Brutal centuries from the Irish pairing of Eoin Morgan and Paul Stirling led Middlesex’s demolition of Lancashire at Lord’s. Joe Denly had added 142 with Stirling for the second wicket to lay the platform for what was to come. Morgan and Stirling then put on 126 in less than 11 overs before the latter’s dismissal for 119 from 99 balls. However, Morgan was not finished yet and brought up three figures from just 49 balls as Middlesex ended on 350 for six from their 40 overs.
Gary Keedy was the pick of Lancashire’s attack with five for 55, but they lost several early wickets in their reply and never threatened their target, eventually being bowled out for 183 in the 35th over, with Steven Crook and Tom Smith taking three wickets each.
It was a similar story at New Road, where Gloucestershire trounced the home side by 109 runs. The Gidman brother both made half-centuries for the visitors after they had elected to bat, with younger brother Will making 76 and Alex hitting 59 from 50 balls. Jack Shantry took four wickets for Worcestershire, but he wasn’t backed up by the Pears’ batsmen and they were all out for just 129, with James Fuller, Will Gidman, David Payne, Jack Taylor and Ed Young taking a brace of wickets.
In Group B, it was the bowlers who enjoyed the conditions at Colwyn Bay as Glamorgan, despite making only 163, beat Durham quite comfortably. Simon Jones took three of the first four Durham wickets to fall as they slipped to 36 for four in their run chase. Jim Allenby (two for 25) and Dean Cosker (one for 34) then bowled tidily through the middle of the innings, before Jones returned to dismiss debutant Michael Richardson for 45 and effectively end the visitors’ challenge.
Scott Borthwick and Ben Stokes had earlier taken five wickets between them to dismiss the hosts inside 35 overs, with opener Gareth Rees’ 28 the highest score.
In Group C, Northamptonshire and Kent had to settle for a point apiece at Tunbridge Wells as two rain interruptions meant their match ended in a no result. The Steelbacks had made 168 for five from 32 overs after being put into bat, with skipper Alex Wakely and Niall O’Brien sharing a fourth-wicket stand of 74 after they had collapsed to 36 for three courtesy of two wickets from Darren Stevens. Kent were then set 138 to win from 18 overs, but faced only one before the rain returned, with them on six without loss.
The other match in Group C, that at Horsham, was also abandoned due to the weather, with Sussex on 111 for five after 24 overs against Derbyshire.
In one other piece of county news, Somerset have signed Ireland all-rounder Kevin O’Brien to play in five of their Friends Life t20 matches.
© Cricket World 2012
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