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Vitality Blast T20 matches round-up: Surrey register first win of the season, Sussex prevail over Hampshire

ANALYST
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173   //    13 Jul 2018, 19:29 IST

Surrey v Essex Eagles - Vitality Blast
Surrey players in delight at the end of their first win

As the English and Indian National squads are battling it out in a two-month-long series that covers all three formats, a little bit away from the international action we have the ongoing Vitality Blast T20 tournament, a regional T20 event organized by the England Cricket Board.

In yesterday's games of Vitality Blast T20, Surrey pipped Essex Eagles to register their first win of the season, while Sussex Sharks continued their good run of form to dominate over Hampshire.

Match 23 of the Vitality Blast T20: Surrey vs Essex Eagles, South Group.

Venue and time: Kennington Oval, London; July 12, 2018, 11pm IST.

Surrey was playing their third game of the season, having lost against Middlesex and Kent Spitfires in their previous outings, by three wickets and six runs respectively. They were also at the bottom of the table. They had shown signs of a fightback against Kent, but could not manage a win. The third time, however, was the charm as Surrey first went on to post 222 runs on board thanks to brilliant fifties from Aaron Finch (58 off 33) and Ben Foakes (56 off 35). With a 190-200 finish on the cards, it was felt as if they would not reach there due to the duo losing their wickets in quick succession. However, Ollie Pope (31 off 20) and Rikki Clarke (48 off 20) who came in instead, blasted 68 runs off the last 28 balls in the innings, to propel the team to well beyond 200.

Varun Chopra (67 off 46) gave initial hopes of a successful chase by Essex, composing fifty-plus partnerships with Adam Wheeler and Tom Westley for the first and second wickets respectively. However, the tables turned after Chopra got himself run-out, followed by Gareth Batty and Matthew Pillans cleaning up the middle-order, to restrict the chasers to 183 runs, handing Surrey a win by 39 runs. The win also helped Surrey gain two spots in the table, edging over Essex to become sixth on basis of net run-rate.

Surrey v Essex Eagles - Vitality Blast
Surrey after completing the win against Essex Eagles

Scores in brief: Surrey 222/4 in 20 overs (Finch 58, Foakes 56; Adam Zampa 2-20) beat Essex 183/7 in 20 overs (Chopra 67; Pillans 3/34) by 39 runs.

Match 24 of the Vitality Blast T20: Sussex Sharks vs Hampshire, South Group.

Venue and time: The Rose Bowl, Southampton; July 12, 2018, 11:30pm IST.

It was a game of contrast as Sussex Sharks dealt with Hampshire. Sussex were the table-toppers having won both their previous games while Hampshire was languishing at the bottom, having lost their only previous encounter so far. As the two teams battled, the result was no different as Sussex showed Hampshire who the bosses were, belittling them by eight wickets.

James Vince (30 off 16) showed signs of a lightning start for Hampshire before he was removed by Jofra Archer. Tom Alsop top-scored with 35 not out, in an innings were wickets fell regularly, with Archer and compatriot Danny Briggs claiming three scalps apiece. Decent bowling at the death by Chris Jordan meant that Hampshire had to be satisfied with the 158 runs they managed to put on board.

In return, skipper Luke Wright (68 off 53) made sure Sussex did not lose track of the chase anywhere. He got dismissed in the 17th over trying to play a loose shot, probably in an attempt to finish proceedings as early as possible. Laurie Evans (55 not out off 33) carried Sussex over the remaining distance and past the finish line, with 1.4 overs remaining. The loss pushed Hampshire to the bottom of the table, having not won so far. They were seventh earlier.

Hampshire v Sussex Sharks - Vitality Blast
Luke Wright of Sussex in action against Hampshire

Scores in brief: Hampshire 158/7 in 20 overs (Alsop 35*, Vince 30; Jofra Archer 3/26) lost to Sussex 161/2 in 18.2 overs (Wright 68, Evans 55*; Berg 2-33) by 8 wickets.

Sussex continue to lead the South Table with three wins in three games while Surrey and Essex are placed sixth and seventh in the same group with one win from three matches each. Hampshire have lost both their outings so far, and are placed last, just below Essex.

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