Somerset stay perfect in T20 Blast while Sue Redfern makes history at Bristol

By Sports Desk June 04, 2023

Somerset maintained their 100 per cent Vitality Blast record with victory over Essex, while Sue Redfern became the first female umpire to officiate on-field in the competition in Gloucestershire’s win over Middlesex.

Matt Henry and Ben Green took three wickets each as Somerset defended a seemingly under-par score to triumph by 11 runs at Taunton.

The hosts could muster only 150 all out in their sixth contest under cloudless skies on a pitch that looked full of runs. Sean Dickson top-scored with 42 on his T20 debut for the club, while Daniel Sams claimed four wickets for 20.

In reply, Essex slumped from 130 for six to 139 all out after Michael Pepper’s 63 off 43 balls, Henry finishing with three for 17 and Green taking his wicket tally in the competition to 14 with three for 24.

Redfern wrote her name into the history books as she stood along with Alex Wharf at Bristol, where all-rounder Ollie Price led the way for Gloucestershire.

The 21-year-old top-scored with 46 and shared in crucial partnerships of 60 with Miles Hammond and 52 with Zafar Gohar as the hosts chased down a target of 140 with 10 balls to spare to register their second triumph in three days.

Surrey beat Kent by five wickets after a nerve-shredding run chase at Canterbury that went all the way to the final ball.

The visitors seemed to be cruising to their target of 174 after Laurie Evans hit 52, but a cluster of wickets kept the Spitfires in contention until Jamie Smith and Sean Abbott took charge.

Michael Hogan was left to defend nine off the final over but Surrey tied the scores with one ball remaining and Jack Leaning just failed to cling on to a thunderous hit from Smith off the last delivery.

It was a disappointing afternoon for Worcestershire, whose unbeaten start was brought to an end by Northamptonshire, who triumphed by six wickets at New Road.

Worcestershire had been bidding to win their opening five games in the tournament for the first time, but Steelbacks spinner Freddie Heldreich bowled an inspired spell which brought him the wickets of Adam Hose, Brett D’Oliveira and Kashif Ali in the space of three overs.

Then Saif Zaib (70 not out from 35 balls)  produced the fireworks with the bat for the visitors, smashing successive sixes in the final over from Pat Brown to see his side home with two balls to spare.

Derbyshire’s Wayne Madsen nearly achieved a global milestone but fell six runs short of becoming the first man in T20 history to score six successive fifties as his side were comfortably beaten by seven wickets by a revitalised Yorkshire at Headingley.

Madsen’s 44 off 26 in the Falcons’ 166 for eight batting first meant he remains one of just seven players worldwide to have scored five fifties in a row in this format.

England batter Dawid Malan then starred in the chase with a superb 81 not out off 57 balls, with Yorkshire winning with 10 deliveries to spare.

Leicestershire ended a five-game losing run to secure their first win of the campaign, beating Durham by seven wickets at Seat Unique Riverside.

Josh Hull was the star with the ball in just his second game for the Foxes, claiming three wickets for 35 to help limit the home side to 168 for nine from their 20 overs.

Nottinghamshire put themselves back on course for the quarter-finals with a second win inside 24 hours as Matt Carter’s three wickets set up a five-wicket win over Lancashire.

The off-spinner bounced back from conceding 57 in four wicketless overs in the victory over Birmingham Bears on Saturday evening with figures of three for 26 as the home side won with seven balls to spare at Trent Bridge.

Glamorgan made it four wins out of five as they beat Sussex by 32 runs at the 1st Central County Ground.

The Sharks, chasing a huge victory target of 220, never looked in the contest despite a plucky innings from Tom Alsop, who scored 58 from 41 deliveries, and slumped to a third straight defeat.

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