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Mitchell makes hay once more

Skipper Daryl Mitchell led from the front again as Worcestershire Rapids comfortably won a crunch top-of-the-table clash with local rivals Birmingham Bears to stay at the NatWest T20 Blast North Group summit.

Mitchell bludgeoned a third unbeaten half-century in his last four innings for the in-form Rapids, whose sixth successive win in this competition would have been particularly sweet against their neighbours at New Road.

The captain’s heroics were even more impressive given he was nursing a shoulder problem, yet he soldiered on to post an unbeaten 62 in Worcestershire’s eight-wicket victory as they surpassed the Bears’ 133 for eight with ease.

Mitchell’s men do have company on 12 points, though, after Jos Buttler’s brisk 58 not out from just 26 balls helped Lancashire Lightning topple reigning champions Northants Steelbacks at Emirates Old Trafford.

Daryl Mitchell overcame a shoulder problem to provide the backbone of another victory for the table-topping Worcestershire Rapids

Riki Wessels smashed the most eye-catching innings of the evening with an unbeaten 95 underpinning Nottinghamshire Outlaws’ 27-run victory over Derbyshire Falcons.

Wessels ran out of time in his quest to become the third NatWest T20 Blast centurion this season, but it did give his side a crucial win in their pursuit of a last-eight berth.

Elsewhere in the North Group, a trio of maximums from Tom Wells in the space of five Paul Collingwood deliveries helped Leicestershire Foxes overcome Durham Jets.

Essex Eagles remain perched atop of the South Group after Tim Phillips’ late fireworks gave them a thrilling last-over victory over Middlesex Panthers.

Phillips came to the crease with his team staring down the barrel of defeat with 41 needed off 23 balls yet some meaty hitting in his 33 saw his team over the line with two balls to spare.

Hampshire sit behind Essex after Gloucestershire came up agonisingly short in their two-run loss at the Rose Bowl.

Glamorgan may have put the brakes on the free-scoring Jason Roy but teenager Tom Curran claimed 3-23 as Surrey cruised to a 17-run success.

Finally in the South Group, Luke Wright’s brilliant 85 and Steffan Piolet’s 3-14 led Sussex Sharks past Kent Spitfires.

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