Leicestershire threw away a winning position at Grace Road to lose by four runs to Yorkshire in the North Group. The Foxes required 17 to win from 13 balls with six wickets in hand at one stage, but Ramnaresh Sarwan was needlessly run-out by Richard Pyrah and the inexperienced lower-order folded. Mitchell Starc successfully defended nine off the last over – clean bowling Wayne White and Nathan Buck – to finish with figures of two for 19. Richard Pyrah had earlier provided impetus to a stuttering Yorkshire innings, hitting 35 from just 23 balls, after Nathan Buck had taken three wickets for Leicestershire.
Durham thrashed Derbyshire by eight wickets at Chester-le-Street as Herschelle Gibbs made 83 not out from just 58 balls to see the Dynamos past Derbyshire’s inadequate 131 for seven. He shared an opening stand of 70 with club captain Phil Mustard, which set the platform for a successful run chase, in spite of David Wainwright, who took one for 18 with his left-arm spin. Scott Borthwick had taken two wickets in the middle of the Falcons’ innings as they struggled for momentum, with Usman Khawaja’s 38-ball 33 the highest score.
Warwickshire triumphed over Gloucestershire with almost two overs to spare in their Midlands/West/Wales Group match at Bristol. The Gladiators made 122 for seven after electing to bat, with Dan Housego’s unbeaten 59 by far the highest contribution. Paul Best starred with the ball, taking three for 19, while Chris Woakes and Steffan Piolet also bowled tidily. Varun Chopra led the Bears’ reply, with an unbeaten 56 from 49 balls, and found able support in the form of Jim Troughton, who made 30 from 34 balls.
Hampshire won a tense South Group encounter at Richmond as they defeated Middlesex by four wickets in the final over. Simon Katich was drafted into the Royals’ starting eleven and hit 40 from only 26 balls, but it was Sean Ervine who, quite rightly, won most of the plaudits. The former Zimbabwean international struck 75 not out from only 51 deliveries and finished the match in fine fashion by striking Tim Murtagh for four. Glenn Maxwell had earlier delivered four tidy overs of off-spin at a cost of just 18 runs as the home side could make only 156 from their 20 overs despite losing only two wickets, and Paul Stirling ending with 82 not out.
Yorkshire’s win at Grace Road moves them to the top of the North Group, while Leicestershire languish at the foot of the table and will find it almost impossible to qualify for the quarter-finals. Meanwhile, Durham’s win keeps them in fourth, with Derbyshire now four points behind third-placed Lancashire. The Midlands/West/Wales Group sees little change, with the Bears strengthening their second position and Gloucestershire remaining in fifth, while Hampshire move up to third in the South Group.
The Varsity match at The Parks meandered to a draw on the final day, as Oxford University declared on 215 for five in their second innings. Cambridge University must have fancied their chances going into the final day, but Rajiv Sharma (34) and skipper Ben Williams (70) batted through almost 44 overs during a fourth-wicket stand of 97, while Owain Jones – who had made 83 in their first innings – ended on 54.
Tomorrow’s FLt20 Fixture:
South Group, Essex v Sussex at Chelmsford (match starts at 1810 GMT)
Essex have named a 14-man squad which does not include Owais Shah, who is still injured.
Essex squad: Mark Pettini, James Franklin, Tom Westley, Ryan ten Doeschate, Greg Smith, James Foster (captain, wicket-keeper), Adam Wheater, Graham Napier, Tim Phillips, David Masters, Reece Topley, Tymal Mills, Michael Comber, Maurice Chambers.
Sussex have an injury concern over Scott Styris, although they are able to call upon England wicket-keeper Matt Prior, who has been made available by the ECB.
Sussex squad: Chris Nash, Luke Wright, Joe Gatting, Matt Prior, Murray Goodwin, Scott Styris, Ben Brown (wicket-keeper), Michael Yardy (captain), Will Beer, Chris Liddle, Amjad Khan, Naved Arif, Matt Machan.
Weather Forecast: A band of heavy rain will clear England by late afternoon, meaning that the evening’s match at Chelmsford should be unaffected. The preceding women’s Twenty20 International may, however, suffer interruptions.
County News In Brief:
The lawyer for former Essex leg-spinner Danish Kaneria has attacked the guilty verdict handed out at last week’s ECB disciplinary hearing as “pre-determined”. He also said that Kaneria will appeal the verdict and has asked the ECB to conduct the appeal in the open on the grounds that it increases the prospect of a fair trial.
Steve Magoffin has extended his current contract with Sussex until the end of 2013. He will be able to play as a local player after retiring from Australian state cricket and because he has a British wife. Sussex had always been keen to secure Magoffin on a longer contract, but had been prevented from doing so because Queensland wanted him to return to Australia for pre-season training.
Warwickshire spinner Chris Metters has been ruled out for the rest of the season because of a shoulder injury. He will now have an operation on Saturday to repair a torn cartilage in his left shoulder.
© Cricket World 2012
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