NatWest T20 Blast: Wins for Essex, Hampshire and Gloucestershire in the South Group
Last Updated: 04/07/14 10:25pm
Essex stayed top of the South Group with a five-wicket victory against Surrey at Chelmsford, their eighth win out of nine in this year's NatWest T20 Blast.
Surrey skipper Gary Wilson made an unbeaten 63 in his side's total of 165-4 after they had been sent in to bat, while former England batsman Kevin Pietersen had an innings to forget, scoring one off 11 balls before being stumped off a Tim Phillips wide.
Mark Pettini (42) and Tom Westley (38) put on 61 for the second wicket to send Essex on their way in reply.
Ravi Bopara launched a pair of sixes in his 24 before Ryan ten Doeschate's 40 not out steered Essex home with nine deliveries unused.
Surrey drop to third in the table as a consequence of their third defeat in the competition and Hampshire's 47-run win over Kent.
Hampshire piled up 173-9 after being asked to bat at Canterbury, Sean Ervine's 35-ball 47 the highlight of a solid team effort.
Kent were bowled out for 126 in 18.4 overs in reply, left-arm seamer Chris Wood claiming 4-24.
Hampshire, winner of the England's domestic T20 tournament in 2010 and 2012, are two points behind Essex in the standings and two above Surrey.
Also on Friday night, Gloucestershire defended a total of 138-7 for a 13-run win over Sussex at Bristol.
Ian Cockbain top scored with 52 off 36 balls, including three sixes, after Gloucestershire had been sent in.
Sussex were bowled out for 125 in 14.4 overs in reply, spinner Jack Taylor finished things off with 3-12 after seamers Will Gidman (2-27), David Payne (2-14) and Graeme MCCarter (2-34) had done the early damage.
The result leaves both counties three points behind fourth-placed Glamorgan, whose match against Somerset in Cardiff was abandoned without any play due to rain.
The top four at the end of the group stage qualify for the quarter-finals.