Babar Azam’s century helps Somerset to victory over Hampshire

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A century from Babar Azam helped Somerset to a dominant win over Hampshire and boosted their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals of the T20 Blast.

The in-form Pakistan batsman hit an unbeaten 102 off just 55 balls in Hampshire’s impressive total of 202 for four, bringing up his ton with a six off the final ball of the innings.

Hampshire never looked like getting anywhere close to that total, Craig Overton and Jerome Taylor taking two wickets apiece to reduce the hosts to 69 for six when rain brought an early end to play.

That gave Somerset a 63-run victory on Duckworth-Lewis and lifted them up to fifth place in the South Group.

Sussex opened up a two-point lead over Kent at the top of the table with a four-wicket victory over Middlesex, who were without Eoin Morgan.

Middlesex posted 127 for six from their 20 overs, Ollie Robinson taking four for 15, and Sussex reached their target comfortably with more than three overs remaining to maintain their unbeaten record.

Rain also interfered at The Oval, where Gloucestershire defeated Surrey by nine runs on DLS.

The visitors got through their 20 overs, posting a total of 165 for eight. Surrey were then set a target of 104 from 12 overs but were always behind the curve.

Sam Curran, who had taken two wickets, put in a fine late charge, hitting 51 off 35 balls, including two sixes in the final over, but it was not enough.

Nottinghamshire climbed to second in the North Group with a 28-run victory over Birmingham Bears, again on DLS.

Luke Wood took three wickets as Birmingham were restricted to just 119 for nine from their 20 overs.

Joe Clarke hit 47 not out from 32 balls to put Nottinghamshire well in control at 86 for two when the rain came.

The most exciting finish came at Derby, where 40 overs were possible despite rain interruptions as Durham defeated Derbyshire by seven runs to keep alive their hopes of making the knockout stages.

Durham set a respectable target of 160 for five, with D’Arcy Short hitting 68 from 48 balls on his 29th birthday.

Billy Godleman got Derbyshire’s response off to a flying start and Wayne Madsen and Fynn Hudson-Prentice picked up the reins but they fell just short.

Three matches fell victim to the weather. The Roses match between Lancashire and Yorkshire at Old Trafford never got going while Glamorgan and Essex’s clash ended in no result, as did Leicestershire’s match against Northamptonshire.

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