Vitality Blast South Group Round-Up – Week 2


It’s been another unmissable week of Vitality Blast action, with the South Group remaining eye-wateringly competitive.

With most sides having played four times and a bumper few days coming up before the end of the group stage’s first block, just four points separate top from bottom.


Surrey remain as one of three sides at the top of the table, though a first defeat has seen the Brown Caps lose their advantage, with Sussex Sharks and Somerset joining them on six points.

In actual fact, that Surrey loss, which was to Sussex, and a pair of big Somerset wins has seen the Oval side drop to third on net run rate, with the defending champions taking over at the top.

Meanwhile, the chasing pack in the middle of the table is also near-inseparable, with four further teams, headed up by Kent Spitfires, sitting on four points.

The Canterbury outfit currently occupy the final knockout spot and have the best overall NRR in the group, with Glamorgan, Essex, and Hampshire Hawks possessing identical records.

Finally, even a first win for Middlesex over Kent on Sunday was not enough to lift them off the foot of the table, where they sit below Gloucestershire, who also have just two points.

Sussex are the most in-form team, winning both of their games this week, while Gloucestershire are the most in need of new ideas, even more than basement side Middlesex, after losing two from two.


Jamie Smith of Surrey’s 211 runs, hit at an average of 52.75, mean he still leads the way with the bat in the South Group, and his already-stunning strike rate has climbed again to now stand at 208.91.

However, impressive weeks for Sussex’s Australian man Daniel Hughes and Somerset stalwart Tom Abell have seen them jump up the table to second with 177 runs and third with 167, respectively.

Abell hit an unbeaten 96 from 47 against Hampshire, but it was the 106 off 58 struck by Kent’s Sam Billings – that Somerset were on the receiving end of – that earns the title of the week’s highest score.

Ollie Pope also came within a whisker of hitting a century, his first in T20 cricket, but had to settle for an unbeaten 99 from 59 deliveries in Surrey’s defeat by Sussex.

Meanwhile, Smith remains the South Group’s leading six-hitter with 19, a long way clear of the 10 maximums blasted by Somerset’s Will Smeed and the eight of Essex’s own Michael Pepper.


Having finished second in the entire competition’s wicket-taking charts last season, Ben Green of Somerset has continued his impressive form with the ball and has picked up 13 scalps already.

He took the South Group’s first five-wicket haul in a big win over Hampshire on Sunday, picking up figures of 5/29 in what was the best single bowling performance of the week too.

Green’s teammate Riley Meredith, playing his first season in the Blast, ripped through Middlesex on Tuesday night to pick up 4/12, while Glamorgan’s Mason Crane also collected 4/25 this week.

Crane now sits second behind Green in the list of overall wicket-takers with 10, level with Tymal Mills of Sussex and one ahead of Meredith, Surrey’s Tom Curran, and Gloucestershire’s David Payne.

Veteran left-arm seamer Payne also has the lowest economy rate of anyone to bowl more than one over in the South Group, at 5.68, while Shane Snater’s 5.00 holds the group’s best bowling average.


06 June: Middlesex (173 all out) lost to Glamorgan (177-7) by three wickets

07 June: Gloucestershire (124 all out) lost to Hampshire Hawks (128-5) by five wickets
Kent Spitfires (198-6) beat Somerset (197-6) by four wickets
Surrey (177-7) lost to Sussex Sharks (213-7) by 36 runs
Essex (168-8) beat Glamorgan (166-8) by two wickets

09 June: Gloucestershire (160-8) lost to Sussex Sharks (208-6) by 48 runs
Somerset (241-5) beat Hampshire Hawks (178 all out) by 63 runs
Kent Spitfires (173-8) lost to Middlesex (178-6) by four wickets

11 June: Middlesex (78 all out) lost to Somerset (82-1) by nine wickets


13 June: Middlesex v Essex (Lord’s)
Glamorgan v Hampshire Hawks (Sophia Gardens)

14 June: Somerset v Kent Spitfires (Cooper Associates County Ground)
Surrey v Gloucestershire (Kia Oval)
Essex v Sussex (The Cloud County Ground)
Hampshire Hawks v Middlesex (Utilita Bowl)

15 June: Sussex Sharks v Surrey (1st Central County Ground)

16 June: Somerset v Glamorgan (Cooper Associates County Ground)
Kent Spitfires v Gloucestershire (Spitfire Ground St Lawrence)

20 June: Glamorgan v Gloucestershire (Sophia Gardens)
Essex v Hampshire Hawks (The Cloud County Ground)
Middlesex v Surrey (Lord’s)
Sussex Sharks v Kent Spitfires (1st Central County Ground)

21 June: Gloucestershire v Somerset (Seat Unique Stadium)
Kent Spitfires v Essex (Spitfire Ground St Lawrence)
Surrey v Glamorgan (Kia Oval)
Hampshire Hawks v Sussex Sharks (Utilita Bowl)

The Eagles Have Landed: The 2024 Vitality Blast at The Cloud County Ground

Thursday 20 June, 7:00pm: Essex v Hampshire Hawks – buy here
Friday 05 July, 7:00pm: Essex v Somerset – SOLD OUT
Thursday 11 July, 7:00pm: Essex v Kent Spitfires – buy here
Sunday 14 July, 2:30pm: Essex v Surrey – buy here