T20 Blast: Kent beat Somerset, Brendon McCullum stars in Middlesex win

NatWest T20 Blast
Dates: 7 July - 2 September
Coverage: Ball-by-ball local radio commentary on every match online, tablets, mobiles and BBC Sport app. In-play highlights and live text commentary of selected games on the BBC Sport website. Selected commentaries on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

Kent earned a first win in four T20 Blast matches, beating Somerset by seven wickets in a rain-affected game.

Sam Northeast's unbeaten 54 guided his side to a revised target of 181 off 18 overs after Somerset made 197-6.

Middlesex moved off the bottom of the South Group, ex-New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum smashing 63 from 28 balls to help beat Essex by 72 runs.

In the North Group, Northants easily passed Worcestershire's 158 all out to earn a seven-wicket win.

Brett D'Oliveira (52) was the mainstay of a below-par Rapids total, in which seven players failed to reach double figures, with Richard Gleeson (3-12) and Rory Kleinveldt (3-25) doing the damage with the ball.

Reigning T20 champions Northants scored 160-3 to earn a third win in four matches and go second in the table.

Openers Richard Levi (47) and Adam Rossington (42) ensured a blistering start and Alex Wakely's unbeaten 46 got the Steelbacks over the line with 14 balls left.

Kent power past Somerset

A season's-best T20 Blast powerplay total of 77-0 by Kent openers Joe Denly and Daniel Bell-Drummond teed up an impressive victory at Canterbury.

Some ferocious hitting and fine timing saw Steven Davies (62) and Johann Myburgh (64) star in Somerset's 197-6.

But former England man Denly and Bell-Drummond were equally impressive, despite a brief wobble following the rain delay which saw the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern system set a new target of 181.

Both men fell soon after the resumption, however captain Northeast ensured Kent went up to fifth in a tight group with four points separating all nine teams.

Captain my captain...

Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum's top T20 Blast score this season was 88 against Kent

Middlesex had no shortage of leaders as they batted Essex out of the game on their way to a total of 203-6 and a crushing 72-run win over Essex Eagles.

T20 Blast skipper McCullum was at his destructive best, reaching his half-century off just 19 balls and scoring 54 of his 63 runs from boundaries.

England ODI and T20 captain Eoin Morgan added a more considered 39 from 30, while wicketkeeper John Simpson (50) also made a half-century.

Pace bowler Tom Helm then took 5-11 from just 20 balls as Essex were all out for 131, with James Foster's 25-ball 50 the only show of resistance in a lacklustre reply.

The result takes Middlesex up to fourth in the table, with Essex dropping to bottom spot.

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