Babar Azam scored a classy half-century as Somerset beat bottom-of-the-table Glamorgan by 25 runs at the Cooper Associates Ground to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Vitality Blast.

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Buoyed by Babar’s vibrant innings of 63 from 42 balls, Somerset raised a competitive 177-9 in their 20 overs after losing the toss and being put in on a hybrid pitch.

David Lloyd top-scored with a fine innings of 63 but Glamorgan were unable to recover from the loss of early wickets and were bowled out for 152, Max Waller and Jerome Taylor claiming 3-19 and 2-31 respectively.

Somerset now occupy the fourth and final qualifying spot in the South Group – ahead of Middlesex by virtue of a superior run rate – with two matches to play.

Tom Banton again demonstrated his credentials as a potential England player of the future, smashing 34 from 21 balls and matching Babar blow-for-blow in an entertaining opening stand of 61 in 5.4 overs.

Tom Banton struck 34 off 21 balls in an explosive start Tom Banton struck 34 off 21 balls in an explosive start Tom Banton struck 34 off 21 balls in an explosive start

Babar went to 50 from 36 balls and then registered the first six of the innings, straight-hitting Ruaidri Smith into the Sir Ian Botham Stand to afford the hosts renewed impetus.

Comfortably Somerset’s highest scorer in the short format this season, the Pakistan international passed 500 for the tournament and 4,000 career T20 runs.

Glamorgan’s woes with the bat continued as their top-order imploded in the face of express pace from Jerome Taylor (2-31)

Shaun Marsh edged the West Indies paceman to slip, while Colin Ingram was superbly run out by Tom Abell’s pick-up-and-throw from short mid-wicket in pursuit of a single, a lapse in judgment which saw the visitors lurch to 6-2.

Glamorgan subsided to 64-6 at halfway and only Lloyd offered meaningful resistance, bringing up a 31-ball 50 with a six over long-on at the expense of Craig Overton.

Laurie Evans’ second half-century of the Vitality T20 Blast campaign saw Sussex cruise to an eight-wicket victory over Middlesex at Uxbridge.

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Evans plundered three sixes and four fours, reaching his half-century from 25 balls when depositing the winning hit into the crowd as the visitors chased down a target of 172 with four overs to spare.

Laurie Evans struck an unbeaten 52 off just 25 balls, with three sixes and four fours Laurie Evans struck an unbeaten 52 off just 25 balls, with three sixes and four fours Laurie Evans struck an unbeaten 52 off just 25 balls, with three sixes and four fours

Sharks skipper Luke Wright, who had scored a century against Middlesex at Lord’s in the Royal London Cup back in May, had earlier blasted 48 in 27 balls, while Alex Carey was unbeaten on 41.