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Pepper hits ton in Essex win - T20 Blast round-up

Michael Pepper hit the first century of this summer's T20 Blast as Essex beat Middlesex to get their campaign up and running.

Last year's finalists had lost their first two matches and were set 204 to win.

But Pepper smashed six sixes and 10 fours in his 44-ball 101 to help his side to victory with 14 balls to spare.

Jamie Smith was also in the runs, hitting 87 off 38 balls to rescue Surrey from 28-3 to an eventual 163 all out as they beat reigning champions Somerset.

Elsewhere in the South Group, Hampshire claimed their first victory of this season's competition by beating Kent after a thrilling finish, while Glamorgan beat Sussex.

And in the North Group, Chris Green hit 22 off 11 balls and then took 4-12 as Lancashire beat Derbyshire, and early pacesetters Northants Steelbacks suffered their first defeat as they lost to Yorkshire.

Pepper sparkles as Essex chase big target

Essex's run chase against Middlesex at Chelmsford got off to a poor start when they lost Adam Rossington to the ninth ball of their innings to slip to 14-1.

But Pepper found willing partners throughout his innings as Essex coasted home.

He was finally out with 15 runs needed after putting on 83 with Dean Elgar (32) for the second wicket to give their reply momentum.

Jordan Cox also hammered 22 from eight balls and Matt Critchley 16 off 11.

Middlesex's score of 203-7 was underpinned by an unbeaten 85 from Max Holden and 49 from opening batter Martin Andersson, but they have now lost both of their first two matches.

Somerset had begun the defence of their title with victory over Essex on Friday, but they were well beaten by Surrey, who have now won their first three matches.

Surrey looked in trouble at The Kia Oval as Riley Meredith (3-34) removed both Dan Lawrence and Jason Roy to leave the hosts 28-3.

But Smith put on 111 for the fourth wicket with England Test batter Ollie Pope (40) before Ben Green (4-32) wrestled back control for Somerset as Surrey were bowled out for 163 with an over unused.

However, only Will Smeed (20) and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (25) reached 20 as Somerset's reply spluttered before they finally collapsed to 106 all out to lose by 57 runs.

Sean Abbott (3-8) and Tom Curran (3-16) both finished with three wickets as the visitors lost their final five wickets for just 13 runs.

Late sixes see Hampshire to victory

A flurry of late sixes saw Hampshire turn their game around against Kent.

With 42 needed off three overs, James Fuller hit three successive maximums to turn the game before Benny Howell and Liam Dawson also cleared the ropes to help their side get over the line with a ball to spare.

Joey Evison had taken 3-31 to put Kent in control before the late momentum swing gave Hampshire their first T20 win of the season.

Earlier, Daniel Bell-Drummond (42) and Sam Billings (43) helped Kent to 165-9 but it proved not quite enough as Hampshire won by three wickets.

At Sophia Gardens, Glamorgan claimed their first win of this summer's competition with a 25-run victory over Sussex.

Sam Northeast's unbeaten 61 off 43 balls was central to Glamorgan posting 183-7 off their 20 overs after choosing to bat, with Tymal Mills finishing with 4-33.

After slumping to 85-5 after 12 overs, Sussex were never in the hunt as they could only post 158-6 in reply, despite James Coles' career-best unbeaten 69 off 49 balls.

Green stars for Lancashire in North Group

At Emirates Old Trafford, a fine all-round performance from Green helped Lancashire claim their second win of the competition with a comfortable 57-run victory over Derbyshire.

Asked to bat first, Lancashire posted 179-7 in their 20 overs thanks to the platform laid by Josh Bohannon (39 off 24 balls) and Tom Bruce (35).

That allowed Steven Croft (17 off 10 balls) and Green to accelerate late on, with the Australian all-rounder hitting two sixes in a final over that cost 22 to finish with 22 not out off 11 balls.

Green then claimed 4-12 as Derbyshire were bowled out for 122 in reply, with only Brooke Guest (42) offering any real resistance.

There was also an impressive all-round display from Jordan Thompson as Yorkshire claimed a comprehensive win over previously unbeaten Northants Steelbacks at Northampton.

Chasing 187 to win, Northants were restricted to 157-8 as Thompson took 3-18, while Dom Bess and Matt Revis took two wickets each.

Ravi Bopara had kept the hosts in the hunt with 35 off 21 balls to follow bowling figures of 4-34 and Ricardo Vasconcelos made 37, but with wickets falling regularly, Yorkshire were never really under threat.

Joe Root (35) and Dawid Malan (41) got Yorkshire off to an explosive start, putting on 67 in 8.1 overs before they faltered to 100-4 in the 13th over.

But a record fifth-wicket partnership for Yorkshire against Northamptonshire of 64 between Shan Masood and Dom Bess and some final over hitting from Thompson, who finished 20 not out off seven balls, helped them reach 186-6.

Next T20 Blast fixtures

Thursday (start times BST)

Lord's: Middlesex v Glamorgan (18:15)

Trent Bridge: Notts Outlaws v Worcestershire Rapids (18:30)