T20 Blast: Durham Jets win fifth match in a row while Kent, Notts, Birmingham and Sussex also win

Sam Billings struck his second half-century of the T20 Blast campaign in Kent’s win against Essex

Durham Jets won a fifth match in a row and went top of the T20 Blast North Group after a comprehensive victory against Northamptonshire Steelbacks.

The Jets won by 75 runs as veteran Paul Collingwood’s unbeaten 50 saw them post 170-4 before 4-16 from Imran Tahir dismissed Northants for just 95.

Elsewhere, Jofra Archer took a hat-trick as Sussex Sharks beat Middlesex by just 12 runs at Lord’s.

There were also wins for Notts Outlaws, Birmingham Bears and Kent Spitfires.

Kent’s 28-run victory against Essex at Canterbury moved them joint top of the South Group, having played a game more than Gloucestershire.

Sam Billings crashed an unbeaten 56 off 39 balls as he and Marcus Stoinis (47) shared the highest Kent partnership for any wicket in T20 cricket, adding 106 off 69 balls in an imposing 191-4.

Essex failed to form a similar partnership in reply as they slumped to 163 all out.

Ravi Bopara briefly threatened an unlikely Essex win with 42 off 23 balls, but Adam Milne (4-15) took two wickets in as many balls to snuff out the game.

Quick-thinking Dan Lawrence shows neat footwork to catch Kent’s Daniel Bell-Drummond

Sussex bounced back from a heavy defeat by Gloucestershire on Wednesday to beat Middlesex in an enthralling contest at Lord’s.

After Phil Salt’s half-century and an unbeaten 49 from all-rounder Delray Rawlins, the Sharks stuttered towards the back end of their innings to 168-9.

Middlesex looked on course for victory as England one-day captain Eoin Morgan (90) struck nine fours and four sixes off 56 balls, but Archer was to prove the Sharks’ matchwinner.

Morgan, John Simpson and James Fuller all fell to the right-armer in the last over, as Middlesex finished on 156-7 and Sussex moved a point behind the South Group leaders.

Matt Coles smashes a six against a camera in Essex Eagles run chase

Holders Notts Outlaws remain in top-four contention in a tightly-contested North Group as they saw off East Midlands neighbours Derbyshire Falcons by nine runs at Trent Bridge.

Tom Moores (48) laid the foundations at the top before skipper Dan Christian (39 not out) and Billy Root (29 not out) steered the hosts to 166-5.

Wahab Riaz (53) got the Falcons off to a strong start, but Ish Sodhi had the last laugh for Notts with 4-17 as Derbyshire finished short on 157-8.

Last year’s runners-up Birmingham Bears picked up a welcome win against Leicestershire Foxes at Grace Road.

Oli Stone took 3-22 for the Bears as Leicestershire were bowled out for just 143, with Neil Dexter (56) the only batsman to make any sort of impression.

Ian Bell (34) then made a fast start in reply before Adam Hose (66 not out off 34 balls) guided the visitors home to 146-2 and an eight-wicket win with 34 balls remaining.

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