T20 Blast: AB de Villiers leads Middlesex to victory, Yorkshire tie with Birmingham

AB de Villiers bats for Middlesex
AB de Villiers was also 88 not out on his T20 Blast debut last month

AB de Villiers struck nine sixes as Middlesex outclassed Somerset to win by 35 runs at Richmond in the T20 Blast.

The South African was unbeaten on 88 off 35 balls, with spinner Nathan Sowter taking 4-29 for the victors.

Elsewhere, Birmingham Bears tied at Yorkshire and Gloucestershire were beaten by Sussex after being punished six penalty runs for a slow over-rate.

Leicestershire beat Worcestershire to move off the bottom of North Group and high-flying Kent defeated Hampshire.

De Villiers delivers again

Veteran De Villiers reached his half-century from just 24 balls and went on to score at an even quicker rate as Middlesex set Somerset 215-4 from their 20 overs.

The 35-year-old passed 8,000 career T20 runs, scoring just one four but hitting nine sixes in his 88 and overshadowing Dawid Malan's knock of 56 off 37 balls in an innings where England's World Cup-winning skipper Eoin Morgan fell for 11.

In reply Tom Banton (41), Tom Abell (41) and James Hildreth (28) all scored freely but were unable to push on as Sowter bowled brilliantly to help bowl Somerset out for 180 and secure a 35-run win.

Bowlers will be pleased De Villiers is only available for Middlesex's next group game but he could return for the knockout stages if they qualify, which looks hopeful with his side up to third in South Group.

Somerset on Twitter
Somerset hedged their bets and paid the price...

Gloucestershire pay penalty in close defeat

There was a bizarre finish at Bristol as Sussex were handed six penalty runs prior to the final over of their run-chase as a result of Gloucestershire's slow over-rate.

That meant the visitors required eight - rather than 14 - from the last six balls, with Delray Rawlins hitting consecutive fours to take Sussex past the winning line with two balls to spare.

Gloucestershire captain Michael Klinger was fuming with the umpires' decision but it was an apt end for Rawlins, who was not out on 35 from only 17 balls as Sussex reached 163-7 to triumph by three wickets despite being without Jofra Archer and Tymal Mills.

Ian Cockbain struck an unbeaten 61 from 49 balls for the hosts, who recovered from 14-2 to make 159-6, while Danny Briggs became the leading wicket-taker in English domestic T20 history - overtaking Sussex team-mate Yasir Arafat with the dismissal of James Bracey, his 157th victim in the format.

Gloucestershire's Michael Klinger remonstrates with the umpire
Gloucestershire's Michael Klinger remonstrates with the umpire

South leaders Kent march on... just

Adam Milne took 3-21 and batted Kent to a four-wicket triumph over Hampshire for their sixth victory from seven group matches.

They passed their target of 136 with one ball to spare as Hampshire paid the price for being all out four balls short of their 20 overs.

James Vince top-scored for Hampshire, though his 44 took 47 balls, with the faster-scoring Rilee Rossouw, Chris Morris and James Fuller unable to stay at the crease for long enough to cause damage.

After Heino Kuhn (41) was caught off the first ball of the final over, Kent required 10 from five balls to win but Milne's partner Grant Stewart retired hurt after pulling his hamstring running a quick two.

However, Milne scored 12 from his four-ball cameo to take them over the line and maintain a two-point lead over Sussex.

Yorkshire stumble to tie, Leicestershire bowlers impress

Yorkshire were 131-1 in reply to the Birmingham Bears' 177-4 and looking set for second T20 Blast win of the season, but the middle-order failed to press home the advantage.

Top scorer Tom Kohler-Cadmore (76) needed two off the last ball for victory but could only find mid-off for a single as the hosts matched their opponents' total.

Bears opener Dom Sibley hit 64 from 43 balls after a delayed start at Headingley because of rain, with the tie meaning there are just two points separating third-placed Notts and Leicestershire, who sit eighth in the North Group.

Meanwhile, it was a day for bowlers at New Road as Gavin Griffiths (3-23) and Will Davis (3-24) finished with career-best figures to give Leicestershire a 33-run victory at holders Worcestershire.

The Foxes set the hosts a modest-looking 152, Wayne Parnell taking 4-25 for the Pears on his 200th T20 appearance and Colin Ackermann top-scoring with 37.

But Griffiths, Davis and Callum Parkinson dominated the Worcestershire batsman, with only Ben Cox (30) scoring more than 17 as Leicestershire bowled their opponents out for 119 to retain their slim hopes of a quarter-final spot.

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