On a Natwest T20 Blast night dominated by notable Saffa performances, Rilee Rossouw’s 60 and Kyle Abbott’s 3-26 led the way in Hampshire’s victory against Middlesex.
Middlesex vs Hampshire
Very little separates the teams in the South Group, largely thanks to the vast number of No Results due to rain. It made Hampshire’s victory all the more vital as they moved up to second place due to their comfortable six-wicket win against Middlesex, spearheaded by huge efforts from Abbott and Rossouw.
The two-time champions restricted Middlesex to 136 all out, as 12 dot balls came off Abbott’s spell, while he tied up the tail with three wickets in the space of 11 balls to finish with figures of 3-26. The chase was then dealt with comfortably as the side built their innings around Rossouw, who scored 60 off 47 balls, his highest score this season. He hit six fours and a six as Hampshire crossed the line with 2.3 overs to spare. It sent Middlesex down to seventh. It was Rossouw’s first fifty of the tournament, and he now has 219 runs from his nine matches at an average of 27.37 and a strike rate of 135.18.
Sussex vs Surrey
In Brighton, meanwhile, Stiaan van Zyl in just his third T20 Blast match of the season, smashed 52 off only 21 balls to hand Sussex just their second win of the season against Surrey. It followed his 42 off 22 in a losing cause against Somerset last week.
Surrey scored 148-8 from their 20 overs, before Sussex blew them away in 13.3 overs. Van Zyl and Chris Nash smashed 120 in 8.4 overs. Between overs 3-6, an incredible 63 runs were scored, with Van Zyl single-handedly blasting 24 runs off one Moises Henriques over. The former Proteas batsman smacked eight fours and two sixes, and by the time he lost his wicket, Sussex only needed 17 more runs. They’re second to last in the South Group, but the tight nature of the group means they still have time to catch up and push for a place in the finals.
Northamptonshire vs Lancashire
It was another match dominated by South Africans on Thursday night, as Richard Levi and Rory Kleinveldt continued their fine form to hand Northants an 11-run win over Lancashire, lifting the defending champions up to third in the North Group. Levi has been an unstoppable force in the five matches he’s played so far, scoring 41, 88, 47, 33 and 71 at an average of 56 and a strike rate of 165.68.
Levi’s 54-ball 71, which saw him hit three sixes and five fours, helped Northants along to 158-4. Ryan McLaren was expensive with the ball with figures of 2-44, but he managed to rack up a career-best 77 with the bat, as he almost helped Lancashire pull off an unlikely victory, thanks to a 91-run stand with Dane Vilas. Lancs were in all kinds of trouble on 25-5 after 5.4 overs, but McLaren and Vilas’s 91 runs came off the following 10 overs to give them a chance.
They couldn’t quite get over the line as Vilas fell for 40 off 27 balls, before Kleinveldt, who finished with excellent figures of 3-16 from his four overs, saw off McLaren for 77 off 50 balls, for Lancs to ultimately finish 11 runs short.
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