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T20 Blast roundup: Essex Eagles, Birmingham Bears win

Sports Mole rounds up all the action from Friday's matches in the T20 Blast.

Essex Eagles have moved to the top of the South Group in the T20 Blast with an emphatic 78-run win over Hampshire.

Mark Pettini and Jesse Ryder added an opening stand of 126 for the home side, with the latter going on to add 107 off 55 balls.

Hampshire struggled from the start as they tried to chase down a big total, with James Vince out for a duck while just four batsman made double figures.

A century from Luke Wright has helped Sussex Sharks close the gap to the top of the South Group with victory over Gloucestershire.

Michael Klinger hit 61 for the home side, while Hamish Marshall and Ian Cockbain also contributed as Gloucestershire set their opponents a big score for victory.

Chris Nash was back in the pavilion for just four, but his opening partner finished with an unbeaten 111 off just 56 balls, leading Sussex to victory.

Birmingham Bears held on to secure a two-run win over Lancashire Lightning to remain at the top of the North Group, with six wins from their eight outings so far.

Knocks from James Faulkner and Paul Horton left the home side in touching distance of victory, but Recordo Gordon picked up four wickets for just 20 runs, leaving Lightning needing three off the final delivery of the match, which Joshua Poysden could not get.

Worcestershire Rapids have been handed a two-run loss in a closely-fought match with Northamptonshire Steelbacks, preventing them from closing the gap to the North leaders.

A final stand of 62 from Rory Kleinveldt and Steven Crook helped the visitors post a promising score in the first innings.

Worcestershire had to recover from Moeen Ali edging the first ball of their reply to slip for a duck, before Daryl Mitchell, Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Colin Munro all added scores in the 30s to steady the ship. However, Ross Whiteley was unable to hit the winning runs off the final couple of deliveries.

Leicestershire Foxes have closed the gap to top of the table after sharing a tie with Yorkshire Vikings, with both teams posting a score of 142 runs of their 20 overs.

Jack Leaning and Jonny Bairstow led the reply for Yorkshire as they appeared to be chasing down Leicestershire's total with ease, but a run of late wickets saw the run-rate drop, allowing the Foxes to sit level on points in second place the North Group.

Middlesex Panthers' struggles continued as they slipped to their sixth defeat in eight outings, losing by nine wickets in their match against Somerset.

John Simpson top-scored for the home side, hitting an unbeaten 84 off just 51 balls, but James Allenby led the Somerset reply with 89 off the same number of deliveries, while Johan Myburgh added a half-century.

Derbyshire Falcons wrapped up a comfortable win over Nottinghamshire Outlaws, giving them just their third win of the campaign.

Chesney Hughes topped the scoring for the hosts, hitting a half-century, but the whole batting lineup contributed as Derbyshire posted a score of 201.

Mattheus Wessels helped the Outlaws recover from a poor start to their reply, as Alex Hales was bowled for a duck, but his 66 was not enough as a couple of runouts in quick succession saw the side slip from 136-3 to 167-9, while Nathan Rimmington completed the rout by claiming the 10th wicket with the first ball of the final over.

Surrey have moved off the bottom of the table in the South with their second win of the season, beating Glamorgan by 19 runs with just three balls to spare.

Dean Cosker finished with figures of 4-25 with the ball to restrict the visitors to 146, but Glamorgan were bowled out for 127, with opener Craig Meschede the only player adding more than 30.

Results in full: Leicestershire (142-7) tied with Yorkshire (142-8), Somerset 117-1 beat Middlesex (171-7) by nine wickets, Northamptonshire (193-8) beat Worcestershire (191-6) by two runs, Sussex (188-7) beat Gloucestershire (185-4) by two runs, Birmingham (137-8) beat Lancashire (136-8) by one run, Surrey (146-8) beat Glamorgan (127 all out) by 19 runs, Essex (212-5) beat Hampshire (134 all out) by 78 runs, Derbyshire (201-7) beat Nottinghamshire (167 all out) by 34 runs

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Mark Pettini of Essex Eagles hits the ball towarfds the boundary during the Natwest T20 Blast Quarter Final match between Essex Eagles and Birmingham Bears at Ford County Ground on August 2, 2014
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T20 Blast roundup: Essex move top of South Group

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