Will Jacks heroics in vain as Middlesex pull off record chase against Surrey
Surrey’s Will Jacks hit five sixes in an over on his way to 96 from 45 balls, but Middlesex replied with a record-breaking chase to win their Vitality Blast clash by seven wickets at The Oval.
The hosts posted a mammoth 252 for seven, but Stephen Eskinazi and Max Holden both hit rapid half-centuries as Middlesex pulled off the highest chase in Blast history and the second highest in T20 matches around the world.
Eskinazi got the innings of to a flyer, hitting 73 from 39 balls, including 90 in just 6.3 overs with opening partner Joe Cracknell, who made 36 off 16.
Holden then took Middlesex over the line with an unbeaten 68 off 35 balls, while Ryan Higgins smacked 48 off 24.
Incredibly, it was Middlesex’s first win in 15 T20 games, stretching back to last summer.
Jacks had earlier shared an extraordinary opening stand of 177 in a mere 12.4 overs with Laurie Evans, whose own contribution was an explosive 37-ball 85.
Harrison Ward’s quick-fire half-century helped Sussex Sharks to a comfortable seven-wicket win over Gloucestershire in Bristol.
The 23-year-old slogged 51 from 27 balls, including five sixes and two fours, with his opening partnership of 83 with Tom Clark proving vital as they reached their target of 141 with 6.4 overs to spare.
A seventh defeat in 11 games put an end to Gloucestershire’s quarter-final hopes as victory for Sussex moved them level on points with their opponents.
Birmingham Bears edged ever closer to the quarter-finals with a narrow four-run win over Yorkshire Vikings as the North Group leaders posted 180 for seven at Headingley.
The Bears secured an eighth win in 11 games as Dan Mousley’s career best four for 28 from four overs limited Yorkshire to 176 for eight, although what looked set to be a comfortable win proved far from it as David Wiese smashed three sixes in the last over.
England’s Ashes hopeful Chris Woakes returned an excellent two for 21 for the Bears, but three defeats on the bounce for the Vikings means they must now win their last two fixtures to keep their Blast hopes alive.
Joe Denly’s ferocious 32-ball 76 against Essex gave Kent Spitfires their fifth straight victory.
Denly passed 5,000 Blast runs with his 39th T20 fifty, sharing a 110 stand with Daniel Bell-Drummond as the Spitfires chased down 184 with nine balls to spare.
Worcestershire Rapids sealed a third successive win with a five-wicket victory over Notts Outlaws at New Road.
The Rapids restricted the Outlaws to 139 for eight and Ed Pollock (38) and Adam Hose (33) took the hosts over the line.
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