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Vitality Blast: Alex Hales smashes Nottinghamshire Outlaws to victory and home quarter-final

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Alex Hales blitz takes Notts to victory over Yorkshire in shortened game and secures Outlaws a home quarter-final in the Vitality Blast; Finn Allen keeps Lancashire’s qualification hopes alive; Sussex strengthen their position in South Group top four thanks to Ravi Bopara

Alex Hales blitzed an unbeaten 31 from nine balls to take Notts past Yorkshire

Alex Hales blitzed an unbeaten 31 from nine balls to take Notts past Yorkshire

Defending champions Nottinghamshire Outlaws secured a home quarter-final in this year’s Vitality Blast with a 10-wicket win over Yorkshire Vikings in a match reduced to seven overs per side after rain delayed the start.

With Alex Hales smashing 31 off just nine balls and Peter Trego 29 off 13, the Outlaws overhauled the Vikings’ 60-3 with 20 balls to spare, Hales winning the match by slog-sweeping three sixes in four deliveries off leg spinner Josh Poysden.

After an 8.45pm start, Yorkshire’s total always looked a little light, especially after opting to bat first in a shortened match. Jordan Thompson made 28 from 19 balls and Adam Lyth 26 off 18, but Dane Paterson took 2-5 in his one over, and Samit Patel 1-7 from two.

    Notts vs Yorkshire scorecard

The result leaves second-placed Vikings still needing one more point from two matches to be sure of their place in the last eight.

New Zealand opener Finn Allen made his third half-century in 11 T20 innings this season as Lancashire thrashed Northamptonshire by eight wickets at Emirates Old Trafford. Lancs vs Northants scorecard

Allen made 66 off 37 balls with seven fours and three sixes as his side overhauled Northamptonshire’s moderate total of 142-8 with 26 balls to spare.

The result keeps Lancashire’s hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals very much alive, but their opponents’ chances are very slim after an evening in which all three facets of the game let them down.

Brett D’Oliveira sparkled with bat and ball for Worcestershire as they moved a step closer to the knockout stages with a 49-run derby triumph over Birmingham at New Road. Worcs vs Birmingham scorecard

Worcestershire totalled 174-6 after electing to bat thanks mainly to a rapid 45 from opener D’Oliveira and some late fireworks from captain Ben Cox with 43.

Bears skipper Will Rhodes led from the front with a T20 best of 4-34 and his side reached 81-2 at the halfway stage of their innings, with Ed Pollock hitting a fine half-century.

But D’Oliveira changed the course of the game with three wickets in nine balls and then fellow spinner Ish Sodhi collected three in an over as the Bears were dismissed for 125 in the 18th.

Derbyshire Falcons held their nerve in a tense run chase in the final over to defeat Durham by six wickets at Emirates Riverside. Durham vs Derbys scorecard

The Falcons successfully chased down their total of 177 from their 20 overs as Brooke Guest smashed the final ball of the innings for a boundary to beat the home side. Guest and Matt Critchley put on a stand of 64 to defy Durham and close out only their fourth win of the competition this term.

Earlier in the day, Alex Thomson claimed three wickets for 23 to limit Durham to 176-9. The hosts were made to rue lapses with the ball and in the field to put their hopes of reaching the last eight of the Blast in jeopardy.

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SOUTH GROUP

Ravi Bopara’s unbeaten 62 guided Sussex Sharks to a crucial six-wicket win over his former club Essex Eagles in the Vitality Blast at Hove. Sussex vs Essex scorecard

The 36-year-old, who spent 17 years at Chelmsford before heading to Sussex last year, came in after skipper Luke Wright departed for a first-ball duck and supervised a successful chase of 147 with nine balls to spare.

Victory lifted Sussex into second place in the South Group and one win from their two remaining games, away to Hampshire and Kent, will be enough to secure a place in the quarter-finals. Essex will need to win both their games to have a chance of making the last eight.

Kent Spitfires restricted Surrey to just 128-7 before strolling to a nine-wicket victory at the Kia Oval and strengthening their position at the top of the South Group. Surrey vs Kent scorecard

Daniel Bell-Drummond went on to 53 not out from 37 balls after he and Joe Denly (31) put on 64 in eight overs for the first wicket to set up a comfortable chase that ended with 4.3 overs to spare.

Wicketkeeper Ollie Robinson also struck a breezy unbeaten 45 from 30 balls and Kent have now won eight of their 12 group matches while Surrey look unlikely to qualify for a quarter-final place.

Surrey’s Jordan Clark earlier managed an unbeaten 37 from 31 balls, and there were brief flurries from Jamie Overton and Tim David as 86 came from the last 10 overs, but otherwise the home batsmen could not handle an impressive Kent attack on a sluggish surface.

Adam Milne, the New Zealand fast bowler, was outstanding both with the new ball and in the final overs to take 2-13.

Hampshire climbed off the foot of the South Group with a crushing 75-run victory over high-flying Somerset at the Ageas Bowl. Hants vs Somerset scorecard

The win was the second in succession for the Hawks, who bowled superbly to dismiss the visitors for 100 with young quick Scott Currie finishing with 4-24 after wicketkeeper Lewis McManus earlier hit a career-best 60 not out.

Defeat for Somerset, who were without Tom Banton, Jamie Overton, Tom Abell and Lewis Gregory due to international duty and injury, hinders their hopes of a top-four finish on a difficult evening where they struggled with the ball, the bat and in the field at the Ageas Bowl.

Benny Howell produced an outstanding spell of bowling to help Gloucestershire successfully defend 171 and beat Middlesex by 10 runs at Cheltenham College. Gloucs vs Middlesex scorecard

Howell’s 3-23 from his four overs helped deliver a sixth victory of the campaign which revives Gloucestershire’s chances of qualifying from the South Group.

Having lost the toss, Gloucestershire were well held for most of their innings but a late burst from new father Ryan Higgins, who plundered 43 from 25 balls, helped add 52 from the final fours overs as the home side posted 171-8.

Middlesex were fairly well-placed at 83-3 after 11 overs but fell away badly and Max Holden’s late unbeaten 50 in 34 balls came too late.

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