Another quickfire half-century from former Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum has set up Middlesex for a 72-run win over Essex at Lord's in the English county T20 competition.

McCullum took just 28 balls to reach 63 in an innings which included five sixes and six fours.

The innings is McCullum's second belter in a week, after his 88 off 51 balls steered Middlesex to a 16-run win over Kent.

Daniel Vettori-coached Middlesex reached 203 for six off their 20 overs, with former Wellington all-rounder James Franklin and Black Caps pace man Tim Southee smashing 20 off the last four balls.

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Franklin was unbeaten on 16 off seven, while Southee blasted a six off the only ball he faced.

Essex could only manage 131 in 16.2 overs before they were bowled out, Southee removing opener Adam Wheater without score in returning figures of 1-16 off three overs.

The win is Middlesex's third from seven matches, and allows them to climb off the bottom of the South Group table.