In Group A, Chris Dent, Benny Howell and Kane Williamson starred in Gloucestershire’s thrashing of Leicestershire at Bristol as they dismissed the home side for just 130 after setting them 295 to win. It was Dent’s spin that did the bulk of the damage as he returned figures of four for 43 from his eight overs, while Irish seamer Graeme McCarter picked up three at a cost of 15 runs. Earlier, New Zealander Williamson and French-born Howell had continued their prolific starts to the season and added 152 for the third wicket, with the former making 112 from 92 balls and the latter 88 from 82.
Worcestershire eased to a comfortable seven-wicket win over Essex at Chelmsford as Moeen Ali followed up an excellent all-round performance in the field with a sublime innings of 99 from 98 balls. He put on 104 for the first wicket with Vikram Solanki (48 from 52 balls) as the Pears chased down Essex’s woefully inadequate 190 for nine with more than six overs to spare. It had all started so well for the home side earlier in the day, as their openers Mark Pettini (64 from 76) and Alastair Cook put on 84 for the first wicket in good time. However, the latter’s run-out for 47 started a steady collapse as Worcestershire’s spin pairing of Shaaiq Choudhry (two for 37) and Moeen Ali (one for 27) turned the screw.
In Group B, Scotland’s match against Glamorgan lasted less than seven overs as the predicted rain made any more play impossible at Glasgow. The Saltires closed on 25 for one when the rain arrived with young batsman Ryan Flannigan unbeaten on 17.
Debutant Alex Barrow’s innings of 72 from 70 balls was not quite enough to give a youthful Somerset side victory over Durham at Chester-le-Street as the hosts triumphed by 14 runs. Gordon Muchall and Will Smith had both made half-centuries and put on 134 for the fourth wicket in Durham’s total of 222 for nine, with teenage fast-bowler Jamie Overton impressing to return figures of four for 42 from his eight overs for the visitors.
Somerset’s run chase was always going to be difficult once they had lost the experienced pair of Craig Kieswetter and Peter Trego inside the first three overs to debutant Jamie Harrison, and it was only thanks to Barrow that they came close. Liam Plunkett marked his return to the Durham first-team to end with four for 33 as the Cidermen were bowled out for 208 in the 40th over.
In Group C, Sussex dispatched the Unicorns with minimal fuss at Hove as Ed Joyce and Matt Machan posted centuries in the home side’s imposing total of 291 for three. The Sussex bowlers then enjoyed themselves against an uninspiring batting line-up, with off-spinner Chris Nash emerging with most of the plaudits by taking three for 29, and captain Michael Yardy ending with two for 20 after opening the bowling, as the amateurs closed on 147 for nine.
Warwickshire hammered Derbyshire at Edgbaston as Chris Woakes marked his return from injury to help bowl the visitors out for just 122. The young all-rounder picked up two key wickets, while Rikki Clarke and Jeetan Patel ended with three apiece as the Derbyshire batsmen struggled against an in-form bowling attack. The Bears suffered no such problems when their turn came to wield the willow, as Jonathan Trott played second-fiddle to William Porterfield during an unbroken second-wicket partnership of 124 that sealed the win with more than 15 overs to spare.
Group A, CB40, Netherlands v Middlesex at Voorburg (match starts at 1145 GMT)
The home side have named an unchanged squad following wins over Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, with Peter Borren again set to skipper the side and Cameron Borgas fulfilling the overseas role. Meanwhile, the visitors have added Sam Robson and Tom Smith to the eleven that played against Gloucestershire, with Toby Roland-Jones still sidelined due to an ankle injury.
Weather Forecast: Tomorrow’s match in the Netherlands shouldn’t be affected by the rain that has gripped England so far this summer, with sunshine forecast for the afternoon and a high of 12 degrees Celsius.
© Cricket World 2012.