Cameron Delport’s 38-ball century for Essex in an astonishing win over Surrey at Chelmsford was the highlight of a rain-affected day of T20 Blast action.
In a game reduced to 15 overs per side, Delport’s extraordinary 129 off 49 balls helped Essex post 226-4.
Surrey scored 31 off their first eight balls, but then lost four wickets for one run and they ended on 174-7.
Durham were Friday’s only other winners, successfully defending 148-4 to beat Northants by seven runs.
Four games were washed out, with no play possible at Yorkshire, Worcestershire, Leicestershire and Hampshire.
There was also no result in the match between Gloucestershire and Glamorgan, which also fell foul of the weather.
Glamorgan were struggling on 96-8 when the rain intervened at Cheltenham, meaning Benny Howell’s career-best 5-18 was in vain.
Delport shines in Essex run blitz
Delport’s hundred, the fifth-fastest in the competition’s history, contained 14 sixes and seven fours – not a bad way to make a good impression on his home debut for Essex.
The South Africa-born left-hander shared a fourth-wicket stand of 135 in less than seven overs with Dan Lawrence, who contributed to the carnage at Chelmsford with 57 not out off 22 balls.
Surrey’s attack found it tricky to bowl with a damp ball in the greasy conditions, and their bowling figures did not make pretty reading.
Tom Curran, on his return to the county fold after being part of England’s victorious World Cup squad, went for 63 runs off his three overs, while veteran South Africa leg-spinner Imran Tahir’s two overs cost 39.
Undeterred by an almost impossible run-chase – which began with Surrey needing more than 15 runs per over to win – Will Jacks scored 29 off eight balls at the top of the order.
However, he was one of three batsmen to fall in Matt Quinn’s first over and the visitors eventually lost by 52 runs, despite 40 from Australia one-day captain Aaron Finch and 47 not out from England Test batsman Rory Burns.
The World Cup tour continues
Eoin Morgan had the honour of showing off the World Cup at Lord’s on Thursday.
On Friday, it was the turn of England’s Durham duo Ben Stokes and Mark Wood. They, along with coach Paul Collingwood, paraded the trophy at the Riverside before the Jets’ win against Northants.
All-rounder Stokes, the man of the match in the final, is likely to play a pivotal role in England’s Ashes series against Australia later this summer, while pace bowler Wood will hope to recover from a side strain in time to feature.
On the field, Northants’ lower order made a good fist of their run chase after the visitors had lost early wickets, but they were unable to get the 15 runs they required off the final over for victory.
Derbyshire and Kent are the only two teams yet to have had a scheduled fixture in this season’s T20 Blast, but both will get their respective campaigns under way on Saturday – as long as the weather holds.
Derbyshire will play Yorkshire at Chesterfield (14:30 BST) before Kent host Somerset at Canterbury (19:00 BST).
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