Mustafizur Rahman’s bang debut in county cricket

Chris Jordan’s late blitz and Mustafizur Rahman’s four-wicket haul on his NatWest T20 Blast debut helped Sussex win the South Group encounter against Essex by 24 runs at the County Ground in Chelmsford on Thursday (July 21). The victory helped Sussex move up to the fourth position on the points table.

Captain Luke Wright (32) and No. 3 batsman Philip Salt (33) were chief contributors at the top of the order before Ravi Bopara’s twin strikes, in his successive overs, reduced Sussex to 119 for 4. Ross Taylor was run out soon after but Jordan’s 21-ball unbeaten cameo worth 45 at the fag end helped visitors post a daunting 201-run challenge for the home side.

Essex’s chase never took off. Barring a 42-run partnership between Ashar Zaidi and skipper Bopara (32), the hosts kept losing wickets are regular intervals. Mustafizur, coming back for his final spell, first got rid of Bopara in the 16th over to peg Essex back. In his next over, he got rid of James Foster and Callum Taylor and then sent back Ryan ten Doeschate to deny the opposition any chance of a late recovery.

Brief scores: Sussex 200 for 6 from 20 overs (Chris Jordan 45*, Phillip Salt 33, Luke Wright 32; Ravi Bopara 2-32) beat Essex 176 for 8 from 20 overs (Daniel Lawrence 36, Ravi Bopara 32; Mustafizur Rahman 4-23) by 24 runs.

Middlesex vs Surrey

George Bailey’s composed half-century, well-aided by quick-fire knocks from Eoin Morgan and John Simpson, helped Middlesex chase down a mammoth 197-run target to hand Surrey a five-wicket defeat in the South Group match at Lord’s in London, on Thursday (July 21). The victory enabled the hosts to move up a spot to be currently placed third.

Electing to bat, Aaron Finch (78) and Jason Roy (50) gave Surrey a perfect start with a 87-run opening partnership in just seven overs, before the latter was dismissed soon after his 25-ball knock. Finch carried on in the company of middle-order batsmen to propel Surrey to a commanding 196 for 6 off their allotted overs.

Jade Dernbach jolted Middlesex’s reply early with the wickets of both the openers, in a space of three overs, despite a blazing start from Paul Stirling (34). The middle-order however steadied the chase courtesy a 64-run stand between Bailey and Morgan. The Englishman fell eight short of a fifty with his team still 77 short.

The Australian then combined with wicketkeeper-batsman Simpson for a 67-run partnership for the fourth wicket that put them back on track. Middlesex lost Bailey in the 19th over, just two away from the winning score, but eventually scaled the target with five balls to spare.

Brief scores: Surrey 196/6 in 20 overs (Aaron Finch 78, Jason Roy 50; Nathan Sowter 2-29, James Fuller 2-41) lost to Middlesex 200/5 from 19.1 overs (George Bailey 55, John Simpson 43, Eoin Morgan 42; Jade Dernbach 3-33) by 5 wickets.

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