The final day of the group matches in the Southern league saw Hampshire sitting out, but also sitting pretty at the top of the table with a home semi-final guaranteed. There was all to play for in all 4 games, with 4 teams still in with a shout of a play-off place. There’d been a small twist in the tale in the Northern group as it became plain that the number of wins rather than run rate would be the deciding factor for 3rd place.

The final day of the group matches in the Southern league saw Hampshire sitting out, but also sitting pretty at the top of the table with a home semi-final guaranteed. There was all to play for in all 4 games, with 4 teams still in with a shout of a play-off place. There’d been a small twist in the tale in the Northern group as it became plain that the number of wins rather than run rate would be the deciding factor for 3rd place.

Middlesex were in 2nd on 10 points at the start of the day, followed by Somerset, Gloucestershire and Sussex all on 8. Let’s look at how things panned out.

Sussex 347 for 7 v Glamorgan 348 for 8

Ben Brown won the toss for Sussex and elected to bat. Phil Salt, available to open for Sussex and Luke Wright opened and put on just 30 for the 1st wicket, Salt made 25 of those and was the man out. Wright saw George Garton and Stiaan van Zyl come and go and Sussex fell to 86 for 3. Wright formed a partnership of 107 with Laurie Evans. Wright was out just 3 runs short of his century, having made 97 from 103 balls. Evans then put on 121 in partnership with David Wiese. Evans was in a speedier mood than Wright and made 110 from 87 balls. Wiese finished out out 57 from 38 balls and Sussex finished on 347 for 7 from their 50 overs.

110 for Laurie Evans

In reply Glamorgan had no Star Men by my criteria, but what they did have was 5 batsmen with 40 or over, all with a strike rate of over 100. Billy Root who’s really found his feet at his new county top scored with 78 from 66 balls before he was run out. Glamorgan spoilt Sussex’s ‘party’ with 8 balls to spare. They were 358 for 5 in 48.4 overs, winning the game by 2 wickets.

  • Laurie Evans – 110 from 87 Balls – Strike Rate 126.44

Somerset 292 for 5 v Surrey 289 for 9

Somerset started the day in 3rd spot, Surrey were bottom of the table having won just 1 game. Tom Abell won the toss for Somerset and put Surrey in to bat. Mark Stoneman was out in the 5th over and Surrey were 18 for 1. Having started the tournament with a horror innings of 88 against Gloucestershire Surrey finished with their highest of 289 in this match. Dean Elgar top scored with 64 and Ben Foakes back from England duty chipped in with 46. Surrey were 28 for 9 in their 50 overs.

64 for Dean Elgar

In reply it was Somerset Stalwart James Hildreth who was the rock in the Somerset innings. Azhar Ali was out in the 3rd over and Somerset were 3 for 1. Peter Trego was out for 16 leaving Somerset on 41 for 2. Opener Tom Banton made 53 and was the 3rd wicket to fall. Hildreth moved things along nicely with 93 from 89 balls and George Bartlett made 57 from 52 balls. Somerset made the runs needed to secure the win and 3rd place in the 46th over.

Kent 357 All Out v Middlesex 380 for 5

Stevie Eskinnazi won the toss for Middlesex and elected to bat. This was to be a record breaking innings for Middlesex. In spite of losing Sam Robson for 1 in the 2nd over they went on to build their highest List A innings. I’ve been waiting to list Max Holden as one of my Star Men and today he didn’t disappoint. I watched Max bat at Lord’s last year in a T20 match, the lad is a talent! He showed that talent today with a mighty innings of 166 from 139 balls, he batted for 209 minutes and was run out in the 49th over, which must’ve been incredibly disappointing! Incoming overseas batsman Ross Taylor was with Holden for 115 minutes falling just short of his own century, he scored 94 from 85 balls. A very decent stand in for David Malan and Paul Striling! Holden’s was the highest List A score by a Middlesex batsman alongside the 380 being the highest by Middlesex as a whole.

MAx Holden batting at Lord’s last year made a record score of 166

The Kent openers virtually beat Essex on their own on Sunday, today it was Zac Crawley who reached his second century of the tournament, havoc fallen just short against Essex. He scored 120 from 123 balls and batted for 166 minutes. The 21 year old really is a great talent. Matt Renshaw (Australian in practice) scored 49 from 40 balls and Alex Blake 43 from 32 balls. I listened to the end of the game on the radio, having chosen time with my 3 little grandsons over the cricket. Kent made a good game of this and Middlesex looks like they might miss out as time went on. But, James Harris took 3 quick wickets and Kent were all out for 357. In common with Surrey Kent had a horror innings of 94, but in their second game, this was finishing off with their highest.

120 from 123 balls for Zac Crawley

I’ve looked Zac Crawley up in the Who’s Who before but must share his thoughts on one thing:

Which Rule Would You Change About Cricket? – You should be able to spray the umpire for giving you a bad decision. They should be allowed to spray you for complaining if it turns out to be plum

  • Max Holden – 166 Runs from 139 Balls – Strike Rate 119 .42
  • Zac Crawley – 120 from 123 Balls – Strike Rate 97.56

Essex 293 All Out v Gloucestershire 294 for 6

Simon Harmer won the toss for Essex and elected to bat, Alastair Cook hasn’t had he best of tournaments but he looked in good nick on Sunday against Kent; today he was run out for 18, remarkably the same player, Graeme Van Buuren, ran Tom Westley out for 20. Varun Chopra had opened with Cook and watched the Essex innings tumble around him. Chopra played a mighty innings, scoring 156 from 167 balls after batting for just over 3 hours. Essex were bowled out for 293 with 1 ball remaining.

156 for Varun Chopra

To be in with a chance of reaching the play offs Gloucs needed to win this match. with 294 required they were able to pace their innings. 89 from opener Chris Dent got them off to a good start and James Bracey in at 4 made 113 from 93 balls, he batted for just over 2 hours and remained not out. Benny Howell batting at 8 scored 30 from 24 balls and Gloucs reached the total with 7 balls remaining. The win by 4 wickets wasn’t enough to see Gloucs overtake Somerset, in this case run rate was the deciding factor as both teams had 5 wins to their name.

  • Varun Chopra – 156 from 167 Balls – Strike Rate 93.41
  • James Bracey – 113 from 83 Balls – Strike Rate 121.51

Middlesex will welcome Lancashire at Lord’s for their home play off, the winner will travel to the Ageas Bowl to play Hampshire. Somerset will travel to New Road to play Worcestershire, the winner of that match will travel to Trent Bridge to play Nottinghamshire in the second semi-final.

Middlesex were in 2nd on 10 points at the start of the day, followed by Somerset, Gloucestershire and Sussex all on 8. Let’s look st how things panned out.

Sussex 347 for 7 v Glamorgan 348 for 8

Ben Brown won the toss for Sussex and elected to bat. Phil Salt, available to open for Sussex and Luke Wright opened and put on just 30 for the 1st wicket, Salt made 25 of those and was the man out. Wright saw George Garton and Stiaan van Zyl come and go and Sussex fell to 86 for 3. Wright formed a partnership of 107 with Laurie Evans. Wright wa out just 3 runs short of his century, having made 97 from 103 balls. Evans then put on 121 in partnership with David Wiese. Evans was in a speedier mood than Wright and made 110 from 87 balls. Wiese finished out out 57 from 38 balls and Sussex finished on 347 for 7 from their 50 overs.

In reply Glamorgan had no Star Men by my criteria, but what they did have was 5 batsmen with 40 or over, all with a strike rate of over 100. Billy Root who’s really found his feet at his new county top scored with 78 from 66 balls before he was run out.

Somerset 292 for 5 v Surrey 289 for 9

Kent 357 All Out v Middlesex 380 for 5

Essex 293 All Out v Gloucestershire 294 for 6

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