Two defeats for Middlesex
A review of Saturday's action in the NatWest T20 Blast.
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Miserly bowling from Yasir Arafat guided Sussex to their second straight Twenty20 Blast victory as they beat Middlesex by 13 runs at Lord's.
The Pakistan pace bowler blasted two fours from the final two balls to edge Sussex to Friday night victory over Surrey in Brighton.
A day later in St John's Wood the 32-year-old returned bowling figures of one for 17 from four overs as Middlesex slumped to two home defeats in the day.
The hosts were chasing 129 for victory and had expected to coast home.
Arafat and Chris Jordan had other ideas, though, restricting Middlesex to 115 for six.
Middlesex earlier lost a high-scoring affair with Essex by eight wickets, despite Dawid Malan's unbeaten 86.
Malan's measured 23 against Sussex and 30 from captain Eoin Morgan proved in vain, though, as the hosts endured a winless day.
Ravi Bopara and Mark Pettini combined to lead Essex to victory earlier in the day.
Pettini had set up a strong platform as the visitors responded to Middlesex's 180 for five, before Bopara added the late firepower to secure an eight-wicket victory.
Pettini hit the winning runs with seven balls to spare as he set his new format best of 95, while Bopara smashed three fours and three sixes - including 16 runs from three James Harris deliveries in the 19th over - in his 24-ball 45.
Malan and Morgan had earlier put on 118 for Middlesex's second wicket.
Opener Malan carried his bat for a terrific 86, while England international Morgan bludgeoned 77 from just 43 deliveries as the hosts had been put into bat.
In the day's other match, Paul Horton and Tom Smith's 128-run stand allowed Lancashire to edge to a 12-run victory over Worcestershire at Old Trafford.
When Lancashire posted 194 for three, Horton and Smith could have been forgiven for expecting a solid victory.
The visitors had other ideas, maintaining a brisk pace throughout and falling just 13 runs short of an impressive turnaround result.
Worcestershire reached 182 for five in their 20 overs - with little more than half a run an over between the two sides.