The T20 Blast returned with a bang as 2018 winners Worcestershire Rapids surprised holders Notts Outlaws by someway forcing a last-ball tie.
Essex, winners in 2019, had been too good for Somerset at Taunton as they chased down the hosts’ 185-7, whereas Kent’s 176-6 was an excessive amount of for Hampshire.
Lancashire launched the 2021 Blast by beating Derbyshire due to Liam Livingstone’s unbeaten 94 off 58 balls.
But spotlight of the night was the drama at Worcester as Notts buckled.
“It feels like a win,” stated dwelling skipper Moeen Ali, who took 2-15 on his first look for Worcestershire since captaining the Rapids to defeat within the closing in September 2019. “I just wanted us to fight and we showed that.”
After the hosts plummeted to 63-Four off the penultimate ball of the 10th over at New Road, they got hope in a stand of 78 between in-form Jake Libby (52 not out) and Ross Whiteley (42) earlier than 10 in two balls from Ed Barnard lifted them to 152-6.
That complete regarded insufficient when Worcestershire previous boy Joe Clarke – a winner of the competitors in 2018 with the Rapids and once more with Notts in 2020 – and fellow twice winner Alex Hales powered to 76-Zero in simply 35 balls.
But Hales received himself out for 31 going for one tried six too many, caught at deep mid-off by Moeen. Clarke adopted for 43 an over later and wickets continued to tumble.
Old heads Peter Trego and Steve Mullaney, with a mixed age of 73, appeared to have used their nous to get their facet dwelling.
Even when Josh Tongue took a superb catch to take away Mullaney, Notts nonetheless solely wanted 5 off the final over. But Trego received off strike and Tongue bowled a superb final over to maintain him off it till the ultimate ball.
First Luke Fletcher was run out after which, needing two off the final ball, 39-year-old Trego was additionally run out by Barnard going for the second. That meant the 31st tie within the 18-year historical past of the competitors – and Worcestershire’s first.
“We believe in ourselves,” stated England all-rounder Moeen. “We kept saying ‘a couple of wickets, get Halesy and Clarkey out and we’ve got a chance’.”
Livingstone had already received this yr’s match off to an amazing begin as Lancashire lastly noticed off Derbyshire by six wickets within the final over at Emirates Old Trafford.
The 27-year-old England limited-over worldwide struck two sixes and 10 fours in his unbeaten 94 off 58 balls.
Derbyshire set an imposing 168-7, fuelled by 59 from Lancashire previous boy Luis Reece and Leus Du Plooy (34). But Jos Buttler (30) and New Zealander Finn Allen (29) helped Lancashire to 171-Four off 19.three overs.
England wicketkeeper Buttler, batting at 4, hit three fours in his 28-ball knock – the primary of six scheduled T20 appearances for his county. But he was outshone by Livingstone’s second-best rating in T20 cricket.
Derbyshire wasted the very best probability to take away him when Matt Critchley and du Plooy collided painfully simply when it regarded like Livingstone may gap out – and the catch was spilled.
That added to Derbyshire’s woes, having earlier misplaced key man Wayne Madsen, who needed to retire damage on 12 after being struck by a throw from Lancashire captain Dane Vilas.
Kent declare first win of the season
After eight video games with no win this season in County Championship cricket, Kent lastly triumphed within the shortest type of the English county recreation.
Kent’s prime three, Joe Denly (44), Daniel Bell-Drummond (42) and Ollie Robinson (48) helped the Spitfires submit 176-6. And the hapless Hampshire Hawks by no means actually regarded like getting there.
Only Joe Weatherley (37) and James Vince (34), in a gap stand of 51 with D’Arcy Short (29), ever regarded like serving to them attain their goal.
Fred Klaasen took 4-32, whereas Darren Stevens, again in favour in T20 cricket for Kent for the primary time in 4 years on the age of 45, claimed a really tidy 2-22.
Essex Eagles received with seven balls to spare in opposition to Somerset at Taunton.
Young paceman Jack Plom had the honour of hitting the successful run after the early shock of being smashed for 33 off his first over by transformed opener James Hildreth – together with successive sixes over long-on, 4 fours and two no-balls.
But, after 57 off their first three overs, Somerset managed solely 11 from the subsequent three.
And, though they had been chasing the most important goal of the day, Essex had New Zealand worldwide Jimmy Neesham’s explosive 53 to thank for establishing their three-wicket win.
They recovered from a poor begin as Neesham hammered seven fours and two sixes in his 23-ball half-century to quieten the 1,900 crowd.
Lancashire are again in motion on Thursday with one other dwelling recreation in opposition to Leicestershire Foxes (18:30 BST), whereas Derbyshire’s subsequent recreation is on Friday, additionally in opposition to the Foxes, at Leicester (18:30).
Thursday’s different North Group recreation might be Yorkshire and Birmingham Bears getting their marketing campaign beneath approach in Leeds (18:30 BST).
Worcestershire, who’re away to Northants (19:00), and Notts, who host the Bears (18:30), don’t play once more till Friday.
In the South Group, Glamorgan play Gloucestershire in Cardiff on Thursday (17:30) and the London derby between Middlesex and Surrey takes place at Lord’s (19:00).
Kent, Hampshire, Essex and Somerset are all subsequent in motion on Friday as a part of a bumper crop of eight fixtures.