Alex Hales smashed an unbeaten 96 off just 54 balls as the former England opener guided Notts Outlaws to their second win of their Vitality Blast campaign, beating Durham by 13 runs at Emirates Riverside.
Hales cracked 10 fours and four sixes to power the Outlaws to a total of 195-5 batting first, though he would not quite manage to bring up his hundred in the final over.
A fellow England-capped cricketer, Ben Duckett supported Hales superbly with 52 from 41 deliveries.
In reply, Durham got off to a roaring start courtesy of a quickfire opening stand of 73 between David Bedingham (65 off 42) and Graham Clark (39 off 19) inside the opening six overs, but once their partnership was broken, the run-chase then unravelled.
Bedingham hung around through to a fine half century, but struggled for support at the other end and Durham ultimately pulled up short at 182-8.
Jonny Bairstow smashed 82 off 45 balls as Yorkshire Vikings earned a thrilling 18-run victory over Leicestershire Foxes in a run-fest at Emerald Headingley.
Yorkshire amassed a staggering 240-4, only for the Foxes gave them an almighty scare as Leeds-born Australian Josh Inglis matched Bairstow’s score off only 37 balls.
Leicestershire, well placed at 146-3 in the 13th over, with opener Inglis still at the crease, later slipped 222-8 and a fourth-straight defeat. The 462 total runs scored equals the Blast record, while as many as 29 sixes were struck.
This was Yorkshire’s third-highest total in Blast history and also included 51 for Adam Lyth, 44 for David Willey and unbeaten 48 off just 16 deliveries for Harry Brook.
Lancashire Lightning clinched a third win in four as Alex Davies’ 83 not out off 54 balls led them to an impressive seven-wicket victory over Derbyshire Falcons.
Davies hit 13 fours in his innings as Lancs chased down a target of 197 with 10 balls to spare. Liam Livingstone, dropped before he scored a run, also smashed four sixes in a handy 45 off 29 balls, while Dane Vilas too cracked an unbeaten 40 from 18 deliveries.
Leus du Plooy earlier scored a T20-best 92 off 56 balls for Derbyshire, while Harry Came added 56 from 37 in his third Blast appearance but the home side’s score of 196-5 ultimately proved insufficient.
Birmingham Bears spinner Jake Lintott produced career-best T20 figures as they hammered Northamptonshire Steelbacks by 55 runs to secure their third-straight Blast win.
Lintott finished with 4-20, scything through the Steelbacks’ middle order as the home side subsided to 115 all out – with seven wickets going down for just 17 runs.
That left Northamptonshire well short of the Bears’ earlier total of 170-3, built around Sam Hain’s undefeated 69 from 42 balls and Pieter Malan’s knock of 62 from 45 deliveries.
Luke Wright announced himself in the 2021 Vitality Blast with a stunning 75 off 44 balls as Sussex Sharks made it three wins from three with a seven-wicket victory over Essex Eagles.
The Blast’s all-time leading run-scorer missed the opening two rounds after splitting the webbing in his hand while practising fielding on the eve of the competition.
But Wright more than made up for lost time by cracking eight boundaries and three sixes as Sussex chased down Essex’s below-par 128-8 with 36 balls to spare.
Left-arm quicks George Garton (3-31) and Tymal Mills (2-21) did the damage with the ball for the Sharks in restricting the home side.
Joe Cracknell’s sensational 77 from 43 balls saw Middlesex successfully chase down 216 to beat Hampshire Hawks by three wickets in a thriller at Radlett.
The Durham University student, on his recall to the starting line-up, blazed three sixes and nine fours in his 43-ball knock, sharing a fourth-wicket stand of 122 with wicketkeeper John Simpson (62 off 31).
Hants legspinner Masson Crane (3-35) dismissed both short of the finish line, but Chris Green’s cameo – 26 not out off 13 balls – and his towering six with three balls to spare saw the hosts to a first win of the tournament.
Earlier, Hawks trio of D’ Arcy Short, Joe Weatherley and Lewis McManus all hit 40s in a daunting total of 215-6, but it wasn’t to be enough.
At Taunton, Somerset too earned their first Vitality Blast win of the season at the third attempt with a 47-run victory over Kent Spitfires.
Having been 53-3 at one stage, the home side did well to post a sizeable score of 204-7, with Tom Abell leading the way with his 68 from 33 balls and 20-year-old Lewis Goldsworthy chipping in with a career-best 48.
In reply, despite an impressive 48 off 23 deliveries from England’s Zak Crawley, Kent never looked likely to chase down their target and were ultimately bowled out for 157 in the 18th over, Marchant de Lange finishing with 3-18.
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