Gus Miller and Hassan Azad put in strong performances as Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire won a game apiece in two T20 games on Thursday.
On another overcast day and in chilly conditions, Northamptonshire won the toss and elected to bowl in the first match of the day.
Gloucestershire made it difficult for Northamptonshire, who struggled to contain the batting side during the powerplay, as they were 67-1 from 6 overs. The only wicket coming from the bowling of captain Gus Miller, as he dismissed Ben Wells in the third over.
Gloucestershire continued to strike at just under 10 an over as Joe Phillips and Tom Lace put on a 94 run partnership over the next 10 overs before Bailey Wightman dismissed Lace for 39 following a sharp catch by Hassan Azad.
Northamptonshire had the momentum and it showed as wickets fell in the next two overs, courtesy of Ajay Khunti and Gus Miller, who picked up his second wicket of the game.
After Phillips was dismissed for a brilliant 71, Gloucestershire slumped from 136-3 to 174 all out in the last over.
It was a very strong bowling performance from Northamptonshire as Gus Miller continued his fine form, picking up four wickets, along with Ajay Khunti taking three, as they skittled through the Gloucestershire middle order.
Ramon Bailey took the final two wickets, in consecutive balls in the final over, restricting Gloucestershire to a more than achievable target for the away side.
Hassan Azad and Aadi Sharma opened the batting for Northamptonshire and cruised to a solid 50 partnership from the powerplay.
Azad had contributed to 34 of those, displaying a brilliant mix of power and controlled hitting.
Sharma couldn’t stay with Azad at the crease as he was dismissed however in the 7th over. He fell for 13 as Lace took a simple catch at mid-wicket.
Azad continued his strong innings after the dismissal of Sharma, putting on another 40 runs before he was bowled for a patient 67, including seven 4s and two 6s.
Despite the loss of a few quick wickets, Tom Keast hit an unbeaten 29, hitting the winning runs on the penultimate ball of the innings, giving Northamptonshire an excellent win by 5 wickets.
In the second game of the day, Northamptonshire elected to bat first and put Gloucestershire into field.
Justin Broad and Arush Buchake put on 54 runs off 28 deliveries for the first wicket as Broad hit three 6s and three 4s in the powerplay. Buchake was dismissed in the 5th over for 14 as Gus Miller came in at three but quickly lost his partner when Broad was bowled for 45 by Zafar Gohar after attempting to find the boundary with another sweep.
Miller didn’t let the wicket slow him down though as he hit a quick fire 42 off 22 deliveries, including two massive sixes into the leg side.
Northamptonshire slowed down their scoring but a quick 27 from 13 deliveries from Tom Keast guided the side to 186/8 from their 20 overs.
Matthew Hunt got Northamptonshire off to the perfect start, bowling William Naish for a golden duck. Gloucestershire managed to recover from their early setback as Joe Phillips and Ahmed Syed brought their side up to 50 by the end of the powerplay.
Syed and James Bracey fell in successive overs, to Khunti and Gus Miller reducing Gloucestershire to 54-3 eight overs in.
Zafar Gohar and Joe Phillips managed to steady the ship for Gloucestershire, sharing a stand of 91 off 51 deliveries, putting Gloucestershire in the driving seat in the second game.
Miller and Khunti struck again in the 16th and 17th over, dismissing Phillips and Gohar respectively, but ultimately it was too late for Northamptonshire. Gloucestershire reached the 187 target with 10 balls to spare and five wickets in hand to win the second of the two games of the day.