County Cricket Round-Up - 20th May
There were wins for the Unicorns, Lancashire, Middlesex, Sussex, Surrey, Yorkshire and Hampshire in today’s Clydesdale Bank 40 action.
Stephen Moore (62 from 50 balls), Steven Croft (53 from 46) and Paul Horton (54 from 53) each hit half centuries to help Lancashire to a 28-run win over Essex at Old Trafford. David Masters took four wickets for the visitors, who then slumped to 139 for six in reply before a typically brutal knock of 51 from 25 balls by Graham Napier looked like it could give them the win. He shared a seventh-wicket stand of 68 in 35 balls with Greg Smith (44 from 40), but Ajmal Shahzad had him caught and the end soon followed.
A disciplined all-round performance from Middlesex was enough to earn them a comfortable 31-run win over Leicestershire at Grace Road. The Panthers made 241 for five from their 40 overs after being invited to bat, with skipper Neil Dexter ending not out on 54 from 41 balls and sharing a rapid fifth-wicket partnership with Gareth Berg (43 from 31). The hosts quickly fell to 49 for five in the run chase as Steven Finn took three early wickets, and they never really recovered, in spite of a run-a-ball 46 from wicket-keeper Ned Eckersley, and were all out for 210 in the penultimate over.
In Group B, defending champions Surrey trounced Durham by 60 runs at The Oval with Cambridge University student Zafar Ansari striking a quickfire unbeaten 60 from 54 balls to haul the home side up to 221 for seven after a shaky start. He added 85 for the sixth-wicket with Tom Maynard (77 from 94) after three Mitchell Claydon strikes had reduced them to 106 for five just after the halfway point. Durham’s run chase never got going as Matthew Spriegel, Stuart Meaker, Jade Dernbach and Gareth Batty applied constant pressure to end with two wickets each and dismiss them for just 161.
Hampshire denied Scotland a second victory of the campaign and prevailed by 89 runs at Uddingston. Michael Carberry top-scored with 76 in the Royals’ total of 220, while Kabir Ali chipped in with a handy 32 from number nine. The Saltires struggled throughout when their turn came to bat and came up well short to be bowled out for 131, with Ali and Danny Briggs each taking a brace of wickets. An interview with Kabir Ali is available here.
In Group C, the Unicorns pulled off an unexpected four-wicket win over Kent at Canterbury as former Somerset all-rounder Keith Parsons hit an unbeaten 46 from 57 balls to guide his side home. It was Zimbabwe-born seamer Glen Querl who was the real star of the show, however, as he followed up his haul for four for 41 in Kent’s dismal total of 165 with an enterprising innings of 24 not out from 21 balls.
Sussex triumphed by 12 runs in a low-scoring match at Wantage Road as Luke Wright marked his return to the visitors’ line-up with an innings of 59 from 57 balls at the top of the order. Skipper Michael Yardy’s 39 was the next highest score as Lee Daggett picked up four for 31 and the spin pairing of James Middlebrook and Con de Lange shared five wickets between them to bowl them out for 180. Yardy and Wright then claimed an early wicket each in the Northamptonshire reply before David Sales (51 from 70 balls) and Stephen Peters (39 from 69) attempted a recovery job, but Will Beer and Monty Panesar returned combined figures of three for 50 from 12 overs to strangle the middle-order as the Steelbacks ended short on 168 for seven.
Gary Ballance carried over his fine recent Championship form into the limited overs arena to help Yorkshire coast to a seven-wicket win over Derbyshire. He ended with 77 from just 60 balls as the home side chased down Derbyshire’s total of 219 for eight with 14 balls to spare. Australian seamer Mitchell Starc had been the pick of the Tykes’ attack, returning figures of three for 28, as the visitors squandered a promising start – Chesney Hughes and Martin Guptill had both made half centuries during an opening stand of 137 – and lost eight wickets for 71 runs.
The MCC university match at Fenner’s ended in a draw with Cambridge MCCU reaching 189 for five in their pursuit of 253 to win. Pune-born wicket-keeper batsman Satyajit Satbhai briefly threatened the target with a 57-ball 66, but he was dismissed by David Payne and the two sides called it a day soon afterwards. Earlier, Gloucestershire had declared on 234 for three, with stand-in captain Hamish Marshall ending unbeaten with 102.
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