T20 Blast: Worcestershire maintain perfect record with victory over Yorkshire, narrow win for Gloucestershire

Brett D’Oliveira and Alexei Kervezee of Worcestershire Rapids

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Worcestershire Rapids extended their 100 per cent start to the NatWest T20 Blast campaign, registering a third straight victory when overcoming Yorkshire Vikings by seven wickets at New Road.

Man-of-the-match Joe Leach took his his competition tally to 10 wickets with three for 33 as Yorkshire made 173 for six thanks to same late hitting from Tim Bresnan and Liam Plunkett, who plundered 61 from the last 17 balls.

But after Plunkett had removed both Worcestershire openers, Alexei Kervezee and Brett D’Oliveira put on 66 to claim the victory with five balls remaining. It marked a third victory in as many games for the Rapids, but the Vikings have now lost their first two matches in the North Group.

Elsewhere, Gloucestershire won at Middlesex with just one ball remaining to claim a four-wicket victory at Northwood – their first win of the campaign. 

Chasing 160, Chris Dent (45), Ian Cockbain (40) and Benny Howell (37) kept them in the hunt and Gareth Roderick held his nerve in the final over, with nine runs needed.

Meanwhile, Nerveless bowling from Shahid Afridi kick-started Hampshire’s hopes of a seventh successive Finals Day appearance.

The Pakistan leg-spinner’s figures of three for 33, including the key wicket of half century maker Daniel Bell-Drummond and a total setting 21, helped his new county to a nine-run victory over Kent.

After being put in by Spitfires captain Sam Northeast, the hosts totalled 158 for eight – with Michael Carberry (54) top-scoring. Bell-Drummond (64) and Joe Denly (31) shared in a 75-run stand for the opening wicket but the hosts fell away and were dismissed for 149, with Afridi leading the home effort with the ball.

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