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T20 Blast talking points: prepare for a week of intriguing quarter-finals

Lancashire v Essex, Notts v Middlesex, Sussex v Worcestershire and Gloucestershire v Derbyshire will give us a treat this week

By Gary Naylor for the 99.94 Cricket Blog

When Kent beat Essex at Canterbury at the beginning of the month, it was the third of five consecutive wins that launched their Blast campaign into the stratosphere. But Chelmsford’s return match saw Sam Billings’ men burn up on re-entry, their seemingly nailed-on place in the quarter-finals pilfered by… who else, Essex. Set 190 to win, Kent had things under control at the end of the 11th over, with Zak Crawley and Faf du Plessis going well: up with the rate, wickets in hand, like the textbook says. But the home side have such a varied attack that once Adam Zampa shot out the South African, a calamitous succession of swings and misses saw Kent fall 11 runs short. Essex still needed rock-bottom Glamorgan to beat Hampshire – which, of course, they did. Because Essex always find a way.

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