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Essex edge out Somerset & Surrey beaten – T20 Blast round-up


Adam Wheater in action for Essex against Somerset
Adam Wheater’s 49 laid the base for a nervy Essex win at Chelmsford

Simon Harmer took 4-24 and Michael Pepper smashed 55 not out as Essex survived a wobble to earn a six-wicket win over Somerset in the T20 Blast.

Chasing a revised, rain-affected target of 148 from 19 overs, Essex reached 104-2 and only needed 44 from seven.

Adam Wheater’s departure on 49 slowed the innings, but Pepper steered his side to a win which takes them sixth.

Elsewhere in the South Group, Glamorgan beat Surrey by one run in a last-ball finish to stop the visitors going top.

Essex hold nerve for vital win

Essex’s win at Chelmsford sees them move to within a point of fifth-placed Somerset and just four adrift of leaders Kent.

And although Pepper’s heroics with the bat got the hosts over the line, Harmer’s bowling was the catalyst for the victory, the off-spinner taking three wickets in an over to halt the visitors’ progress.

New Zealand opener Devon Conway anchored Somerset’s innings with a steady 53 off 47 balls.

Tom Banton (19 off 10), Lewis Goldsworthy (27 off 18) and Will Smeed (18 off 15) made swift contributions at the top of the order.

But the innings fell apart after an impressive start, with 107-2 after 13 overs becoming 153 all out off the last ball.

And Wheater’s 49 from 35 balls and Pepper’s 35 from the same number of deliveries saw Essex home with five balls remaining.

Steelbacks win battle of bottom two

Rob Keogh’s unbeaten 34 steered Northamptonshire Steelbacks to a five-wicket win over Leicestershire and took them off the foot of the table in the battle of the bottom two.

Scott Steel (44) and Harry Swindells (32) provided what little resistance the Foxes offered in their innings.

Opener Steel had to play conservatively as his side slipped to 25-3 after four overs, reigning in a fast start to finish with just two fours and a six from his 56-ball 44.

Swindells smashed 32 from 16 balls, but his aggressive knock ended with a stumping by Ricardo Vasconcelos off the bowling of Graeme White and the innings petered out to 138 all out with none of the last five batsman scoring higher than eight.

Vasconcelos and former Foxes all-rounder Josh Cobb got the reply off to rapid start, contributing 30 off 18 and 28 off 19 respectively.

And Keogh and Saif Zaib (21no) ensured a third win in 10 matches with 10 balls to spare – a result which lifts the visitors above Leicestershire by a point.

Rain scuppers hope of play at Hove

Sussex’s match against Kent at Hove was abandoned without a ball being bowled because of persistent rain saturating the outfield.

The South Group game was called off two hours before the scheduled start time of 19:00 BST, the fifth no result in nine games for Sussex in this season’s competition.

Sussex began their campaign with three wins and are in fourth place in the table, but have lost the only other game they have completed.

The point Kent gained from their first no result off the tournament took them top of the table – and they remained there following Surrey’s dramatic defeat against Glamorgan.

Pope knock in vain as Glamorgan see off Surrey

Ollie Pope in action for Surrey
England’s Ollie Pope top scored with 60 in Surrey’s game against Glamorgan but still finished on the losing side

England’s Ollie Pope scored a career-best 60 as Surrey narrowly failed to chase down 154 in a dramatic T20 last-ball finish against Glamorgan, who keep alive their chances of progressing to the knockout stages.

Kyle Jamieson clubbed a quick-fire 31 at Sophia Gardens but, needing two off the last ball for victory, he drove back to Timm van der Gugten who ran him out.

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