T20 Blast Recap: de Villiers stars, Somerset dominate and key Barnard contribution


The opening evening of the 2019 Vitality T20 Blast proved an eventful night for all six sides involved.

The Essex Eagles could barely muster a flight at Lords as they whimpered to a total of 164-6; Middlesex brushed them aside with a comfortable seven-wicket victory after reaching 166 with three overs to spare.

Nottinghamshire’s poor form in all competitions continued as the Outlaws suffered a 28-run defeat to the Worcestershire Rapids. Moeen Ali starred for the visitors at Trent Bridge; however, it was Ed Barnard’s contribution with bat and ball that helped the Rapids to victory.

Glamorgan’s final tally of 180-5 was not enough to deny fifty-over white-ball winners Somerset victory as the visitors on the opening day once again proved victorious, beating the Welsh side comfortably by eight wickets.

Middlesex (166/3), Essex Eagles (164/6). Middlesex win by seven wickets

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Essex would have entered tonight’s T20 fixture at Lords knowing they would need to keep AB de Villiers under wraps if they were to have any hope of claiming victory. The South African’s 88 not out proved a huge contribution but Middlesex barely had to move out of first gear to beat the Essex Eagles.

It took just nine minutes for a change in batsmen as Varun Chopra was caught by Mujeeb Ur Ruhman with five runs to his name. Cameron Delport was the next Essex batsmen to depart as his wicket fell for just two. Tom Westley added 40 to Essex’s total before being trapped LBW, but Ryan ten Doeschate provided a valuable 74 runs in an unbroken stand; however, the Dutchman watched as his team-mates Tom Lawrence, Ravi Bopara and Adam Wheater departed with a combined 17 to their name.

Matt Quinn caught the edge of Paul Stirling’s strike and Wheater’s quick footwork allowed him to swallow up an early catch, sending the Middlesex batsmen back to the Pavillion at 18-1. Nick Gubbins’ departure for 12 at 39-2 suggested the Eagles could potentially have a chance of making a competition of the game; however, any hopes of victory were dashed by Dawid Malan contribution of 43, before being stumped by Wheater, and de Villiers contributions of unbeaten 88.

Glamorgan (180-5), Somerset (181-2). Somerset win by eight wickets

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The decision to include three T20 debutants could be a decision regretted by Glamorgan as they fell to an eight-wicket defeat with two overs remaining. However, the Welsh side will be wondering how victory slipped out of their grasp after losing three wickets in as many overs and leaving Colin Ingram’s 50 not-out to set-up a challenging total.

Somerset entered their innings knowing they needed an average nine runs an over; although that requirement was greatly reduced by the brutal Tom Banton’s 22 from Marchant De Lange’s opening over and fifty coming from just four overs.

Banton’s fifty soon arrived as Somerset reached 100 in the 9th over and by that point were well in control. Pakistan batsman Babar Azam departed to Dan Douthwaite and, in the following over, Banton’s innings of 64 finished when Billy Root caught well at deep mid-wicket.

Experienced duo James Hildreth (24*) and Peter Trego (47*) added the crucial runs which handed Somerset victory.

Notts Outlaws (133-9), Worcestershire Rapids (161-6). Worcestershire win by 28 runs.

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Worcestershire Rapids’ defence of the Vitality T20 Blast title began in winning style with an excellent 28-run victory over Notts Outlaws at Trent Bridge.

The visitors made what they could of a poor pitch, posting 161 for 6 thanks to Ed Barnard’s (pictured) late addition of an unbeaten 42. The Rapids were 117-6 with three overs remaining but Barnard’s contribution proved the major swinging-factor.

For those who thought that T20 cricket would provide a welcome restbite from the poor form Notts are enduring in the County Championship, how wrong they were proved. Only Alex Hales bypassed a half-century – earning 52 before being bowled by Barnard – and the talented duo of Joe Clarke and Ben Duckett departed for a limp combined total of just seven.

Nobody from the Rapids’ batting line-up surpassed fifty; however, contributions from Riki Wessels (24), Martin Guptill (27), Moeen Ali (32) and Ben Cox’s unbeaten stand of 21 provided enough for the reigning champions to breeze to victory.


About Author

When not busy covering local news for EssexLive, Matt Lee can be found in the press box at Portman Road covering Ipswich Town's return to the Championship and push for the Premier League.

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