Labuschagne takes two in three as Lynn fires again

Chris Lynn’s value as a Big Bash free agent continues to climb with the axed Brisbane Heat opener whacking a third straight 50-plus score for English county Northamptonshire.

The Queenslander top scored with two sixes and five boundaries in his 47-ball 61 to lead Northants to a four-wicket win against Durham at the Riverside Ground.

It was another brutal display of power-hitting by the 32-year-old who now has 405 runs at a strike rate of 153 in his seven innings since the Heat announced they would not be renewing his contract for next summer’s KFC BBL | 12.

After missing the Steelbacks last match due to tooth pain that required minor dental surgery, Lynn backed up his 106 not out in his previous knock as Northants chased down Durham’s 8-154 with three balls to spare, helping them rise to third in the North Group standings.

Such is the right-hander’s return to form – which has him as the second leading scorer of the T20 Blast season with 266 runs at 88 – that the last time Lynn made consecutive fifties was during the Heat’s run to the BBL | 10 finals in January 2021.

“He’s a really good character to have in the changeroom, he’s got a lot of experience, he speaks really well and his calm nature and communication to the rest of the batters is really important,” Steelbacks spinner Graeme White said.

“It’s just great to see him out there, he’s had a tough couple of days with his tooth, not much sleep and let’s just hope that form continues.”

West Australian quick AJ Tye did his best to restrict Northants’ batters with 3-28 from his four overs but New Zealander Jimmy Neesham comfortably guided them home with 15 not out.

The 35-year-old right-armer has eight wickets in three games since joining Durham as a replacement player for injured WA teammate Ashton Turner.

Marnus Labuschagne marked his final game for Glamorgan before departing for Australia’s tour of Sri Lanka with 2-27 from four overs of leg-spin, which included two wickets in three balls.

Queensland teammate Michael Neser also collected two wickets as Glamorgan restricted Surrey to 9-160 from their 20 overs, but the match ended with no result as rain in Cardiff brought a premature end to the chase after 1.3 overs.

Sydney Thunder off-spinner Chris Green claimed 3-32 from four overs as the rest of the Middlesex attack, including Perth Scorchers quick Jason Behrendorff (1-39), copped the full force of former England batter Joe Denly’s 58-ball 110 for Kent .

Denly whacked six sixes and nine fours as the Spitfires amassed 8-192 with Behrendorff scoring 13 not out as Middlesex fell 55 runs short in Canterbury.

In Sunday’s fourth match the Dan Christian skippered Notts Outlaws fell one run short in a rain-affected thriller at Edgbaston in a match that saw a batter from each side strategically retired out.

Needing six runs to win from the final ball, former England allrounder Samit Patel could only manage one off a no-ball (worth two runs in the T20 Blast) deemed above the waist.

Samit Patel’s strategic retirement proved in vain as Notts lost in a last ball thriller // Getty

Patel then retired out to install a quicker runner at the non-strikers end with three required from the free hit, but Nottinghamshire could only scramble a single to cover to finish 5-97 from eight overs in reply to Birmingham Bears 5-98.

Earlier, during Birmingham’s innings, skipper Carlos Brathwaite retired out on 17 ahead of the last over of the innings that was bowled by leg-spinner Calvin Harrison.

Strategic retirements in T20 cricket seem to be gaining momentum after Jordan Silk started the trend during the Sydney Sixers thrilling BBL semi-final win against the Adelaide Strikers in January, while Ravichandran Ashwin became the first batter to do it in the Indian Premier League in April .

Sydney Thunder import Alex Hales smashed 30 from nine balls with four sixes to get Notts’ chase off to a flying start, while James Pattinson had a day to forget, conceding 19 from his solitary over.

Christian and Pattinson will be in action against tonight when Notts take on Yorkshire at Headingley.

Australians in 2022 English T20 Blast

Birmingham: Nathan McAndrew

Derbyshire: Hayden Kerr

Durham: Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye

Essex: Daniel Sams

Glamorgan: Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser

Gloucestershire: Marcus Harris

Hampshire: Nathan Ellis, Ben McDermott

Lancashire: Tim David

Middlesex: Jason Behrendorff, Chris Green

Northamptonshire: Matthew Kelly, Chris Lynn

Nottinghamshire: Dan Christian, James Pattinson

Somerset: Peter Siddle

Sussex: Josh Philippe

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