chase got off to a flier with 33 runs from the opening over – Yorkshire seamer began by giving away five wides before Ed Pollock (39) hit him for three sixes and two fours.

“I’ve very much been given the licence to go out there and go after it. It suits my game really,” the left-hander told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire.

Gary Ballance earlier made his highest T20 score of 79 off 49 balls as Yorkshire totalled 157-7.

Opener Alex Davies hit an unbeaten 64 off 43 balls as Lancashire Lightning beat Northants Steelbacks by eight wickets with 23 balls in hand.

The Steelbacks only mustered 123-9 as spinners Matt Parkinson, Liam Livingstone and Stephen Parry took two wickets each.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Davies put on 88 in 12 overs with England Test opener Keaton Jennings (28 not out) as the home side reached 124-2 at the start of the 17th over.

Two-time winners Northants are bottom of the North Group with three defeats from their first three games.

‘Flossing’ Brathwaite sets up Kent away win

Kent Spitfires have won many admirers for their style of cricket so far this season, finishing runners-up in the One-Day Cup and sitting in the promotion places of County Championship Division Two.

West Indies T20 captain Carlos Brathwaite has been brought in to bolster their chances of regaining the trophy they won in 2007.

And against Somerset at Taunton, he caught the eye with both his bowling and his wicket celebrations in their second win from two games.

Carlos Brathwaite took 4-21 for Kent against Somerset at Taunton

The bustling 29-year-old took 4-21 to restrict Somerset to just 159-6 and showed off his best “flossing” dance moves when dismissing Peter Trego early on.

Only James Hildreth (57) made any impact for the hosts with the bat and Kent made light work of the target, chasing it down with 19 balls to spare.

Heino Kuhn’s sparkling limited-overs summer continued with an unbeaten 67 off 42 balls while Daniel Bell-Drummond struck 58 off 39 balls.

The Spitfires’ win means Somerset have now lost their past nine T20 matches against Kent, stretching back to 2011.

Sussex also recorded their second win from two matches as they chased a target of 174 to beat Glamorgan at Sophia Gardens.

Blistering half-centuries for Luke Wright (88 off 53 balls) and Laurie Evans (65 not out off 47) saw them to an eight-wicket victory with eight balls left.

Colin Ingram’s earlier unbeaten 81 off just 44 balls looked to have given the hosts more than enough to back up their opening win against Hampshire on Friday.

Finally, Gloucestershire inflicted a second defeat in the space of three days on Middlesex at a sun-drenched Uxbridge.

The hosts scrambled their way to 160-7 thanks to 34 from West Indies star Dwayne Bravo before he was out hit wicket.

Michael Klinger then steered the Gloucestershire reply with a 58 off 49 balls as victory was secured with eight balls remaining.

Gloucestershire’s next match at home against Kent on Wednesday at Bristol has been moved forward to a 15:00 BST start to avoid clashing with England’s World Cup semi-final against Croatia the same evening.

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