Lancashire, Worcestershire and Nottinghamshire were the big winners from the latest round of T20 matches.
After the disappointment of being left out of the England Test squad, Jos Buttler inspired Lancashire to a comprehensive 53 run victory over Northants, who made it two defeats in as many days in the competition.
The Steelbacks appear to have carried their abysmal County Championship form into the T20 as they were soundly beaten on Thursday by the Birmingham Bears. A successful defence of the Steelbacks’ title is looking increasingly unlikely as the Lightning stormed to 187-3, a total the away side never looked likely to match.
As for Notts Outlaws, they were able to carry their momentum from Thursday’s 24-run win over Leicestershire through to their faceoff with Derbyshire Falcons. Notts had broken a T20 record against Leicestershire by notching up an incredible 220 runs, and hit another 206, though Derbyshire can be pleased with their own gallant attempt of 179.
Birmingham, on the other hand, had looked strong against Northants, but stumbled against Worcestershire, who triumphed with surprising ease. Shoaib Malik and Jonathan Trott put on an impressive fourth-wicket stand, hitting 50 and 39 respectively, but it was not sufficient once Rapids captain Daryl Mitchell came to the crease, reaching 62 not out.
Leicestershire were able to bounce back from defeat against Durham Jets, winning by four wickets with almost an over to spare. Wicket keeper Ned Eckersley led the way for the Foxes with 43.
Over at the SWALEC Stadium, Glamorgan went down by 17 runs, largely thanks to the efforts of Surrey opener and new South Africa captain Hashim Amla, who made 55. Kevin Pietersen did not look to have reached full fitness just yet, managing just 1, but his side looked buoyed by his presence nonetheless.
Pietersen’s former England team mate Luke Wright was also in the limelight as Sussex beat Kent by 35 runs. Wright did not disappoint, scoring the knock of the day with 85, eventually being dismissed by David Griffiths. Kent, in contrast, looked poor in comparison, both Rob Key and Alex Blake hitting ducks.
Middlesex took Essex right down to the wire, but it was to be the Eagles who would prevail by two wickets in spite of Eoin Morgan’s 69. Tail-ender Tim Phillips scored 33 at the death as Essex looked to hold onto their last two wickets.
Another nail-biting encounter saw Hampshire beat Gloucestershire by a margin of just two runs. In the South Coast sun, Gloucestershire made the most of a good pitch and would have thought their total of 178 would see them home, but Jimmy Adams had helped Hants with 69.
The T20 Blast may be far from over, but week six’s results have gone that little bit further in indicating how the season will pan out.
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