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Cricket news - Bell-Drummond 89 in vain as Middlesex clinch thriller

Despite Bell-Drummond's 89, Kent fell short by two runs.

Despite Bell-Drummond's 89, Kent fell short by two runs.

Kent vs Middlesex, South Group

Daniel Bell-Drummond 89 went in vain as Kent fell agonisingly short in a thrilling encounter at Canterbury. Chasing Middlesex's 184, Kent's innings had meandered off tempo with only the skipper Bell-Drummond holding one end up. At 84/5 in the 13th over, with the asking rate already past 12, the game appeared to be a lost cause. Bell-Drummond found an able ally in Jordan Cox and the duo swung for the fences. Between the two, they hit 12 boundaries and five sixes, with a vital turning point coming in the 16th over which saw Steven Finn conceding 16. The 18th and 19th overs brought 37 runs and suddenly Kent found themselves needing 9 runs. Inexplicably, however, Bell-Drummond fell first ball of the final over and Tom Helm delivered a tight over to seal a stunning two-run win.

Earlier in the game, Middlesex, who had been put in to bat, saw Joe Cracknell score a 22-ball 50 while J Simpson and Luke Hollman hit quickfire 46s from lower middle-order to power the team to what would eventually turn out to be a match-winning total.

Brief scores: Middlesex 184/6 in 20 overs (Joe Cracknell 50, J Simpson 46, Luke Hollman 46; Imran Qayyum 1-21) beat Kent 182/7 in 20 overs (Daniel Bell-Drummond 89, Jordan Cox 39*; Tim Murtagh 2-23) by 2 runs.

Hampshire vs Essex, South Group

Tom Westley scored a half-century and Aron Nijjar produced a probing spell as Essex recorded their second win on the bounce. This win over Hampshire lifts defending T20 Blast champions out of the bottom place lifting some of the gloom around their capaign which saw four straight defeats. Essex were in charge for the entirety of this contest at Southampton since electing to bat.

The opening pair of Westley and Cameron Delport put on 57 in a little over six overs before the latter handed over the baton to Daniel Lawrence. The star in Essex's first win two days ago, Lawrence, was in his elements once more, scoring an unbeaten 49 off 34. Westley, of course, managed to complete his half-century, allowing the total to reach a competitive 168. Hampshire were out of the game inside the PowerPlay of the chase, slipping to 32/4 - a position from which they never recovered. Nijjar picked up 3 for 22 while Jack Plom added two wickets with the hosts' only solace being that they avoided getting bowled out.

Brief scores: Essex 168/3 in 20 overs (Tom Westley 51, Daniel Lawrence 49*; Mason Crane 1-27) beat Hampshire 114/9 in 20 overs (Chris Wood 18; Aron Nijjar 3-22, Jack Plom 2-18) by 54 runs

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