Middlesex’s new T20 captain Stephen Eskinazi got off to a flying start as he made 87 from just 37 balls to power his side to a Vitality Blast victory over Gloucestershire.
Eskinazi’s innings at the top of the order steered Middlesex to a total of 229 for nine – a new record for the Seaxes – and it was one Gloucestershire never looked likely to match as they fell 30 runs short with 199 for nine.
Benny Howell managed 46 from 20 for Gloucestershire, but Martin Andersson took three for 33 as the home side closed out the game.
It was only the third time Middlesex have beaten Gloucestershire in Blast history.
Paul Stirling made a century on debut for Birmingham Bears as they enjoyed a 125-run rout of Northamptonshire Steelbacks in a weather-affected match.
Stirling racked up 119 from 51 balls, hitting 10 sixes, while Sam Hain had an unbeaten 66 off 32 as the Bears reached 207 for three from 16 overs.
Chasing a Duckworth/Lewis target of 207 in 16 overs, the Steelbacks quickly fell to 20 for three as Jake Lintott took three for 19 and Danny Briggs three for 21.
Paul Coughlin starred with bat and ball as a depleted Durham side beat Leicestershire by 54 runs.
Coughlin made 42 from 30 balls as Durham reached 184 for eight from their 20 overs, then took four for 15 as the Foxes were bowled out for 130.
Seventeen-year-old leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed took two for 22 for the hosts, but that was one of the few highlights for Leicestershire.
Sam Northeast hit an unbeaten 63 as Glamorgan eased to a seven-wicket victory over Sussex at Hove.
The visitors restricted the Sharks to 150 for six before Northeast and Marnus Labuschagne put on a second-wicket stand of 82 to send Glamorgan into a commanding position.
Mohammad Rizwan registered an unbeaten 81 for Sussex on his Blast debut but got little support, with the 13 achieved by both Luke Wright and Harrison Ward the next best scores for the hosts.
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