James Vince continued his excellent week with the bat with scores of 63 and 102 as Hampshire beat both Essex and Sussex in the T20 Blast on Friday to maintain their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals.
Going into Friday, the Hawks knew there was no room for error if they were to qualify and opener Vince built on his maiden England century against Pakistan on Tuesday to lead them to victories at the Ageas Bowl.
Hampshire’s second win, against Sussex, guaranteed Kent top spot in the South Group – they were without 15 players because of Covid protocols but still won by 77 runs at Middlesex, whose 80 all out included just two boundaries and was their lowest ever T20 total.
Somerset will join them in the last eight after easing past Glamorgan, Devon Conway’s 80 not out and Lewis Goldsworthy’s 3-14 taking the headlines.
Surrey also still have a chance of going through after beating Gloucestershire in their final group match, but must sit and wait until Sunday to learn their fate.
In the North Group, birthday boy Sam Hain’s 83 not out helped the Birmingham Bears triumph against Worcestershire to keep their last eight hopes alive.
However, the Pears and Lancashire, who only just defended 199 to beat Durham, will go through if they win their final group games over the weekend, with the Bears needing to win against Northants and hope one of them slips up.
North Group leaders Notts Outlaws lost to Leicestershire but are already through – as are Yorkshire, who qualified without playing on Friday.
What a week for Vince
- Saturday, 10 July – 56 in ODI for England v Pakistan
- Tuesday, 13 July – 102 in ODI for England v Pakistan
- Friday, 16 July – 63 in T20 for Hampshire v Essex
- Friday, 16 July – 102 in T20 for Hampshire v Sussex
Fresh from scoring his maiden England one-day international century at Edgbaston on Tuesday, Vince made 63 off 46 deliveries as Hampshire reached 171-8 and then bowled Essex out for 153 to eliminate their opponents from the competition.
Then just a few hours later, the 30-year-old was once again dazzling with the bat, hitting 102 off 59 balls before getting out hit wicket as Hampshire reached their target of 184 to defeat Sussex with six wickets and four balls to spare.
Sharks and England opener Phil Salt fell for just four and although there were half-centuries for former England players Ravi Bopara and Luke Wright, Sussex must wait to seal their spot in the quarters.
Vince’s side still must beat Glamorgan on Sunday to have any chance of qualifying.
Still to come…
On Saturday Lancashire host Yorkshire in the Roses match knowing they will join their rivals in the last eight with victory at Emirates Old Trafford.
The remaining seven group games of the competition will be played on Sunday as the line-up for the latter stages of the T20 Blast will be confirmed.