There were some thrilling finishes on the final day of matches in round 16 of the LV= County Championship. Jimmy Adams was the hero for Hampshire, while, elsewhere, Mark Wood and Gareth Batty starred for Durham and Surrey.
Durham held their nerve to win by 16 runs at Trent Bridge and put a considerable dent in Nottinghamshire’s title aspirations. They declared their second innings closed at 325 for eight at the start of the day, leaving the home side to score 366 for victory. Riki Wessels and Alex Hales added an aggressive 168 in 42 overs for the first wicket, before Wessels fell for 98 from 137 balls. Hales made 101 and Steven Mullaney finished on 60 not out, but Mark Wood took five for 78 and the home side were all out for 349 just before the scheduled close.
It was a tense final day at The Oval, where Surrey wound up winners by just eight runs against Middlesex. The visitors looked to be well out of it at 101 for seven in pursuit of 254 to win, but Steven Crook started the fightback with an 88-ball 67, an innings which was backed up by contributions from Adam Rossington (25), Toby Roland-Jones (17) and Tim Murtagh (25 not out). Gareth Batty, though, trapped Roland-Jones leg-before to claim his sixth wicket with Middlesex on 245.
Worcestershire bowled Lancashire out for 216 in their first innings on the fourth day of their rain-affected match at New Road. Gareth Cross top-scored with 39 for the visitors, while Gareth Andrew and Moeen Ali shared seven wickets for the Pears, who took six points from the day against Lancashire’s four.
In Division Two, a century from Usman Khawaja was enough to help Derbyshire draw their match against Yorkshire. Their first innings ended on 268 at the start of the day, meaning that they had to follow-on; and when they lost both openers early to Tim Bresnan, Yorkshire sensed their chance. However, Khawaja and Wes Durston added 90 for the third-wicket, while Ross Whiteley contributed a 90-ball 17 to a fifth-wicket stand of 66. They ended on 190 for five with Khawaja unbeaten on 110.
A draw was the predictable result on the third day at Colchester where Glamorgan closed on 260 for six in their second innings against Essex. The Welsh side had slipped to 63 for four earlier in the day courtesy of three wickets from Harbhajan Singh, but Jim Allenby (103 not out) and Ben Wright (83) shared a fifth-wicket partnership of 180 and the draw was sealed.
Kent and Gloucestershire chose to play for bonus points rather than try and force a result on the final day at Bristol. Resuming on 29 for one in the first innings, Kent declared on 300 for nine, with Alex Blake (73) and Geraint Jones (65 not out) hitting half-centuries. Gloucestershire then faced just one delivery in their first innings before the teams shook hands.
Northamptonshire declared their second innings closed on 245 for eight, but still lost to Hampshire on the fourth day in Southampton. Their declaration left the home side needing 326 to win from 72 overs and they got home from the first ball of the 71st thanks to an epic 149 off 216 balls from skipper Jimmy Adams. He shared 150 for the first wicket with Neil McKenzie, while Simon Katich hit the winning runs to end 61 not out.
Tomorrow’s Fixtures: (start times in brackets, GMT)
Group A, CB40, Essex v Netherlands at Colchester (1245)
Ravi Bopara returns to the 12-man Essex squad following his absence for personal reasons. They have also included Tymal Mills, Greg Smith and Tom Westley.
Group A, CB40, Gloucestershire v Lancashire at Bristol (1245)
The Gladiators must win if they are to keep their hopes of qualification alive, but they will find that hard to do against group leaders Lancashire.
Group A, CB40, Worcestershire v Leicestershire at New Road (1245)
The Pears and the Foxes are the bottom two sides in Group A and may take the opportunity to test some fringe members of their squads. Leicestershire will welcome back captain Josh Cobb from his finger injury and have named James Sykes and Alex Wyatt in a 13-man squad.
Group B, CB40, Hampshire v Surrey at Southampton (1245)
Hampshire and Surrey are top of Group B and both welcome back star players ahead of this mouth-watering clash. Michael Carberry returns from a knee injury, while Kevin Pietersen has been included in Surrey’s 13-man squad. Stuart Meaker also returns from England Lions duty.
Group B, CB40, Nottinghamshire v Durham at Trent Bridge (1245)
Both teams must win to keep any hopes of a semi-final spot alive, but will they have an energy left after today’s exertions. Samit Patel should return to the Outlaws’ line-up.
Group B, CB40, Scotland v Somerset at Uddingston (1000)
The Saltires will play their last match in the competition and have drafted in Calvin Burnett for Middlesex-bound Josh Davey. Somerset have had to draft in a player of their own to cope with their unprecedented injury problems. Gemaal Hussain and Marcus Trescothick are both sidelined with minor injuries, meaning that 27 year-old Robert Mutch has been called up from their second XI. They too must win to keep their semi-final hopes alive.
Group C, CB40, Northamptonshire v Kent at Wantage Road (1245)
The Steelbacks are out of contention for the semi-finals and have chosen to rest senior players. David Burton, Olly Stone, Christian Davis and Rob Keogh all make the 12-man squad, which also features Jack Brooks, who returns after recovering from his back injury.
Group C, CB40, Unicorns v Warwickshire at Wormsley (1245)
The Bears must win to keep their qualification hopes alive and will want to bounce back from some poor performances in the competition of late.
Group C, CB40, Yorkshire v Sussex at Headingley (1245)
The table-topping Sharks head to Headingley knowing that a win could guarantee them a semi-final berth. They have included Lewis Hatchett in their 13-man squad alongside the regulars. Yorkshire can theoretically still qualify but must win and hope other results go their way.
Weather Forecast: It will be even warmer in the south-east tomorrow, peaking at around 32 degrees Celsius in London. The north and west will be considerably cooler and could see some significant rain, with temperatures there reaching no higher than 20 degrees Celsius.
© Cricket World 2012
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